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Students gaining real-world education

Entrepreneurial center christens new learning lab in county's business incubator for classes, student-run businesses

02/26/04

The Xavier entrepreneurial center recently celebrated the grand opening of its new learning lab in the Hamilton County Business Center. Through the financial support of Provident Bank, the entrepreneurship program signed a three-year lease last summer for 1,100 square-feet of space in the business incubator, located at 1776 Mentor Ave. in Norwood, about one mile from campus.

“For a school our size, to have this is a major step in entrepreneurship,” says Ed VonderBrink, director for the entrepreneurial center.

VonderBrink says the new space provides students with a variety of real-world learning and networking opportunities. It’s a place for students to go to brainstorm their ideas,” he says. “There’s an environment or a culture that exists there—a whole bunch of people starting their businesses, trying to figure it out. So they’ll be constant access and revisions of ideas and concepts.”

The University provided computers and workstations for the lab, which serves as the corporate headquarters for FliX—the student-run video rental store located in the Gallagher Student Center—and will be home to future student-run businesses. This spring, Sherrie Human’s entrepreneurship class is meeting at the business center, and VonderBrink says affiliation with the incubator gives students access to the seminars and other programs provided by the Hamilton County Development Co., which oversees the facility. “That’s the value to this,” he says.“Our students are getting the same opportunities to learn that the other tenants of business center are getting.”