Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

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July 09, 2024 | Tom Ballard

U News | U of South Carolina receives $10.2 million of Tech Hubs funding

Innovation and Entrepreneurial Thinking (iNET) is a multidisciplinary certificate offering at the University of Kentucky.

From the University of South Carolina:

In a new round of Tech Hubs funding announced last week by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), the University of South Carolina (USC) will receive $10.2 million of the recommended $45 million for its efforts to advance battery research.

The funding is for the forthcoming Carolina Institute for Battery Innovation, which will be directed by leading battery expert William Mustain, a Professor and Associate Dean for Research in the Molinaroli College of Engineering and Computing. Public and private investment in battery research is surging in South Carolina, and USC is a leader in that research.

“Companies tell me this all the time — if you want to learn more about battery chemistry, battery assembly and battery safety, you come to the University of South Carolina,” Mustain said.

The $10.2 million in funding for USC is part of an overall award of $45 million for SC Nexus, a statewide consortium of partners working to improve the clean energy supply chain and develop cyber-secure grid resilience technologies. SC Nexus is managed by the S.C. Department of Commerce.

In an initial competition, EDA last fall designated 31 official “Tech Hubs” out of nearly 400 applicants. Of the 31 designees, SC Nexus was one of 12 that were awarded Phase 2 funding.

USC is a founding member of and a leader in the SC Nexus consortium, which includes more than 50 members and several core partners including Clemson University, Savannah River National Laboratory, South Carolina Council on Competitiveness, South Carolina State University and the SC Technical College System.

From Wichita State University:

After five years with the College of Innovation and Design (CID), the Center for Entrepreneurship is reintegrating with the Barton School of Business. This move aims to enhance alignment with Wichita State’s initiatives in bolstering entrepreneurship programs, providing immersive student experiences, engaging with the entrepreneurial community, and meeting the needs of aspiring and current entrepreneurs.

“The Center for Entrepreneurship transitioning to the Barton School of Business is a strategic move that aligns with our shared vision of fostering a culture of entrepreneurship across Wichita State University. As CID focuses on deepening its strength in managing and developing emerging technologies, we look forward to continuing our collaborative efforts with the Barton School to empower the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders,” said Dr. Jeremy Patterson, Dean of the College of Innovation and Design.

The center was founded in 1977 by Fran Jabara, a Professor, former Dean of the Barton School, and an inaugural member of the Barton School’s “Beyond” 2024 Hall of Fame. With his own funds and university support, he created the center’s first program, a workshop titled “Entrepreneurship: Your Future in Business.” The center was the first of its kind on a college campus and has been internationally recognized as one of the finest, most comprehensive programs in the nation.

From Tufts University:

The Cummings Foundation, described as one of the three largest foundations in New England, recently awarded the Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts a $1 million sustaining grant to boost entrepreneurial education programming. 

The funds will support students interested in developing an entrepreneurial mindset and skillset, including both aspiring founders of new ventures and students who wish to apply the entrepreneurial method to build careers in business, product design and development, the creative arts, social enterprises, and more. The 10-year grant is part of Cummings Foundation’s $30 Million Grant Program, which awards $30 million to 150 nonprofits each year. 

“We are blown away by the generosity of Cummings Foundation in selecting us for one of only two $1 million grants this year,” said Elaine Chen, Cummings Family Professor of the Practice in Entrepreneurship and Director of the Derby Entrepreneurship Center. “A 10-year grant gives us the runway and stability to continue to deliver and grow our innovative programming in entrepreneurship education and make long-term investments to uplevel our ability to better serve an ever-increasing group of interested students and alumni at Tufts.”

The funding comes at a pivotal period in the development of the program, which was named in 2021 after a $10 million gift to Tufts from Jack Derby and his wife, Jan, and experienced steady growth. In addition to students who are interested in new venture creation, the program has seen a surge in students who have diverse interests and are looking to build their entrepreneurial mindset and skillset, said Chen.

From the University of Kentucky:

Innovation and Entrepreneurial Thinking (iNET) is a multidisciplinary certificate offering, housed in the University of Kentucky’s (UK) College of Communication and Information and offered in partnership with the Gatton College of Business and Economics.

The iNET certificate requires 12 hours of unique coursework, including COM 381 Communication, Leadership and Entrepreneurship, two electives and an EXP (Experiential Education) capstone course. The certificate connects students to a network of innovators and entrepreneurial mentors at UK and in the local community and gives them access to unique experiences, like free tickets to professional development events.

A highlight of the iNET certificate program is the entrepreneurial bootcamp offered through the Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship (VACE) in the Gatton College of Business and Economics. The Entrepreneurs Bootcamp is an online business accelerator designed to assess and validate the feasibility of a business concept, create a business model and provide hands-on experience for entrepreneurs seeking to launch a start-up for the first time in the State of Kentucky. Certificate students are strongly encouraged to take the EXP 396: Entrepreneurs Bootcamp course as their culminating capstone experience.

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