The University of South Carolina Upstate has a new entrepreneurial platform that seeks to leverage the university’s resources, expertise and talent to spur innovation and economic growth across the Upstate.
The Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at USC Upstate’s George Dean Johnson Jr. College of Business and Economics was developed to provide aspiring student entrepreneurs across all academic disciplines with opportunities, tools and resources needed to conceptualize and launch their small businesses, according to a university news release. d workshops, lectures and networking opportunities.
“The center will serve as an innovation hub to support students, alumni, faculty and the Upstate’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by fostering collaboration, education, research and engagement,” the news release said.
“We are delighted and excited about launching the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at USC Upstate,” Mohamed Djerdjouri, dean of the business college, said in the release. “I am confident this will enhance our academic mission in entrepreneurship.”
As part of its mission, the center is meant to encourage students to participate in USC Upstate’s new entrepreneurship and innovation major and minor courses of study and other programs available through Johnson College of Business and Economics.
“CEI is an academically focused initiative established to support our plans to build on the success of our entrepreneurship and innovation major, launched this past year,” Djerdjouri said. “It will provide additional resources and opportunities for students who are interested in studying and exploring the role of entrepreneurship as a catalyst for economic development, creation of employment opportunities and community advancement.”
The college has launched its chapter of the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization, founded in 1983 to support more than 16,500 emerging collegiate entrepreneurs across the world with resources that include workshops, webinars, pitch competitions, regional conferences and networking opportunities.
“A key goal is to encourage and support student entrepreneurship across all academic disciplines at USC Upstate,” said Brian Brady, the center’s director. “Building on our six years of success with the GreenHouse Business Incubator, CEI will serve to foster innovation and engage with students, faculty, alumni and the Upstate entrepreneurial ecosystem through networking, programming and research.”
Several free entrepreneurial events are offered throughout the year to all USC Upstate students, staff and members of the business community, including The Johnson Innovation Speaker Series, Global Entrepreneurship Week, and workshops, lectures and networking opportunities.