College of Business welcomes new business incubator space

As the Lewis College of Business and Brad D. Smith Schools of Business celebrate 50 years of the college this week, Marshall University welcomes the addition of a new business incubator space.

Located in the Visual Arts Center, across from Pullman Square, the renovated space on the first-floor will be called the Brad D. Smith Incubator after its benefactor, Marshall alumnus Brad D. Smith.

“It’s sort of a complete entrepreneurial ecosystem, if you will,” saidJohn M. Maher, vice president for research at Marshall and executive director of the Marshall University Research Corporation, about the space.

The new business incubator space is the result of a collaboration between Marshall’s Brad D. Smith School of Business and the Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI). The incubator is expected to start accepting tenants in August of 2019.

Smith was quoted on Marshall’s Facebook page saying, “I want to inspire West Virginia’s entrepreneurs to reinvent themselves and to do so in a space like the business incubator, which will encourage game-changing ideas in what I call the ‘overlooked zip codes’ of my state. West Virginia needs its people to remain committed to its progress, and I believe Marshall’s business incubator will motivate folks to do just that.”

Focused on convenience and productivity, Maher said Marshall students who are planning on becoming business owners, as well as current business owners in the area, have potential to grow here.

“The element that the incubator offers to those groups is to help them accelerate their progress,” Maher said. “When you’re trying to do it all yourself and you need a lawyer, you have to go find a lawyer. If you need an accountant, you have to go find an accountant… It’s a lot of labor.”

The business incubator space will provide local entrepreneurs with “community, ecosystem, mentoring, introductions, and business services,” according to a section of Marshall’s website.

Trey Delida can be contacted at [email protected].