Launch Pad Lands Interim Director

March 20, 2002
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MUSKEGON — The Lakeshore Launch Pad, a business incubator and one of the key components to Muskegon’s future SmartZone high-tech business park, has hired a new interim director and added two new companies.

Chris VanOosterhout, the director of Internet operations at Torresen Marine, will serve part-time on an interim basis until a new permanent director is hired for the Launch Pad, housed in the Hume Building on Third Street in downtown Muskegon.

VanOosterhout’s role, beyond handling day-to-day operations of the center, is to assess what it needs going forward, he said.

“We’re going to take some time out here and get some things established,” VanOosterhout said. “We’re going to see what the needs really are of this operation.”

The Lakeshore Launch Pad, opened last August, is an office center designed to house new technology-based firms that in time will populate Muskegon’s SmartZone business park, planned for the former Teledyne property along nearby Muskegon Lake.

The Launch Pad provides office space and support amenities to fledgling technology companies at an affordable price and in a location close to organizations that are behind Muskegon’s Lakeshore SmartZone initiative. The goal is to allow entrepreneurs to keep their start-up costs low and better control their fixed costs so they can dedicate more time and resources to managing and building their business.

The center now houses four companies, including two that began on Feb. 1: eTools Developers LLC, which develops electronic product presentations, and Relativity KM, a technical training and software developer that focuses on the education market, VanOosterhout said.

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