SIUC grad, app developer gets hand up from development center
Celina Maniece and her new business are being touted as proof positive that the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale is an entrepreneurial dream, according to the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce.
Maniece, an SIUC graduate with a bachelor’s in psychology and a master’s in workforce education and development, wanted to contribute tools to help business owners cut marketing expenses and make hiring a simpler process. Her BizClips application is now in research and development.
Since spring, SBDC Director Greg Bouhl and Robyn Laur Russell, director of business development, have been helping out. Internally, SBDC leaders are giving Maniece advice on how to structure company goals and move the company along, while on the external side, she’s also getting strategic input on marketing and where to distribute the app.
The SBDC has also helped in the often-difficult process of “dev ops”: As Maniece put her ideas into practice, she had to look at how programmers were proceeding on the app. That requires hand-in-glove coordination, which is part of the success of a thriving startup.
Now, BizClips is moving toward the next stage: beta. A private beta test group will launch in October, and Maniece wants 200 users on board. Student users at SIU will be able to test the app along with another user group in Texas and compare notes. Then, the partners currently signed onto the project will help move BizClips to market.