Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

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May 14, 2024 | Tom Ballard

U News 1 | New leader selected for the Greenhouse Outdoor Recreation Program

The University of Oklahoma is launching a new hybrid master’s program to help working professionals, entrepreneurs and innovators learn how to create and scale a new business.

From the University of Arkansas:

Elizabeth Quinn has been chosen to lead the statewide expansion of the Greenhouse Outdoor Recreation Program (GORP), a business incubator launched at the University that is focused on the outdoor recreation industry.

After beginning her career as an instructor at the University of Arkansas, she left to work for a start-up focused on food-system-based rural economic development. She’s spent the past several years scaling an ecommerce business owned by Arkansas regenerative livestock farmers.

“I joined GORP to further economic development by building a program of entrepreneurial support for entrepreneurs utilizing one of the state’s greatest resources — its public land and waterways,” Quinn said. “Our intention is to design programming that both supports businesses and communities around the state and makes it easier and more enjoyable for people to get outside and enjoy Arkansas’ natural beauty.”

Last fall, the University’s Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, which oversees GORP, received a $1.2 million grant to expand statewide and support founders creating innovative products and services within the outdoor recreation industry. The grant, which is matched by an additional $1 million in funding from the State of Arkansas, will allow GORP to focus on four key areas of the state that were recently designated as opportunity zones for the outdoor recreation economy.

From Davidson College:

The Nisbet Venture Fund provides Davidson College students and recent alumni the opportunity to compete for up to $25,000 to support their entrepreneurial journeys. Established in 2014 with support from Marian Nisbet and her son, Chip, who was in Davidson’s 1986 class, the competition provides finalists with six weeks of coaching and mentorship from seasoned entrepreneurs and business professionals before pitching to a panel of investors and entrepreneurs.

Students also competed for $5,000 in the incubation track competition, which funds very early stage ideas, and for $2,500 as the audience favorite. Winners of the event were:

  • Acceleration Track Winner: Thomas Athey and Andres Botero of MESA won a $25,000 equity investment for their software that organizes and legally protects music projects, ensuring fair distribution of contributions.
  • Incubation Track Winner: Mike Remezo of TruePharma received a $5,000 grant for his secure platform that bridges the gap in pharmaceutical delivery.

From the University of Illinois:

The EnterpriseWorks incubator, part of the University of Illinois Research Park, was a Stage One winner in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2024 “Growth Accelerator Fund Competition” (GAFC). With the $50,000 it was awarded, the incubator will launch a new program known as the Entrepreneurial Leadership Development Accelerator (ELDA), which is designed to identify and cultivate talent to “develop and/or support academic co-founders in the formation, launch, and growth of new science-based start-ups,” research park officials said.

From the University of Kentucky:

The Institutional Multidisciplinary Paradigm to Accelerate Collaboration and Transformation (IMPACT) Awards were launched in 2023 to champion the necessary and groundbreaking work done by University of Kentucky faculty and other campus community members, particularly in social entrepreneurship.

The inaugural IMPACT Awards total more than $600,000 — with a particular emphasis on proposals that are transdisciplinary, innovative and aligned with some aspect of The UK-PURPOSE, the UK Strategic Plan. In 2024, IMPACT will continue to fund projects similarly aimed at supporting the university to continue leading in teaching, research, service and care.

From the University of Oklahoma:

The University’s Price College of Business is launching a new hybrid master’s program to help working professionals, entrepreneurs and innovators learn how to create and scale a new business, either in an existing company or as a start-up.

The Master of Science degree in Entrepreneurship and Innovation offers two tracks: New Venture Development and Corporate Innovation. Each track will consist of 30 credit hours of instruction that can be completed in as little as 12 months and can be started in either the spring or fall semester.

The program begins with a one-week in-person residency featuring project-based learning and networking in the dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystems of Oklahoma City and Tulsa. During this time, students will have the opportunity to interact with University of Oklahoma faculty, successful entrepreneurs, Price College alumni, and a highly motivated cohort of peers. Students will then participate in weekly live online and asynchronous activities for the remainder of the program.


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