Developing a Center for Innovation on Campus

Developing a Center for Innovation
on Campus


September 25-27, 2017 | New Orleans, LA



Learn to create a Center for Innovation that serves institutional and local economic goals.

Learn how you can develop a successful center for innovation on your campus that serve as both an academic hub and gateway to the surrounding economic and entrepreneurial environment. This conference will enable your team to:

  • Establish a strategic vision for your center
  • Scan your local economic market and identify partners
  • Connect institutional and local economic goals
  • Incorporate your center into the student experience
  • Market your center for sustained growth

We have integrated numerous working sessions into this program to allow you and your team to accomplish critical work while attending the conference.

Three Types of Innovation Centers Discussed

Innovation centers mean different things to different people and institutions. During this program we will focus on three distinct types of centers. You will learn about spaces that:

  • Facilitate multi-disciplinary connectivity and learning among students
  • Foster industry partnerships that are beneficial to both students and external partners
  • Drive entrepreneurship among students to start their own companies

Complimentary Online Training Included with Registration

As an added bonus, every registrant will receive a recording of our popular webinar, Key Considerations for Designing Student-Focused Innovation Spaces. This bonus training will give you an overview of different types of student-focused innovation spaces that campuses across the country are creating, and tips for starting your own project. This will be beneficial information to review before the event and share with your campus colleagues.

Post-Conference Workshop: Keys to Revenue Generation Through Your Center for Innovation

Centers for innovation or entrepreneurship can be an opportunity to create a meaningful revenue stream while serving the academic mission of the institution. However, moving toward a revenue-generating model creates a number of considerations and challenges an institution must bear in mind to effectively create a revenue stream. This post-conference workshop is designed to address these considerations to create added value to your center efforts.


Monday, September 25, 2017

Day One: Strategically Positioning Your Center for Innovation

12:30 - 1:00 p.m.

Welcome and Introductions
1:00 - 1:15 p.m.

Defining Three Types of Centers for Innovation and Their Organizational Structures
1:15 - 1:45 p.m.

Our opening session of day one will provide clear definitions for the three different types of centers for innovation. You will be introduced to the organization structures institutions are using to establish and operate these different centers. Types of centers discussed will be those that:

  • Facilitate multi-disciplinary learning
  • Foster industry partnerships
  • Drive student entrepreneurship

Establishing a Vision for Your Center for Innovation
1:45 - 3:00 p.m.

Establishing the vision, mission, and values of your center is a critical first step in creating an innovation center on campus. During this session we will explore why establishing your vision is important, provide examples of vision statements from other centers, and help you conduct your own visioning exercise. As a group, we will discuss:

  • Key decisions in creating an innovation center
  • Developing a strategic marketing plan
  • Benchmarking against aspirant and peer institutions
  • Short and long term metrics for measuring your success

3:00 - 3:15 p.m.

Working Session: Mapping the Intersection of Your Center's and Institution's Mission
3:15 - 3:45 p.m.
This foundational working session will be the first opportunity for your team to map out a strategic vision for your center. Using the vision-setting presentation as a guide, your team will take time to discuss how your institution’s context and mission fits with that of your center. Our experts will be on hand to guide conversation.

Innovation Center Showcase #1 University of Utah-Lassonde Studios
3:45 - 5:00 p.m.
Lassonde Studios is a new $45 million home for student entrepreneurs and innovators at the University of Utah. Lassonde Studios combines 20,000 square feet of innovation space on the main floor and four floors of themed residential space. The Director of the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute will share how this space was envisioned and designed, along with lots of photos to show off the amazing student space.

Networking Reception (included in registration fee)
5:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Day Two: Considerations for Institutional and Economic Goals

Continental Breakfast (included in registration fee)
8:00 - 8:30 a.m.

Demand - Keys to Scanning the Economic Market to Identify Center Partners
8:30 - 9:30 a.m.

Our opening session of day two digs into the first major challenge facing any center for innovation or entrepreneurship: identifying partners within the local economic environment. Our expert instructor will discuss keys to a thorough and fruitful search, including:

  • Marketing your center to the right niche
  • Scanning your local environment effectively
  • Balancing potential partner needs with your realities and resources
  • Actively vetting prospective partners according to their goals and resource requirements

Working Session: Identifying Center Partners
9:30 - 10:00 a.m.
Using the work from our mission exercise on day one, this second working session will allow you to begin working within your mission framework to strategize how you will identify and prioritize external partners. Our experts will be on hand to guide your efforts.

10:00 - 10:15 a.m.

Connecting Your Center to the Student Experience and Curriculum
10:15 - 11:15 a.m.

At the heart of most centers’ success is a sincere connection to the student learning experience, and this session will address how your center can ensure strong ties to your students. This discussion will include:

  • Benefits of student and corporate engagement
  • Best practices for curricular tie-ins
  • Student innovation, entrepreneurship programs, or co-curricular events
  • Keys to strong internship programs

Integrating Faculty Into the Mission of Your Center
11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Academic faculty are sincere contributors, if not centerpieces, of any successful center. This morning’s final session will address how your center can best incorporate faculty, including:

  • Determining when and how to invite faculty into the development of your center
  • Incorporating faculty as research partners and/or resources
  • Leveraging faculty as curricular champions
  • Discussing impacts to faculty productivity

Lunch (included in registration fee)
12:15 - 1:15 p.m.

Innovation Center Showcase #2 Virginia Commonwealth University - da Vinci Center
1:15 - 2:15 p.m.
The da Vinci Center at VCU is unique in that it is a collaboration of School of the Arts, Business, Engineering, and College of Humanities and Sciences. It advances innovation and entrepreneurship through cross-disciplinary collaboration. In this second showcase, a representative of VCU’s da Center will offer a virtual tour of this facility and address any questions that you may have.

Connecting Institutional Expectations and Partnership Agreements
2:15 - 3:15 p.m.

This final morning session is devoted to how your institution can best incorporate institutional expectations for your center into fair and equitable agreements with your partners. Included will be discussions on:

  • Incorporating reasonable (and enticing) institutional expectations
  • Considerations for resource allocation for lessees
  • Foundations for establishing sound leasing terms
  • Benchmarking progress and evaluating lease continuity in accordance with center mission

3:15 - 3:30 p.m

Working Session: Your Institutional Considerations
3:30 - 4:00 p.m.
Using the morning’s presentations as a guide, this working session will be your opportunity to more specifically consider your context in determining how best to incorporate institutional expectations into a sound center for innovation or entrepreneurship partnerships.

Innovation Center Showcase #3
4:00 - 5:00 p.m
This session will give attendees an opportunity to hear from an institution or architect about the design and function of a center for innovation. This will be a visually rich presentation, to show different types of spaces, furniture, equipment and function.
Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Day Three: Moving Your Center for Innovation Forward

Continental Breakfast (included in registration fee)
8:30 - 9:00 a.m.

Effectively Leading a Center for Innovation
9:00 - 9:45 a.m.
Effective leadership is a critical component of a successful Center for Innovation. This session will focus on key leadership skills required to champion, build, and maintain your center, which include networking and creative decisionmaking.

9:45 - 10:00 a.m.

Keys to Marketing Your Center On and Off Campus
10:00 - 11:15 a.m.

No center is complete without users. During this session we will discuss best practices for marketing your center to all relevant users both on and off campus. Considerations during this session include:

  • Understanding your capacity for growth and the marketing implications
  • Seeking and securing appropriate donors for your center
  • Differentiating campaigns for multiple audiences
  • Leveraging marketing avenues within your local (and campus) community

Working Session: Selling Your Center for Innovation
11:15 - 11:45 a.m.

This final working session will be an opportunity for you to look at how your mission and market can and should drive the promotion of your innovation center. Included in this activity will be tips on how to:

  • Position the mission of your center within a competitive local market
  • Sell your center to your niche
  • Develop an elevator pitch you can present at your own institution

Final Questions and Conference Wrap-Up
11:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Post-Conference Workshop: Keys to Revenue Generation Through Your Center for Innovation

Lunch for Post-Conference Workshop Attendees (included in workshop registration fee)
12:00 - 1:00 p.m.


Post Workshop: Keys to Revenue Generation Through Your Center for Innovation
1:00 - 4:00 p.m.

For many, the center for innovation or entrepreneurship can be an opportunity to create a meaningful revenue stream while serving the academic mission of the institution. However, moving toward a revenue-generating model creates a number of considerations and challenges that an institution must bear in mind to effectively create a revenue stream. This post-conference workshop is designed to address these considerations in helping to create added value to your center efforts. You will walk through key considerations related to revenue generation, including:

  • Pinpointing revenue generation in your center’s strategic plan
  • Working within the confines of your institution’s 501(c)(3) policies
  • Best practice tactics for establishing affiliated agreements
  • Optimizing research contracts
  • Identifying patent gaps
  • Turning IP into revenue

New Orleans, LA | September 25-27, 2017


Renaissance Pere Marquette
817 Common Street
New Orleans, LA 70112

Room Rate: $149 + applicable tax.
Room Block Dates: A room block has been reserved for the nights of September 24, 25, and 26 and is available until Monday, September 4, 2017.

Please book early - rooms are limited and subject to availability.


Book Your Room: Please use the button below or call 504-525-1111. Indicate that you are with the Academic Impressions group to receive the group rate.

Book Your Room



Kathy Hajeb

Assistant Professor
University of Utah

Kathy teaches courses in innovation and entrepreneurship and runs the Innovation Scholar program within the David Eccles School of Business. She is also the Lassonde Institute Director of Operations and manages a professional staff responsible for student programming, institute marketing, finance and operations. The Lassonde Studios, a student residence and innovation prototyping and workshop space is home to these programs. Kathy, in partnership with campus housing partners, manages the recruiting, onboarding and residential experience for over 400 student residents.

Kathy has created a variety of student innovation and entrepreneurship programs challenging students of all ages to match their passion with a purpose. Prior to joining the University of Utah in 2003, she held a variety of strategic planning, marketing, acquisition, regulatory and financial roles in the natural resource industry. Kathy received both bachelor and master’s degrees from the University of Utah.

GeneHambrick (1)

Gene Hambrick

Director of the Center of Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Executive in Residence
Earlham College

Gene Hambrick is businessman (Fortune 500 and entrepreneur), consultant, educator, fundraiser, volunteer, and world traveler with 40+ years of experience in both the for-profit and not-for-profit segments. Gene’s experience has been in the United States, Asia, and Latin America; including living and working in Mexico for three years. Some Asian colleagues and friends created the Chinese “name” of Jin Han Ke for Gene. In Latin America, friends and colleagues call him Eugenio. Gene has studied Spanish and Japanese.

Currently, Gene is the Director-Center Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the Executive in Residence at Earlham College. In addition to managing the Center, Gene teaches four courses (Field Experience Seminar, Entrepreneurial Marketing, Ennovation Lab, Strategic Analysis and Action) in the Global Management program.


Dr. Marlo Rencher

Executive Director, Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Cleary University

Dr. Marlo Rencher's responsibilities include entrepreneurial programming, mentorship of student-run businesses, and operations at the on-campus entrepreneurial community and co-working space. She also serves as the faculty chair of the entrepreneurship department at the business-focused university.

A Michigan State University graduate with a BA in marketing, Dr. Rencher also has a MBA from the Ross Business School at the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. in anthropology from Wayne State University. Her research interests exist at the intersection of entrepreneurship, design, technology and culture. Marlo has founded or co-founded three tech companies. She is a past TEDx speaker and SXSW Interactive panelist.


Dr. Garret Westlake

Executive Director of the da Vinci Center
Virginia Commonwealth University

Dr. Garret Westlake is leading the transformation of VCU into one of the nation’s leading universities for cross-disciplinary collaboration, innovation, and the inclusion of entrepreneurial thinking as a requisite skill for the innovation economy. As executive director, Dr. Westlake advances university-wide student innovation and entrepreneurship through curriculum as well as through curated experiential education opportunities.

As a technology entrepreneur, Dr. Westlake founded a social impact company that employed individuals with autism in STEM. Prior to joining VCU, Dr. Westlake served as the associate dean of student entrepreneurship for Arizona State University’s #1 ranked Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. He has worked closely with Ashoka U, the Clinton Global Initiative University, and for the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship. Students and startups he has mentored have been named to Forbes 30 Under 30 for Healthcare Innovation, awarded Rhodes Scholarships, named Resolution Project Fellows, and have been accepted to SXSW and Y Combinator.


Dr. Stephen Whitehead

Associate Provost of Innovation
California University of Pennsylvania

Under Dr. Whitehead’s guidance the university has developed the Center for Innovation. The Center is becoming a hub for creativity and a link to the university resources.

Dr. Whitehead held a faculty position in the applied engineering and technology department for eleven years before transitioning to the associate provost position three years ago. While a faculty member, he was a member of the graphic communication and multimedia technology, robotics engineering, and technology education departments.

Main Conference Only


Learn how to develop a framework for a center for innovation or entrepreneurship.

Post-Conference Workshop Only


Keys to Revenue Generation Through Your Center for Innovation.

Can't Attend? Buy the
Conference Binder

Purchase the conference binder, which includes all presentation slides, worksheets, action plans, and additional resources.

Note: Conference attendees do not need to purchase materials separately.

Questions About the Event?

Michelle Sponholz
Program Manager, Academic Impressions

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