With new resources and instructional opportunities, the future of innovation and entrepreneurship at H-SC is looking bright.
Through the Flemming Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Hampden-Sydney students have access to valuable resources that can push them to become innovators or entrepreneurs. In the near future, students will have access to even more resources like programming, state-of-the-art technology, and experienced entrepreneurs when the Farmville SEED Innovation Hub opens in downtown Farmville.
Launched in partnership with Hampden-Sydney and Longwood University, the Hub will focus on fostering business development within the greater Farmville community when it opens at the end of 2023. "I am really excited for our students to interact with innovators and entrepreneurs from the community," says Flemming Center Director Andrew King. "The Hub will create a nexus of activity and offer supplemental resources to what students already have access to on the Hill."
Farmville residents and students from Hampden-Sydney, Longwood University, and Southside Community College will be able to network, experiment with business ideas, participate in innovation courses, entrepreneurial boot camps, and pitch competitions, and access state-of-the-art technology like 3-D printers. Programming will include professional development, leadership development, workshops and camps for technology and STEAM—science, technology, engineering, arts, and math—and courses on innovation and entrepreneurship taught by both Hampden-Sydney and Longwood faculty.
Dr. King currently co-teaches Farmville LaunchPad: Innovation Prototype Accelerator (BUSN 285) in partnership with Longwood University Honors Faculty Scholar Jacob Dolence. "Both institutions have unique strengths, and by combining classes, we have the opportunity to create a rich experience full of resources," King says.
The course encourages students to incorporate principles of STEAM education with knowledge gained from the art of innovation and entrepreneurial management to create a prototype, analyze problems and solutions, and experiment with real-world implementation. "My goal for the Accelerator course is to help students learn how to take an idea and turn it into a viable solution," says King. "I want each student to learn the process of rapid prototyping and to begin to turn what they have into reality."