100K Ideas to provide Office Hours location at LatinX Technology and Community Center in Flint

FLINT, MI – 100K Ideas has announced its expansion to their third Office Hours location in partnership with the LatinX Technology and Community Center, as made possible with the support of the Ruth Mott Foundation.

100K Ideas is a Flint-based nonprofit organization that provides real world experience primarily to college students to help address the unmet needs of inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs, and ensure a platform to support economic and workforce development in the Flint community.

100K Ideas launched its community engagement and outreach initiative Office Hours in early 2019 to better serve Flint residents. The program places staff at community center locations throughout the city to bring residents and client services closer together.

According to 100K Ideas’ website, the goal of the program is to, “…help remove barriers to entrepreneurship by providing services in a more accessible way.”

“We are excited to expand our community partnerships with the addition of the LatinX Technology and Community Center as an Office Hours location,” said Brandee Cooke-Brown, executive director of 100K Ideas, in a news release. “100K Ideas’ Office Hours has allowed us to extend our reach outside of Downtown Flint and into the neighborhoods of Flint residents, providing increased access to those interested in pursuing entrepreneurship.

“The LatinX Center is an amazing organization that does so much for the community. The work they are doing every day to help residents made them a perfect partner for this initiative.”

Asa Zuccaro, executive director of the LatinX Technology and Community Center, said he hopes in partnering with 100K Ideas and them coming into the facility will make community members visit and feel more comfortable with more traffic with the Latin demographic.

Office Hours and the LatinX Technology and Community Center first partnered in winter 2020.

In early 2020, the center was hosting an English as a second language course, where each class would focus on a different theme.

One of the topics during one of these courses was food entrepreneurship for some people that might want to sell food in the area, especially food that isn’t normally available in Flint.

“We have a bunch of community members that had experienced running a business in their home country and we thought this might be a good opportunity for them to make some extra money to help pay for rent,” Zuccaro said. “We focused that English class on how to entrepreneur food business, and we worked with 100k Ideas to make sure that the information that we were presenting was accurate.”

Each week, the class would discuss about different levels of food entrepreneurship, such as selling food from either a stand or a cart, or doing it mobile with a food truck, and even discussing the idea of developing a full-scale restaurant.

On the last day of the course, the group had a celebration at the 100K Ideas main building, located in the Ferris Wheel on Saginaw Street in downtown Flint, to further connect residents with organizations and the resources and opportunities that are available.

“After that, it was apparent that there is a need for more Latin owned businesses or culturally specific services or products, and there’s definitely interest out there,” Zuccaro said. “Hopefully that can help respond to the needs of the lack of culturally specific foods, or services or products, or even just creating more of that financial investment in the community and having Latin owned businesses and making an impact on the whole entire culture community.”

Although Office Hours had been on a brief hiatus due to the pandemic, Flint residents can now visit Office Hours’ locations throughout the week.

100K Ideas will be at the LatinX Center, located at 2101 Lewis St. on the city’s east side, from noon to 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Flint Development Center from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays, and Berston Field House from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursdays.

To schedule an intake appointment at any of Office Hours locations, visit www.100Kideas.org/getstarted to complete an appointment request form.

When completing an appointment request, there is the option to choose the location that is most convenient. There is also a virtual intake option, in which the meeting will be conducted online.

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