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‘Partnering’ in spotlight as Miller Center opens

20-acre campus called ‘incubator’ for business

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Partnerships are vital to achieving lasting success in business, author Steven K. Scott said Thursday.

And leaders at the Miller Business Innovation Center said helping Utah's small businesses build strong partnerships is among the new center's priorities.

The Miller Center, a 20-acre campus donated to Salt Lake Community College by local businessman Larry H. Miller, celebrated its grand opening Thursday with its first "Entrepreneurial Convergence," a two-day networking and skills-building seminar presented in partnership with federal and state agencies, the Mountain West Venture Group and Wayne Brown Institute. The center is at 9750 S. 300 West in Sandy.

"This campus was essentially built from scratch," said Miller campus dean David Bingham. "It started as a great idea, a dream, developed into a notion and became a reality."

Now, Bingham said, the Miller Center is "the means whereby individuals' and corporations' dreams can be met and realized."

The center is one of eight operated by Salt Lake Community College and is branded as a "business incubator and accelerator program designed around housing new and young business ventures to propel them to heighten success." Currently, five businesses call the center home: Zorch Software, Daily Dose Language System, Lumin Publishing, The Virtua Group and Drug Diagnostics.

It offers office space, a phone/technology infrastructure, conference rooms, library, classroom and computer labs.

Judd Morgan, SLCC interim president, said the center's mission meshed well with that of the college. The college, like the center, accepts students "with openness, taking them where they are and accelerating them," he said.

Scott, the author of "A Millionaire's Notebook," said one of the most important skills entrepreneurs must learn is the ability to develop partnerships. Citing well-known celebrities and friends, Scott said none achieved their goals alone. Steven Spielberg, who Scott called a "close friend," partners with the best modelmakers and special-effects professionals to bring his visions to fruition. John D. Rockefeller had business partners at Standard Oil.

"Partnering is everything," Scott said. "But who teaches our kids how to partner?"

Hopefully, the Miller Center will, said center director Linda Archibald.

"I would like to bring more entrepreneurial outreach programs," Archibald said when asked about the center's goals. "We need to bring these resources together to help small businesses. So many of them don't know all the available resources. We want to be there to help."

E-mail: jnii@desnews.com