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December 14, 2022 | Tom Ballard

U of Cincinnati merges two entrepreneurship programs

Two entrepreneurship initiatives at the University of Cincinnati started a new partnership to increase innovation on campus and beyond.

If two are good, might one be better?

That might be some of the thinking at the University of Cincinnati (UC) which has announced that two programs that foster entrepreneurship are combining their efforts.

The UC Venture Lab, located in the 1819 Innovation Hub, and the UC Center for Entrepreneurship, housed in the Lindner College of Business, will merge into a single unit. The newly integrated team will be led by Kate Harmon, Executive Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and the El and Elaine Bourgraf Director of Entrepreneurship.

“We must always be looking for ways to better support our entrepreneurs — and this integrated team enables us to do just that,” said Ryan Hays, UC Executive Vice President and Chief Innovation and Strategy Officer. “Kate is a gifted leader who will take our efforts to the next level. The whole innovation ecosystem will benefit greatly from this new vision for entrepreneurship at UC.”

As outlined in this news release, the integration is designed to serve UC entrepreneurs in three key ways: (1) make it easier to get connected to the right support and resources; (2) provide more customized programming and activities; and (3) help build a more robust ecosystem for inventors.

The Center was founded in 1997 and supports entrepreneurial education and commercialization training through curricula and co-curricular programming, funding, mentorship and connection to the wider Startup Cincy ecosystem. The Venture Lab, established in 2018, helps entrepreneurs from idea conception to start-up launch. Through a pre-accelerator course and other offerings, the Venture Lab connects innovators at UC and beyond to knowledge, talent and resources to help launch scalable startups.