Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

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May 21, 2024 | Tom Ballard

U News 1 | Ricoh opens a Center of Excellence at NC State’s Centennial Campus

The third annual President’s Buckeye Accelerator has awarded $50,000 each to six teams of student entrepreneurs at The Ohio State University to further their start-up business ventures.

From North Carolina State University:

Ricoh, a leading global provider of integrated digital services and print and imaging solutions, has opened its Center of Excellence on North Carolina State University’s (NC State) Centennial Campus. Proximity to leading talent and research are cited as drivers for choosing the location. NC State is home to one of the nation’s top programs in additive manufacturing and ranks #12 for industrial engineering.

“Ricoh’s new office on Centennial and the partnership with NC State will help manufacturers accelerate innovation and product development,” said Gary Turner, Managing Director of Additive Manufacturing at Ricoh. “As the applications for additive manufacturing grow, 3D printing will drive efficiencies for a range of industries.”

Ricoh has already teamed up with NC State’s Center for Additive Manufacturing and Logistics (CAMAL). On campus, researchers are working together to solve supply chain challenges through 3D printing. The company also has established a workforce development program for undergraduate and graduate students. Building on concepts learned in the classroom, paid interns gain a practical understanding of business applications.

From The Ohio State University:

The third annual President’s Buckeye Accelerator has awarded $50,000 each to six teams of student entrepreneurs at The Ohio State University to further their start-up business ventures. The winners were among 11 teams that pitched their business ideas to a panel of Ohio State representatives and business professionals at the Student Entrepreneur Center on the Columbus campus.

The President’s Buckeye Accelerator supports students in bringing their entrepreneurial ideas to life, said Cheryl Turnbull, Senior Director of Ohio State’s Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship. The center, which administers the accelerator program, is a campus-wide hub for the development of start-up ventures.

The students’ journey began in November with Launchpad, a weekend-long event at which students present ideas. The students then progressed to the “Best of Student Start-ups” (BOSS), a seven-week program during which they received feedback on their ideas from businesses and potential customers.

From the University of Utah:

The David Eccles School of Business at the University continues to earn high praise when it comes to entrepreneurship, recently receiving the 12th spot in MBA rankings for entrepreneurship, according to a 2024 U.S. News and World Report ranking. The program’s positioning in the rankings also comes in as the fifth-best in the nation among public schools.

The latest rankings come on the heels of a U.S. News and World Report listing from September 2023 that ranked the Eccles School as the seventh-best undergraduate entrepreneurship program overall and fourth-best among public schools for 2024.

“We have a large and growing number of opportunities for entrepreneurs at the University of Utah, and we welcome everyone to learn more and get involved,” said Jennifer Brown, Chair of the Department of Entrepreneurship and Strategy at the Eccles School, in a statement. “We have leading faculty teaching entrepreneurship. These talented instructors give students the opportunity to learn about business creation in and out of the classroom.”

From the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee:

There are only six across the globe, including two in the U.S., and the seventh is planned for the Milwaukee-based campus of the University of Wisconsin system. When the Microsoft Artificial Intelligence (AI) Co-Innovation Lab opens, it will be the only facility focused on manufacturing and the only Microsoft AI lab housed at a university.

It will be located in the Connected Systems Institute (CSI), a facility that Microsoft, Rockwell Automation, and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation established in 2019. According to media reports, Microsoft will pay for five positions at the lab – two Microsoft employees and three contractors.

Microsoft’s AI experts will help design and prototype AI and cloud solutions for CSI clients, improving and accelerating their work. The goal is to serve 270 Wisconsin companies, including 135 manufacturing businesses, by 2030. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has committed a $500,000 grant to assist with necessary upgrades to the CSI facility.

The initiative is part of Microsoft’s $3.3 billion investment in southeast Wisconsin.

From Kansas State University:

The statewide Kansas Entrepreneurship Challenge (KEC) recently awarded more than $75,000 in total prizes to 31 aspiring entrepreneurs. A program of the NetWork Kansas Entrepreneurship (E)-Community Partnership that involves several Kansas State University partners, the event attracted 72 businesses and 81 students.

KEC represents the culmination of a sequence of community-based entrepreneurship competitions for students in grades 6-12, known as the “Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge” (YEC) series. Students are selected to compete in KEC by winning a sanctioned YEC series competition or by being selected as one of 16 wildcard participants. The latter are chosen because of the strength of their executive summary and pre-recorded elevator pitch.

This year’s competition marks the 11th annual YEC season and was the largest year for the entrepreneurship series, with 1,159 students participating from across the state.

From the University of Chicago:

The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation has announced the 11 teams advancing to the finals of the 28th annual Edward L. Kaplan New Venture Challenge (NVC), the University of Chicago’s signature start-up accelerator for MBA students at the Booth School of Business.

On May 30, these teams will present their business plans to a panel of judges, who will decide how to award an investment pool of over $1 million. The winning team will receive at least $180,000 courtesy of the Rattan L. Khosa First-Place Prize.

The NVC, a pioneering business school venture competition founded at Chicago Booth in 1996, became the richest such program in the nation in 2021 when it awarded $1.73 million in investment to student-led start-ups.

The NVC final pitches and awards announcement will be live-streamed. Those interested can register to view the livestream of the 2024 NVC Finals here.


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