Programs and partnerships bring Hub’s vision to life: University of Dayton, Ohio

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The Hub Powered by PNC has had an impactful first year – energizing local entrepreneurship, revitalizing an important downtown landmark, and creating unprecedented opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience in new ventures .

“We mark the Hub’s first anniversary on March 4 by celebrating the partnerships that bring to life our vision of a space where entrepreneurs, students, and the community come together to learn, grow, and positively impact the Dayton area. “, said Vince Lewis, the University of Dayton associate vice president for entrepreneurial initiatives and president of the Hub.

The Hub is a joint venture between the University and the Center for Entrepreneurs. Covering 100,000 square feet, it is one of the largest university innovation hubs in the country. It’s a place where more than 100 entrepreneurs and small businesses who rent space can participate in a student class, like Thursday morning “Hub Talks” in Eric Janz and Kevin Hallinan’s engineering design class. Where black people, women and other underrepresented and underrepresented entrepreneurs can connect to resources through a Greater West Dayton Incubator satellite office. Where community partners such as Liberty High School and Sinclair College’s Fast Forward program can collaborate on the Hub’s GEM and explore new teaching models to bring resilience and other microloans to the community. And where art and design students can display their typography by viewing the work of the poet Sierra Leone.

“Having a creative and engaging space at the Hub has been a perfect way to connect UD and the community,” said Darden Bradshaw, associate professor of art and design.

With a year of activity under its belt, the Hub continues to grow. This semester, the University has 32 courses – art and design, engineering, business and more – hosted on-site with over 300 students. Other events are planned, including Imagining Community in March and the Flyer Pitch Finals in April. Private office space for businesses is nearly full, with some earmarked for underrepresented entrepreneurs through a new program with the Greater West Dayton Incubator. Future plans call for the construction of the third floor with the addition of additional classrooms and offices.

“Entrepreneurs catalyze economic growth, they transform communities and create their own culture. At the Hub, all three happen,” said Scott Koorndyk, President of the Entrepreneur Center and Executive Vice President of the Hub. “Our regional startup ecosystem is in the midst of a renaissance, and the Hub is an important part of our dynamic.”

The Hub provides opportunities for students to develop their skills and helps entrepreneurs, like Kameron “Elijah” Seabrook, launch and grow their businesses.

“From staff to mentors, to the space itself and endless amounts of resources, I can honestly say that being in such synergy changed the trajectory of where I was taking Open Bay,” said said Seabrook, founder of Open Bay Autos. , a DIY community and mechanic’s shop providing the tools and space needed by car enthusiasts.

“From my time at The Hub, I am in the final stages of raising funds for a business model that will reinvent the automotive industry. Dayton has such a rich history of innovation and I look forward to continuing the trend “, he said. “I could not be more grateful for the incredible community here that allows people like me to thrive.

The partnerships also benefit undergraduate students, like engineering student Grace Silverberg, who gained experience as a paid intern with UD’s Stitt Scholars program working with the entrepreneur and founder of Lunnie. Sarah Kallile to perform absorbency testing on a new leak-proof nursing bra for breastfeeding mothers.

Other students redesigned the Old Salem Mall space for indoor farming and co-sharing kitchen space; manage the accounting and marketing functions for the Hub’s Startup Grounds Bistro through the student-run Flyer Enterprises; and started their own business in a sophomore class with a $5,000 seed fund.

It all happens, as entrepreneurship professor David Marshall says, in the unique, creative space that energizes everyone involved.

“In its first year, The Hub Powered by PNC Bank has brought together students, faculty and staff, regional entrepreneurs, local business leaders and global experts to form collaborative ideas and game-changing solutions to meet needs of the Dayton area,” said David Melin. , PNC regional chairman for Dayton. “With extensive programming and services for UD students and residents throughout the region, we aim to help advance the Dayton-area business community and build a foundation for the future of town.”


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