Ohio University Launches Center for Entrepreneurship

March 25, 2011

 ATHENS, Ohio (Feb. 25, 2011) – Ohio University announced the creation of its Center for Entrepreneurship today. Recommended by Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit and approved by the Ohio University Board of Trustees, the new Center for Entrepreneurship is a partnership between the College of Business and the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs.
The Center for Entrepreneurship has received significant support from Ohio University Foundation board members, alumni and every University College on campus.  The Center will provide academic, applied learning and business development services across the University and the southeast Ohio region.
“Establishing the Center for Entrepreneurship exemplifies the University’s commitment to provide transformational learning experiences for our students, while providing business development services to our faculty and the many entrepreneurs in our region,” said President Roderick J. McDavis. “The Center is one example of the ways that Ohio University serves as a driver for the economic engine in Ohio and beyond.”
Approximately 10% of all four-year universities and colleges in the United States have established some form of entrepreneurship center or program.  Ohio University’s Center for Entrepreneurship will provide academic and applied learning courses, a combination of which will allow students from any college or major to earn a Certificate in Entrepreneurship beginning in the fall of 2012.  Courses and applied learning projects are currently being piloted at the College of Business and the Voinovich School with additional faculty from other Colleges joining the program in the future, adding to the course offerings.
 “The Center for Entrepreneurship is the culmination of a nationally recognized applied learning model, evolving from a 13 year relationship between the College of Business and the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs.  Creating a Center to address the entrepreneurial education needs of  students, faculty, and business leaders across our region is a prime example of a University meeting the needs of the global economy” said Hugh Sherman, Dean of the College of Business and Mark Weinberg, Director of the Voinovich School.
 “As we pilot courses and applied learning projects around the theme of entrepreneurship, we are receiving tremendous interest and participation from students and faculty across campus” said William Lamb, Department Chair, Management Systems at the College of Business.  The Center for Entrepreneurship will also provide learning opportunities outside the classroom through business plan competitions, internships, and guest lecturers.  
The Center will play an important role in supporting technology commercialization at the University and developing regional businesses, ranging from start-up companies to more established firms.  Through the Center, a variety of business services will be provided, including operational assistance in the areas of market assessment, business planning, marketing, legal and executive recruitment.  The Center will also help faculty researchers, student entrepreneurs and regional companies access to entrepreneurial networks and early-stage capital, building on Ohio University’s statewide leadership in this area.
“Seeing the enthusiasm of the students, faculty and professional staff around the notion of creating jobs, starting companies, and taking technologies to the marketplace is truly gratifying” says David Pidwell, Ohio University Alumnus and Foundation Board Member, who also chairs the Technology Commercialization Committee. Mr. Pidwell visits campus regularly and has been a key supporter of the Center.
Lynn Gellermann will serve as the Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship.  Mr. Gellermann has an extensive background in venture capital, banking and regional development, and also leads TechGROWTH Ohio, the University’s Third Frontier Program, which partners with the Voinovich School, the Edison Biotechnology Institute, and regional partners.