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MC’s Center for Innovation and Technology Readies for Incubator Lab Opening

The Mission College Center for Innovation and Technology (MC2IT), a nonprofit with the dual aim of helping students and the local business community, recently received three donations and is getting ready to open its incubator lab on Feb. 1.

The donations - $10,000 from Wells Fargo, $10,000 from Key Point Credit Union and another $10,000 from Mike Fox Sr. – came in addition to $30,000 from a federal grant to put toward the incubator lab and staffing. Steelcase is providing an in-kind donation of furniture for the lab.

“In the last few months, we have been able to take MC2IT to a new plane,” said MC President Laurel Jones, who launched the organization. “This has increased our ability to serve our students and it has also helped us structure how we will continue to partner with the community.”

MC2IT, launched in fall 2011, takes a multi-tiered approach to its mission. The incubator lab is one aspect, and will serve as a place for students to work on projects and for young entrepreneurs to have plug and play access and think about their own projects. Because the lab will house state-of-the-art technology and project-based learning opportunities, it will also be open to any student working on an honors project in a science, technology, engineering or math field.

Another aspect of MC2IT focuses on outreach, including connecting students with high tech companies that have back burner projects they’d like completed, but don’t have the time to do themselves. To help further those connections, MC2IT recently completed its web-based database that will match up businesses’ internship projects with students’ skills and interests.

Already, one student is employed with the company with which she interned. “That tells me that our efforts in trying to connect students and their skills to actual projects are being realized,” Jones said.

MC2IT also hosts a speaker series aimed at young executives. The group’s most recent speaker was Jay Elliott, former senior vice president of Apple, who spoke about two of his books: Leading Apple with Steve Jobs and The Steve Jobs Way.

Additionally, the nonprofit has hired a program director and launched a new website – mc2it.missioncollege.edu – that Jones said will be instrumental in securing projects, donations and community interest in the nonprofit.

“The past few months have really provided us with the foundation we needed, the base, to get this off the ground,” she said.