CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Aug. 18, 2010 – A new business start-up or expansion can be made easier with the help and support of a local resource. The Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC), located in the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) at Southeast Missouri State University, recently counseled and trained entrepreneurs Jon and Steve Fritzler, a father-and-son team who are owners of WavBall Marketing.
WavBall Marketing, a Cape Girardeau-based company, recently launched a new audio tour service allowing for on-demand, on-location information to be retrieved 24/7 via cellular phone at no cost to the listener other than cell phone minutes. Applications include marketing services for tourism, automotive dealers and for-sale-by-owner real estate. WavBall Marketing’s innovation resides in the way they have combined several low-cost technologiesᾰtelephones, cellular phones, Internet, databases, and digital audio recording and playback. The company then makes the collected technologies interactive with users and assembles them in a unique way, providing marketing information at a much lower cost than previously possible.
One program the Fritzler’s were able to tap into at the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Southeast was the opportunity to participate in the CIE’s award-winning, nationally-recognized training program called Operation Jump-Start (OJS).The OJS program teaches participants essential business planning and preparation skills through practical training. The Operation Jump-Start training model consistently produces businesses that are still in operation at an astounding rate of 92 percent after two years. The course allows individuals to compete for small start-up grants after completing the training by submitting a viable feasibility plan for a committee’s review.
After completing the OJS training program and their business plan, WavBall Marketing was awarded seed capital to assist them with creating their company websit.
The Fritzlers also participated in a two-week training workshop called QuickBooks 101, An Introduction to QuickBooks offered by the CIE this summer.
“It’s fabulous that there is a resource that businesses like us can use in this community,” Steve Fritzler said. Jon Fritzler added, “And they asked important questions -- that’s what was most valuable. It helped us to think about obstacles before they occur.”
The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) at Southeast Missouri State University is one of the most comprehensive entrepreneurship-focused university centers in the Midwest, offering a wide array of academic and outreach programs and services, including: innovation development and research; entrepreneurship education, training and mentorship; and business incubation and development services. The CIE supports Southeast Missouri State University’s strategic priority to advance the region’s economic appeal and strength by accelerating local and regional economic growth and development that improves the quality of lives, communities and businesses in southeast Missouri and the surrounding region.
For more information about the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurial support services it offers, contact (573) 651-2929 or visit www.semo.edu/cie. For more information on WavBall Marketing call (573) 334-3225.