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PA, WI, NY, CA Universities Launch Initiatives to Fuel Entrepreneurial Economy

March 13, 2014

In an effort to help spur economic prosperity, several universities have unveiled new initiatives to connect potential entrepreneurs with university resources and help integrate the entrepreneurs into their region’s innovation ecosystem. In partnership with other organizations, these programs are intended to position each respective university as a driver of regional economic development through the provision of education, training initiatives and other support services. The initiatives include new programs at Clarion University in Pennsylvania, Carroll University in Wisconsin and New York University (NYU).  The Blackstone Charitable Foundation also announced it will expand LaunchPad, a university-led entrepreneurship program, to a partnership that includes three universities in Southern California.

As part of the Make It in PA initiative, Gov. Tom Corbett committed $300,000 to support the Clarion Regional Innovation Support Program (CRISP), an initiative aimed at supporting entrepreneurship through a collaborative regional support system. CRISP will be comprised of the Clarion University Center for Applied Research & Intellectual Property Development, the Clarion University Small Business Development Center and the Clarion County Economic Development Corporation. It will provide potential tech entrepreneurs with small business support, access to high-tech physical/wet lab space and support a variety of economic development throughout northwest PA. 

Starting in the fall, Carroll University located in Wisconsin will offer a new graduate program in entrepreneurship, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The four-month, 15-credit course will be held at the Milwaukee Water Council's Global Water Center. Open to the public, the bootcamp-style course will accept 24 students in the fall and be taught by six successful entrepreneurs from the Milwaukee region who will cover topics such as lean startup methods, growth plans, financing and selling, and leadership.

In an effort to centralize entrepreneurial support efforts at NYU, the university will establish the Mark and Debra Leslie Entrepreneurs Lab (Leslie eLab) – a 5,900-square-foot space with a dedicated staff to support the entrepreneurial efforts of researchers, students and faculty from the 15 colleges that comprise NYU.  Not only will the Leslie eLab provide access to university programs and resources, it will help integrate innovation ecosystem in the city in effort to support economic prosperity. It also will offer meeting space, co-working areas and a fabrication lab. 

The Blackstone Charitable Foundation announced it will expand LaunchPad, a university-led entrepreneurship program, to a partnership of universities in Southern California. Blackstone will contribute $3.5 million to partnership between The University of California, Los Angeles, The University of California, Irvine, The University of Southern California, and The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation that will introduce entrepreneurship as a viable career option and provide over 110,000 university students with a network of venture coaches and an entrepreneurial support system. The proposed initiative will tap into regional and university resources to create an environment that nurtures students and provides them the skills and network necessary to succeed as entrepreneurs.

For more information on how universities can support regional entrepreneurship, listen to SSTI’s recent podcast interviews with Gordon McConnell from the Arizona State University Entrepreneurship & Innovation Group (EIG) and with Eric Gricus and Tim Bour of the Innovation Center of the Rockies. Both groups were recognized last year through the SSTI Excellence in TBED awards for their successes in building universities’ initiatives that drive high-tech business creation.

Listen to these interviews and more…

California, New York, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin