[media-credit name=”Patrick Halloran” align=”alignnone” width=”500″][/media-credit]
The Entrepreneurial Room at the university has undergone many changes. It is now known as the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Located in LC 301, this expansive room has undergone numerous renovations in order to become the room it is today.
The Director of the Center and Carlton Highsmith Chair Norman Gray explained why the university decided to make changes to the room.
“The administration felt that it was more of a club, and there needed to be some formal structure with it,” Gray said.
The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is now divided into different sections, each one dedicated to a different area of innovation. The room contains spaces dedicated to planning, and even includes a pre-incubator to help potential businesses get off the ground.
And it is not just students that can use this space.
Gray said faculty, students, alumni and people from the surrounding community are allowed to use the room. He said since they opened up the room to more people, several faculty-run projects have been started.
Sophomore Alex Acquarulo said she looks forward to utilizing the room with its changes.
“It [is] a great place…for entrepreneurs to go to to talk about creativity and ideas to get our brains flowing because that is what we do as entrepreneurs,” Acquarulo said. “We [entrepreneurs] learn by experience and interactions. Any update to the room is appreciated; it helps us grow.”
However, graduate student Joe Ugalde said he enjoyed the room prior to the changes, where it was an entirely student-run space.
“No signing in, no secretary. I really liked that it was a student-made space,” Ugalde said. “I mean, students created the whole place, literally. They painted it, furnished it, designed it. Put in French doors–not kidding.”
Gray explained that there are people working in the art department, designing logos for their business.
“We have the folks in American Marketing Association working [with us]–they’re doing logo competitions–and they will help the business develop the logo, for example, not just the business plan, but you can now do the marketing,” Gray said.
Gray also said anyone who wants to come in to work on a team is welcome to do so.
“So, as a one-stop resource for the student, the student who has an idea can take the idea all the way to pre-incubator, and just about get ready to launch,” Gray said.
Gray cited TuLi, the peer-to-peer tutoring marketplace, and he said it is a business that launched because of this room.
Ultimately, the renovated room should be a place where students can come to innovate, and enjoy themselves while doing so, Gray said.