Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship to host open house

Tara O'Neill

Students work in the QUCIE to create and develop ideas for apps, businesses and more.
[/media-credit] Students work in the QUCIE to create and develop ideas for apps, businesses and more.

The Quinnipiac University Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (QUCIE) will host an open house event on Wednesday to showcase projects that have been worked on at the center since its inception on July 1, 2015.

The purpose of the QUCIE is to support and promote innovation and entrepreneurship, according to intern and staff member Joshua Hudson, a senior entrepreneurship major. The center provides resources and programs to students, faculty, alumni and the surrounding community.

“The center is a resource for all who need help to transition their idea into a commercial success and a place to get hands on experience about the process,” director at the center Professor Norman Gray said.

The projects the center has been working on will be available for viewing at the open house event.

Dean of the School of Business Matthew O’Connor will welcome everyone and Executive Vice President and Provost Mark Thompson will give the opening remark.

“The event is really to celebrate and acknowledge the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship,” O’Connor said.

Thompson said he is behind the center because he supports what the center promotes and represents.

“I’m a big believer in entrepreneurship education,” he said.

The center was something Thompson said he wanted to see at the university since he was the associate dean of the School of Business.

“The students have a space now that’s dedicated to creativity and the opportunity to formulate ideas and then take those ideas from inception to something that might be marketable,” Thompson said.

The keynote address will be given by Vice Chairman of Quinnipiac’s Board of Trustees Carlton Highsmith. Highsmith is an entrepreneur who advocates entrepreneurship education and resources. He serves as a board chairman for CONNCAT in New Haven—a non-profit organization providing contextual education and professional job training within urban communities.

The event will take place on Wednesday, April 20 from 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. in the QUCIE in LC301. There will be light snacks provided at the event for those who attend. The event is open to students, faculty, staff, alumni and the local community.

The QUCIE has many student volunteers and some work study students working in the center to help other students and community members with their projects.

“A lot of students have interest in the projects here because it’s something within their field, their industry,” Hudson said. “They don’t have to be interns, they don’t have to work there. They do it because they like the projects.”

This semester Hudson said the QUCIE is working on developing 18 projects.

“Since we’re new, we do have to admit we have some work to do to get projects off the ground,” Hudson said. “From the progress we’ve had since the fall 2015 semester, we’ve come a long way.”

And O’Connor said it’s important for students and community members to understand that the QUCIE is not limited to any specific type of person.

“One of the things that’s unique about the center is that it’s not just a resource for the School of Business,” O’Connor said. “It’s intended to be a resource for the entire university and the community beyond the university. Its goal is to be a force to support innovation in lots of different dimensions and to support entrepreneurs.”

Hudson said the best part about working at the center is getting to interact with and learn from others who come into the center.

“They’re all really smart, successful people,” he said. “I’m basically like a sponge in there and I just absorb all the information that comes my way. I think that’s the most beneficial thing.”