As part of FuzeHub’s NY Manufacturer’s Solution Program, we host a number of manufacturing industry events to connect New York State manufacturing and product development organizations with business and technology experts. Of these events, one of our most popular is the Solutions Forum.
What is a FuzeHub Solutions Forum?
FuzeHub Solutions Forums are where New York State companies make face-to-face connections with business and technical resources that receive state, local, or federal funding to provide manufacturing-related assistance. Through a series of one-on-one meetings, attendees can discover potential solutions to challenges in areas such as industrial automation, equipment financing, product design, workforce development, materials research, and manufacturing scale-up – just to name a few.
What Happens at a FuzeHub Solutions Forum?
A Solutions Forum isn’t a tradeshow or a conference. Business-to-business networking can and does occur, but the primary focus is to connect manufacturers to FuzeHub’s handpicked resources.
Occasionally, a Lunch and Learn segment is included in a Solutions Forum. Lunch and Learns offer an opportunity to increase your knowledge in a particular area, but most of what happens still occurs during the morning’s matchmaking event. By understanding what a Solutions Forum is (and isn’t), you can make the most of your time there.
What to Expect
FuzeHub Solutions Forums are fast, friendly, productive, and efficient. Before you even set foot in the door, a member of the FuzeHub team will call you to discuss your needs. The information that you entered when you signed up is helpful, but there’s more to your business than an on-line form can address. Often, a phone call with a FuzeHub Matching Specialist can add important details or uncover additional needs. The more that we know about you, the better we can match you with the right resources.
One of the resources that FuzeHub may connect you with is your local Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) center – the organization that co-sponsors the Solutions Forum and works closely with manufacturers in your region. Depending on your needs, we may also match you with Centers for Advanced Technology (CATs) and Centers of Excellence (COEs) from leading universities. By working with academic researchers, your company may be able to find innovative solutions to technical challenges.
FuzeHub Solutions Forums also bring together organizations that promote economic development, exports, cybersecurity, sustainable manufacturing, pollution prevention, and the protection of intellectual property (IP). You can also connect with experts in small business development, funding, and financing. That’s not all either. Often, Solutions Forums include community colleges and workforce development organizations. University resources other than CATS or COEs are also valued participants.
What To Do
On the day of the FuzeHub Solutions Forum, plan to spend an hour or two meeting with resources. A Solutions Forum typically lasts from 8 AM to 12 PM, but you probably won’t need the full four hours for meetings. If you’ve signed-up for the Lunch and Learn, you may want to arrive mid-morning and then stay for the noon-time session. If you’ve got a busy day ahead of you, arriving and leaving earlier might make more sense. Either way, there’s plenty of flexibility.
When you arrive at the event, check in at the registration table. Pick up your nametag and the list of resource matches specifically recommended for you. You’re welcome to meet with anyone that you’d like, but the matches FuzeHub provides are the resources we think can meet your needs (based on the information you’ve shared). Members of our team will be there to greet you, and are available for additional discussions about your needs.
Plan to spend about 15 or 20 minutes with each of the resources you’ve been matched with. There aren’t start and end-times for meetings, but we encourage you to approach these discussions as introductory or exploratory meetings. After the Solutions Forum, if both you and the resource decide there’s a “fit”, you can make arrangements for a longer meeting or even an on-site visit. The Solutions Forum is a first step, but it’s one that’s worth taking to get the business and technical assistance that you need.
Get Started to Get What You Need
Would you like to learn more about recent FuzeHub Solutions Forums, or sign up for our next event? Then click here to get started. If there isn’t an upcoming Solutions Forum in your area, you can still get help any time. No matter where you are in New York State, you can submit an on-line request for an expert consultation.