Small Business Development Center

Workshop Schedule Spring 2017

Click for information on location, parking, cost and registration.

Title Date Location

FROM GOOD IDEA TO MARKETABLE PRODUCT -  8 Steps to Successful Inventing

March 9, 2017
Grace Conference Room

MILLENNIALS - Do Generational Differences Impact Business?

March 23, 2017
Grace Conference Room

YOUR BRAND VS YOUR WEBSITE - How to Get the Most Impact

April 13, 2017
Grace Conference Room
THE POWER OF THE INBOX - Tips and Tricks for Successful Email Marketing Thursday
April 20, 2017
Grace Conference Room
CONFUSED ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS?  Which Ones Will Create Sales for Your Business? Thursday
May 11, 2017
Grace Conference Room

FROM GOOD IDEA TO MARKETABLE PRODUCT - 8 Steps to Successful Inventing

Thursday, March 9, 2017
8:45 – 12 noon
Grace Conference Room, Higgins University Center

How do you transform a creative concept into a real product? If you want to save time, money, and aggravation while giving your project its best chance for success, make this workshop your first stop.

We will address a manageable process for getting your project onto a solid foundation while avoiding the traps and pitfalls that can doom a venture.

Topics include::

  • Steps to complete before investing your money
  • Common sense approach in the development process
  • Action plan in validating the merits and prospects of your concept
  • Road map in launching a new product
  • When or should you trademark, copy write or patent an invention

This workshop is for start-ups, entrepreneurs, creative individuals...anyone with a new concept regardless of prior experience or stage of product development.

Elizabeth Pierotti has been an inventor and strategic product developer for more than 30 years.  She has designed and developed innovaitons for both Fortune 500 companies and small business.  Mary Casey, Esq., provides intellectual property services to clients around the country.


Elizabeth Pierotti - Owner, Inventor & Educator, The Inventing Life, Greene, RI
Mary Casey, Esq. - Managing Attorney, The Harbor Law Group, Northborough, MA

Sponsored by: Avidia Bank, Commerce Bank & Trust, People's United Bank, The Harbor Law Group

MILLENNIALS - Do Generational Differences Impact Business?

Thursday, March 23, 2017
8:45 – 12 noon
Grace Conference Room, Higgins University Center

Understanding generational differences will allow your business to be more effective.  The Millennial workforce presents businesses with multiple opportunities.

Mary M. Piecewicz, MBA, MSPC, PMP from Clark University will present her research on the impact of Millennials in the workplace and how we can better communicate between generations.

This presentation will help you and your employees overcome generational differences through improved communication, understanding and collaboration to achieve higher productivity and business success.  The balance of the seminar will be an interactive panel including:

Nassim Aoude - President and CEO of Alpinax, LLC, is a young, successful business owner.
Digital Federal Credit Union - is an employer of multiple generations, and has put in place creative ways to keep employees productive and engaged.
Ryan Miller - represents the diversification of this generation as an employee as well as being an innovator, business owner and former student athlete.

Don't miss this opportunity to gain insights and develop successful strategies for your business or your company!

Sponsored by: Mirick O'Connell, Resource Management, Inc. and Shepherd & Goldstein

YOUR BRAND VS YOUR WEBSITE - How to Get the Most Impact

Thursday, April 13, 2017
8:45 – 12 noon
Grace Conference Room, Higgins University Center

The biggest mistake small businesses make is marketing without a brand.  Don't waste your marketing money.  The most successful local businesses do not just have a business, they have a brand.  When you know what you stand for (that is your brand), you will have a business you love and attract clients you want to work with.

This workshop will help you define your brand so you can:

  • Clearly communicate who you are, what you do, and know what sets you apart.
  • Keep your brand consistent across all marketing mediums.

What makes you different, your brand, will serve as the building block for your website.  Your website's goal is to build awareness, offer information, and to compel a viewer to take action that results in sales.

During the second part of the workshop, you will learn;

  • How strategic design helps to produce more engagement.
  • Methods to avoid clutter and information overload.
  • How your website can hold the reader's attention to keep him/her clicking through your site.
  • Ways to engage your potential customer.

We will take a look at the overall best practices of website design and then dig into participants' websites in a non-technical way, focusing on ideas and suggestions for improving them.  Come prepared to learn and share.


Stephanie Audette-Connor - Owner, Stephanie Audette Design, LLC, North Grafton, MA
Matt Ward - President, inConcert Web Solutions Inc., Gardner, MA

Sponsored by: Country Bank, Middlesex Savings Bank, The Feingold Companies, UniBank

THE POWER OF THE INBOX - Tips and Tricks for Successful Email Marketing

Thursday, April 20, 2017
8:45 – 12 noon
Grace Conference Room, Higgins University Center

What is the first impression you give when they see you in their email inbox?  And when they see you there, what do they do?

This powerful seminar takes you step-by-step through the keys to effective email marketing.

  • What it really is (and is not).
  • What it can do for your business.
  • And the five easy steps you must take to harness the power of the inbox:
    • Grow a healthy list.
    • Create great content.
    • Customize a beautiful, mobiel-friendly template that matches your brand.
    • How to get your emails opened.
    • Tracking your results.

From revealing why regular email does not work, to insider tips and techniques like automated list building tools and the design elements that work (and those that do not!), this seminar will give you the keys to the most effective marketing you can do: email marketing. 

Bryan Caplan helps businesses lock down their marketing.  CEO of BJC Branding and professional speaker, Bryan travels the country, presenting on a wide range of digital marketing topics.  Bryan is also one of the nation's first Master Certified Local Experts with Constant Contact.


Bryan Caplan - CEO, BJC Branding, Sharon, MA

Sponsored by:  Bay State Savings Bank, Southbridge Savings Bank, StowBrook Business Services, LLC, TD Bank

CONFUSED ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS?  Which Ones will Create Sales for Your Business?

Thursday, May 11, 2017
8:45 – 12 noon
Grace Conference Room, Higgins University Center

It can be time consuming and confusing trying to figure out which platforms to use.  Find out how to make social media work for you by attracting more qualified customers.  By attending this seminar, you will hear about some fresh ideas that turn into results.

If you are like most business owners, you do not want to try and be everything to everyone.  You want targeted, qualified prospects and traffic to your website.  You are looking to choose your social media activities wisely, without getting consumed by all of the options.  You simply want to know WHAT WORKS BEST.

During the seminar, we will discuss;

  • Uncovering and connecting with your audience.
  • Planning your approach to optimize payback on your time.
  • Understanding the various social media sites and selecting the best ones for you.
  • Creating a presence and building your reputation.
  • Monitoring success and adapting to change.

Kathryn is an award-winning author and speaker on sales and online marketing topics.  She has over 20 years experience in sales and marketing and was a top Wall Street sales executive responsible for over $100 million in sales per year.  She is the author of nine books, including two best-sellers:  Solving the Social Media Puzzle and Return on Relationship.


Kathryn Rose - VP Business Development, Elastic Grid, USA

Sponsored by: Berkshire Bank, Fidelity Bank, Seder & Chandler, LLP, Webster Five




All programs are held in the Grace Conference Room, Higgins University Center, Clark University, 950 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01610


Clark University Parking Garage - Entrance on Downing Street.  Guest parking is located on the upper level.

Alumni & Student Engagement Center parking lot - 939 Main Street, Worcester (next to St. Peter's Church)  

Administrative parking lot - (between Woodland & Hawthorne Streets)  

Clark Labs parking lot - 921 Main Street, Worcester

Some on-street parking is permitted, but please check street signs carefully for parking restrictions.

Download the parking and campus map in PDF format.


For all programs, registration begin at 8:45AM, and all programs run from 9AM until 12PM.


$30 for the first workshop
$25 for each additional workshop or additional registrant (from same company)

Special - $125 for all 5 seminars


To reserve your space, please mail your check made out to Clark University to:

Clark University SBDC
950 Main Street,
Worcester, MA 01610-1477

Be sure to list attendees names and which seminars you are paying for. You can also REGISTER ONLINE but we cannot process credit cards - sorry.

Space is limited. Advanced registration required. Registration fees include materials and refreshments. The Clark SBDC reserves the right to cancel or reschedule a workshop due to insufficient enrollment. Registration fees will be returned or credited towards future programs only if the Clark SBDC cancels or reschedules a seminar. Sorry, no refunds will be given to individuals who register but are unable to attend.

Please contact the Clark University SBDC for more information at 508-793-7615 or via Email at

Corporate Sponsors

The Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network Central Regional Office at Clark University would like to extend thanks to the following institutions for their financial support, thus allowing us to provide quality and educational workshops at a nominal fee to the small business community.