First entrepreneur-in-residence joins LaunchNET program

First entrepreneur-in-residence joins LaunchNET program

Linda Kanner is going to serve as Baldwin Wallace’s first entrepreneur-in-residence for LaunchNET, a core program for the Center for Innovation and Growth (CIG). BW is one of only five institutions in the area that is considered a LaunchNET school.

LaunchNET is a cocurricular program of the CIG that provides an opportunity for students to get started on a business pitch they might have. Hannah Schlueter, LaunchNET program manager and BW alumni, explained that LaunchNET also hosts free venture coaching, idea contests, networking opportunities, and in-class presentations. Students often look to LaunchNET to get feedback and to take their idea or pitch to the next level. With 25 years of experience, Kanner will aid and coach aspiring entrepreneurs in their desires and educate students on entrepreneurship and innovation.

Hired as an adjunct and faculty member in the fall of 2017, Kanner wanted to find a way to get engaged with the CIG immediately, Schlueter said. LaunchNET saw a 100% increase in venture meetings, and decided they needed more hands-on-deck and were looking at ways that this program would benefit BW’s students. Kanner was the perfect fit for the role. The founder of the CIG agreed when LaunchNET asked to bring Kanner on for more help.

“She was first introduced to the CIG and wanted to get involved,” said Schlueter. “With her passion and support of LaunchNET, we asked the Burton D. Morgan Foundation [LaunchNET’s founder] to bring her on as an entrepreneur-in-residence, and they were very supportive of the idea.”

Kanner’s role is to help specifically those who want to take the big leap and start assessing what their value proposition is, how to price products appropriately in order to make a profit and providing tools for students to have the knowledge to get started.

Schlueter went on to say that Kanner has worked her way through the ranks from being an intrapreneur all the way to buying and co-owning a business with her husband.

The program, along with the CIG, is open to all majors. The CIG and the team want to emphasize that students do not necessarily have to be familiar with the field of business, what a business plan is, or what to do to get started, said Schlueter.

“We take care of that here and we will help walk you through all of those steps,” said Schlueter. The way LaunchNET does this is through facilitating connections whether that is to someone else on BW’s campus, through other LaunchNET schools in the area, or outside in the entrepreneurial world. The Center for Innovation and Growth works closely with LaunchNET, and Kanner has provided a special incite that the program appreciates.

“Linda has been an amazing addition to the CIG,” said senior CIG intern, Abbie Thompson. “She brings a special entrepreneurship story and offers so much real-world experience; I loved having the opportunity to work with her.”