(July 18, 2023) Students bitten by the entrepreneurship bug may find their college years to be the ideal time to try their hand at it. And East Tennessee State University provides a great place to do just that with its Innovation Laboratory.
The Innovation Lab, a part of the ETSU Research Corporation, is a high-tech business incubator that assists aspiring entrepreneurs in developing emerging technologies from concept through commercialization. With a focus on identifying and generating solutions to global problems, it is committed to championing entrepreneurs and building a cooperative hub and network that is a catalyst for sustainable economic growth.
Emily Colvin, who came on board as the new assistant director of the Innovation Lab earlier this year, hopes to encourage ETSU students with great ideas to take advantage of the resources offered by the university.
“We’ve had several just walk through our doors who have an idea,” she said. “They want to start a business, and we want to be the resource to match them up with who they need to be in touch with to make that happen.”
Students getting hands-on learning opportunities is at the core of ETSU’s approach to education, and the chance to learn how to start and operate a business from scratch is a prime example.
“The college years offer a unique and opportune time for students to pursue entrepreneurship,” Colvin said. “Being surrounded by a wealth of resources and mentors, students can tap into a rich network of knowledge, guidance and inspiration to transform their ideas into impactful ventures.”
Originally from Knoxville, Colvin earned her undergraduate degree in management and accounting, as well as a master’s degree in business, at ETSU. Before coming back to her alma mater, she was a project coordinator for a multi-family interior renovation company in Clearwater, Florida, and previously worked in merchandising for Home Depot. Colvin is passionate about ETSU and the region and supports the Innovation Lab’s objectives “to provide opportunities to keep our best and brightest at home.”
“The Innovation Lab serves as a central hub, bringing together researchers, innovators and entrepreneurial students and community members,” she said. “The Innovation Lab fosters collaboration among a culturally diverse group of creative and skilled individuals and provides support to its members in their business endeavors from concept to commercialization.”
The Innovation Lab has been assisting student entrepreneurs since 2002. Colvin and Director Audrey Depelteau are committed to empowering students to achieve success and realize their full potential in their entrepreneurial pursuits.
Students are welcome to visit the Innovation Lab at its main location at 2109 W. Market Street or call (423) 439-8500 to set up a time to talk.