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Ribbon cutting, grand opening Dec. 4 for WKU Student Business Accelerator

WKU’s Research Foundation will celebrate the grand opening of a 1,200-square-foot space in the Center for Research and Development for the Student Business Accelerator. The grand opening will take place at 3 p.m. Tuesday (Dec. 4) at the Center for Research and Development on the corner of Nashville Road and Campbell Lane.

The WKU Student Business Accelerator launched in spring 2012 to give students the opportunity to start a business while they were still in college.

“Starting a business before you have a family and perhaps mortgage responsibilities makes a lot of sense for many people,” said Doug Rohrer, Associate Vice President for Research and Economic Development. “We are here to help students succeed with their ventures, but most of all, give them an opportunity to learn from this experience.”

“Faced with increasing overseas competition the United States can only maintain our pre-eminent position by becoming increasingly innovative,” said Dr. Gordon C. Baylis, Vice President of Research and President of the WKU Research Foundation. “The Student Business Accelerator fits naturally into the rich tradition of WKU preparing our students for a world where the only constant is change.”

Students are given free space, high speed internet, and shared use of conference and meeting rooms. “The purpose of the Student Business Accelerator is to foster and support student entrepreneurship,” said Jeff Hook, Director of the Small Business Accelerator. “We provide business development guidance and other critical resources that are required to move these early stage businesses forward.”

The WKU Research Foundation covers up to $500 in incidentals expenses to get the students started. Funds can be used for state filing fees, business cards, URL registrations, etc. In some cases, the WKURF also provides modest first time funding in return for an equity position in the company.

Since the student accelerator began assisting students, nine student companies have utilized the program.  “We are pleased to be able to offer this opportunity to student entrepreneurs in the community,” Rohrer said.

Contact: Dr. Gordon Baylis, (270) 745-6733.

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