Gannon University dedicated the new Center for Business Ingenuity at 900 State St. in the heart of Erie's central business district. The Center will be home to the University's Dahlkemper School of Business, Erie Technology Incubator (ETI) and Small Business Development Center (SBDC), and will facilitate a robust exchange of ideas between business students, faculty, entrepreneurs, young and expanding businesses.
Designed in the manner of a modern corporate headquarters, the Center incorporates classrooms, each with a digital dais and dry-erase walls; a seminar room with easy-to-configure chairs and tables; and a Business Information System Laboratory to promote collaboration, data analysis and simulation with broadband internet access for the movement of large datasets and six, 70-inch display panels, two of which are interactive.
The Center will be the site of classes in the Dahlkemper School of Business, including the Master of Business Administration and Master of Public Administration programs and new programs in healthcare management and supply chain management.
In addition to faculty offices, the Center is also home to entrepreneurial ventures in the Erie Technology Incubator, a café and soft-seating gathering areas for students, faculty and tenants. The co-location of the three entities will facilitate a full spectrum of services for young and expanding businesses, including:
- SBDC consulting to help start a new business or expand an existing business.
- ETI incubation and mentoring of entrepreneurial businesses.
- Dahlkemper School of Business resources for student projects, consulting, interns and employees.
- an ecosystem for faculty and student-led businesses, as well as community projects.
The Center for Business Ingenuity also hosts the Integrated Business Transformation Project. The key feature of this project is the eight-week Technology Business Accelerator. It is for entrepreneurs with technology-enabled businesses and was developed jointly by ETI, SBDC and the Dahlkemper School of Business. The entrepreneurs receive support from student teams and faculty. So far, 40 entrepreneurial companies have participated in the accelerator. The project is supported by a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and also includes a microloan program administered in cooperation with Bridgeway Capital and ErieBank. More information about the accelerator and microloans can be found at www.erietech.org.
The glass curtain-walled building, with its dramatic, atrium lobby, was given to the University by William C. Schettine, a Chautauqua County, N.Y. businessman, and was renovated over the past year. From this generous donation, $8.5 million was invested for the benefit of students, faculty, entrepreneurs and businesses in the Erie community and at Gannon.
Keith Taylor, Ph.D., president of Gannon University, said, "This newest addition to Gannon's campus is a tribute to the University's unwavering belief in the power of ingenuity. By opening this presence in Erie's business district, we are sealing our commitment to the people and economy of this community and of the region at large."
"The Center for Business Ingenuity is a place where we deliver education to students, training to businesspeople, consulting to entrepreneurs and growing businesses, and workspace and mentoring to new technology-enabled companies," said W.L. Scheller II, Ph.D., dean of the College of Engineering and Business. "It's designed to bring people together for the creation of new and exciting businesses and careers in northwest Pennsylvania."