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Los Angeles, Feb. 26, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Michelson Institute for Intellectual Property (MIIP)was founded to promote intellectual property education and respect for creative work, crucial elements in driving innovation and entrepreneurship. To that end, we are proud to team up with North Carolina’s Small Business Center Network (SBCN) in our first statewide partnership designed to provide small businesses throughout the state with a wealth of free learning materials and resources that support IP protection.

SBCN is comprised of 58 business education and support centers hosted in local community colleges across the Tar Heel State. Its mission of aiding in the development of new businesses and helping to grow existing businesses with training, counseling, and information is well aligned with the objectives of MIIP. To assist SBCN in their invaluable work, MIIP will grant local network centers access to our vast IP education portfolio which includes books, videos, workshop materials, and other assets on the topics of patents, copyrights, trademarks, and more. Entrepreneurs hailing from urban, suburban, and rural communities within North Carolina will receive free access to all IP course materials and special IP training sessions, both in-person and virtual, courtesy of MIIP.

“North Carolina is at the forefront of innovation in America and home to the nation’s thriving FinTech industry,” says Dr. Gary K. Michelson, inventor and founder of the Michelson 20MM Foundation. “We’re excited to partner with SBCN in democratizing access to IP education and helping to fill a critical gap for business owners and startup founders searching for intellectual property resources.”

Throughout the first year of the pilot program, MIIP and SBCN will coordinate internally with other partners to produce IP-centered workshops and develop ways to strengthen network offerings. By crowdsourcing feedback and familiar pain-points among SBCN clients, program directors and administrators will be able to craft solutions, expand our IP materials portfolio, and tailor our offerings to clients’ specific industries.

“We’re thrilled that North Carolina was chosen to pilot this statewide partnership program with MIIP,” says SBCN Director Anne Shaw. “Some of our clients hail from underserved urban and rural communities, and the institute’s incredible resources will provide them with much needed just-in-time and real-time IP education and support to help initiate or scale their ventures.”

To kick off the partnership, on March 27th the Central Piedmont Community College’s Central Campus in Charlotte will host the fourth stop in MIIP’s cross-country IP awareness program, Hacking IP: Considerations for Startups and Entrepreneurs. Students, business owners, and aspiring entrepreneurs are all invited to attend an evening of engaging discussion on all things intellectual property related with a panel of IP specialists, presented in collaboration with SBCN. Follow Up events are scheduled for March and April in Durham and in eastern North Carolina. Join our mailing list for updates and details on the multi-city IP education tour.

About The Michelson Institute for Intellectual Property (MIIP)

The Michelson Institute for Intellectual Property, an initiative of the Michelson 20MM Foundation, addresses critical gaps in intellectual property education to empower the next generation of inventors by providing high-quality instructional content. Its library of free educational resources includes an interactive textbook, undergraduate IP curriculum, animated videos, and a self-paced online course.

Michelson 20MM was founded thanks to the generous support of renowned spinal surgeon Dr. Gary K. Michelson and his wife, Alya Michelson. To learn more, visit

About The North Carolina Community Colleges Small Business Center Network (SBCN)

The NC Community Colleges Small Business Center Network (SBCN) is our state’s largest state-supported small business assistance initiative. Started in 1984 with the funding of eight small business centers by the North Carolina General Assembly, by 1995 at least one Small Business Center was established at each of the 58 community colleges. Currently, the Network has 60 sites throughout the state with Centers conveniently located within a 30-minute drive of every North Carolinian. At the core of its vision, the Small Business Center Network is positioned to focus on entrepreneurship, small business and economic development with an emphasis on assisting start-ups, early stage, and businesses seeking disaster assistance or seeking to stabilize. To learn more, visit