Universities partnering for entrepreneurial incubator program

Miami Valley News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Universities are partnering to help increase resources and opportunities for startup businesses.

Wright State University and the University of Dayton are among those leading this first of its kind program in the Midwest.

The public – private partnership between five Southwest Ohio universities is active.

Matt Willenbrink, the Director of Technology Partnerships at University of Dayton, said some of their university entrepreneurs are already at University of Cincinnati’s seven-week training program.

“To train the inventors on the basics of entrepreneurism and also to link them up with other entrepreneurs, mentors and assets they have, to start up their own company,” said Willenbrink.

Willenbrink said these startups come from inventions developed at universities.

This partnership means they can all be eligible for placement at UC’s Venture Lab pre-accelerator program at its 1819 Innovation Hub.

“In addition to providing resources to the entrepreneurs that are based off the technologies developed at each university, they now have greater access to all the regional assets that we have for entrepreneurship,” said Willenbrink. So the people in Cincinnati get access to things happening in Dayton and vice versa.”

He said no money will change hands between universities.

“Each university is still going to be supporting its own inventors and technologies,” said Willenbrink. “What mainly we’re going to be leveraging is the resources that those universities have already built.”

But he said this will attract money and resources from outside the region to invest in ideas created here in southern Ohio.

“With the successful businesses coming out of technology developed at these universities, it grows the economic base of each individual city and really a rising tide floats all boats economically in the area,” said Willenbrink.

This regional university incubator partnership is between Wright State University, University of Dayton, University of Cincinnati, Xavier University and Cincinnati State Technical and Community College.

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