What We’re Watching in 2020

The Year 2020 is shaping up to be a period of great growth for the Wachusett Business Incubator.  It is our hope we can play our role in the development of new opportunities for the citizens of Gardner and the region we call home; from Devens to Orange and every community in between.

Here’s what we’re watching for 2020.  These sectors are currently playing out in various ways in our programs or are industries really topical and show promise for the region(in our humble opinion).

We look for: industries that promote independent ownership, diversified revenue streams, promote health and wellness, work within a supportive ecosystem, are a benefit to the planet, are essential, that spread happiness and encourage a sense of community. Read more

First WBI Intersect Series Weaves Artists & Consumers Together

A full house enjoyed the comfy confines of the Wachusett Business Incubator on January 17 for the first event of their Intersect Series.  ‘I am extremely pleased with the turnout this evening’, recounted Executive Director Scott M. Graves.  ‘Once again, our staff, Board of Directors and citizens can be proud of themselves for the ever-increasing critical mass of interest this organization is creating for the region.’

Audience members hailed from a variety of backgrounds and came from the Pioneer Valley, Berkshires, Southeastern MA, NH and VT.  It was an excellent opportunity for the WBI and panelists from Gardner to present our city’s story of de-industrialization, innovation, perseverance and craft to a broader group of interested people.

The Wachusett Business Incubator wishes to thank its panelists as well as the featured artists of our ongoing exhibit provided by Gallery Sitka of Shirley, MA.  A thanks goes to all of our audience members who came prepared with insights, ideas and inquisitive minds.  We say thanks especially to Katie Cavaccio of Free Ramblin’ Kids and Gretchen Laise, two producers who also made use of the first batch of textiles made in this project.

Panelists Michelle Parish and Peggy Hart recounted the process of sourcing and processing wool into yarn, then spinning the yarn into textiles on Peggy’s circa 1940’s loom.  Gardner Entrepreneur Erin Keiwel recounted her experience turning their fine and locally sourced textile into finished high-end hand crafted wool clothing.  Keith Tetreault, Owner of Plainview Farms of Hubbardston, MA took his audience into what it takes to lead a small freehold, diversified and destination farm including the care and breeding of alpacas. We also thank Keith and his wife for providing our guests with some quality time with a pair of their beautiful animals.

Their process was part of a grant-funded project to demonstrate the viability of such a craft-quality based process.

Working in conjunction with the Wachusett Business Incubator such a project could go from proof of concept to a viable business as together, we experiment to discover the viable financial model(s) that profit each member of the ecosystem and in turn provide consumers with a long-lasting, valuable product and art piece.

Discussion also included the importance of converting our current consumer culture through education and experience, so more people see real value in clothing whose price reflects the real cost of production and marketing.

The Intersect Series, a discussion series of the Wachusett Business Incubator seeks to instigate compelling discussion on topics the meet at the intersection of art and commerce.  Future topics/disciplines will include challenges faced by dealers and artists of fine art, changes in music merchandising and how they have effected indigenous american music and others.  Complete updates to the WBI events schedule can be found by clicking here.

 

 

Register Now for upcoming WBI Events and Classes

Skills Series: Defining Your Brand w/ Paul Gaj

Sewing Level (B) class w/ Erin Keiwel 

Accounting for Entrepreneurs w/ Paul Crowley

 

 

Accounting for Entrepreneurs Class A Mainstay of WBI Education


The Wachusett Business Incubator, a Gardner-based non-profit economic development program dedicated to what comes next for North Central Massachusetts announces the start of an Accounting for Entrepreneurs Class.

The first 10-week session of Accounting for Entrepreneurs began on Thursday, January 30, 2020. For a current schedule of class being offered click here.  Classes are from 6:00PM-8:00PM.

Register Now for Accounting for Entrepreneurs Read more

Sewing Classes at Wachusett Business Incubator

Fast on the heels of an intensive and productive 2019,  The Wachusett Business Incubator is expanding!  Our training and education services announce the addition of Sewing Classes beginning January 25, 2020.

All Sewing classes are being offered by textiles professional Erin Keiwel.  Classes are graded by difficulty and will feature projects so students walk away from each class with a strong sense of accomplishment. The class scheduled for January 25, 2020 will take place from 10:00AM-12:00PM in the training room of Wachusett Business Incubator 35 Sanborn St. Gardner, MA 01440.  Class is $20.00/student.  There is free parking and complimentary coffee/tea/beverage in our kitchenette.  

Check the Schedule for upcoming Sewing Classes to Register

Erin is a Graduate of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.  She is a member of the Executive Committee for the burgeoning Chair City Legacy Makerspace of Gardner, MA and is in demand as an artist and instructor.

As more demand is created for Erin’s classes, more projects at Beginner (B), Intermediate(I) and Advanced(A) will be added.  Class Prices Vary by project.  Click here with your questions. Read more