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Joe Bush ’04 started Worcester CleanTech Incubator (WCTI) to give entrepreneurs and innovators working toward sustainability a physical space to work, build, and network in downtown Worcester. But what Bush is especially interested in providing is a community where entrepreneurs can come together, share ideas, and support each other in their quest to make new ideas successful.

With lower overall costs, a centralized location, and access to a rich tech industry network, startups have particular advantage in Worcester, and he wants WCTI to be one of those reasons.

How do you define entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurship is envisioning a better world and working so that others can live in it.

As an entrepreneur, when do you feel successful?

Entrepreneurship creates something larger than oneself. I think all entrepreneurs feel successful when they see the fruits of their labor in action. At WCTI, a big part of my job is building meaningful relationships that allow our members to thrive. Watching those relationships grow is something special.

How would you describe your approach to work?

Most businesses pay for some sort of space. I focus my efforts on creating value for our members through developing both physical assets and network connections. As a result, the membership fee paid for space at WCTI is dwarfed by the value of being part of our community.

Why is Worcester a good place for start-ups?

Everything is here with room to grow. Start-ups can take their products to market faster and cheaper than they could east of here. There is a strong pool of talent, immense manufacturing capabilities, and an incredible quality of life. As start-ups turn to scale-ups, the transition is far less painful. As an entrepreneur myself, while also being a proud father of two kids, my commute is under 20 minutes, my kids can go to good public schools, and we are surrounded by beautiful hiking trails – all on a reasonable budget. 

How was your WPI education valuable to you as an innovator and entrepreneur?

Three of the most valuable things I took away from WPI are time management, an analytical approach to problem solving, and the relationships formed there. To be successful, innovators and entrepreneurs must choose to channel their efforts towards their own vision of how they think the world should be. Bill Gates and Elon Musk have the same 24 hours a day that we do. Time management is key. The focus on problem solving and rigor of the academic calendar at WPI trains students to harness their abilities early on. WPI gives you the perspective that all problems are challenges that can be solved with the focused attention of a good team of people.