Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke said the support, from Innovate Indiana, is the next logical step in the campus’ relationship with the business incubator.
“This is a call from IU’s strategic plan, to create a culture of building and making,” she said. “This is what we do to serve the state of Indiana and its people.”
David Gard, assistant vice president for economic development for IU’s Office of the Vice President for Engagement, said Innovate Indiana is “pleased to support IU Kokomo’s proactive efforts to foster entrepreneurship that benefits the regional economy of north central Indiana.
“The new Inventrek co-worker space will accomplish this by facilitating collaboration among key community resources and innovators,” he said.
The 3,000 square foot co-worker space, created in partnership with the Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance, is expected to open in September at Inventrek, 700 E. Firmin Street, Kokomo. For a monthly or yearly fee, entrepreneurs and owners of start up and high growth enterprises will be able to use work and meeting areas, desks, lounges, private conference areas, solid fiber and Wi-Fi connections, copy/print/scan equipment, a mailroom, storage lockers, and a CAD lab, among other amenities.
Co-worker space benefits an owner who requires a more professional environment than a home office, but is not ready for dedicated office space.
Sciame-Giesecke anticipates students also will benefit, as they gain internships with companies in Inventrek, and as they begin their own businesses there. Students will pay discounted membership fees.
“We think this is a great opportunity for the future entrepreneurs on our campus, and we hope they will take advantage of it,” she said. “This is another way we can contribute to the economic growth of our region.”
She noted that IU has a long history of supporting Inventrek.
“IU Kokomo has been involved with Inventrek since its inception,” she said. “Chancellor Emerita Ruth Person helped seek funding for the business incubator, and it has reached its goal of successfully launching new businesses. With this next step, it makes sense for us to be in on the ground floor of this new venture.”
Created by IU President Michael A. McRobbie early in his tenure, the Innovate Indiana initiative is the university’s collective effort to channel its vast intellectual and creative resources through strategic partnerships and collaborations that strengthen the state’s economy and improve the quality of life for all Hoosiers. The initiative plays a key role in investing in and coordinating IU’s statewide economic development efforts, transforming the innovations of IU faculty into new products, services and treatments, and connecting IU to the business community in Indiana, the nation and the world.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.