September 6, 2022

Leading Innovation Center Creation

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We recently partnered with the National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) to provide a two-day workshop on how todevelop, launch and run an innovation center.

Leveraging the learnings from College of DuPage (COD) in creating Innovation DuPage (ID), The Innovation Center Boot Camp attracted more than 30 in-person and virtual attendees from two dozen higher education intuitions and systems from across the country to provide insight and knowledge about creating a successful business incubator and accelerator.  

Led by Innovation DuPage President and Board Chair, Joe Cassidy,who is also Vice President of Economic Development and Dean of Continuing Education at College of DuPage, the conference included presentations from College of DuPage President Dr. Brian Caputo about the importance of economic development and innovation in the community college system; COD Board ChairMaureen Dunne about the value of having a business incubator and accelerator availablefor local entrepreneurs; and a panel discussion of local companies in incubation at ID that attested to the importance of ID in their businesses’ development.  

“We know that small businesses are the backbone of growing economies and are critically important to the community they serve.” said ErikaBurfield of NACCE.  “Innovation Centersserve as the supporting hub for new and ready-to-grow entrepreneurs, and wehope that our bootcamp sparks professional, business and economic growth incommunities all over the nation.  

The Innovation Center Boot Camp is among a growing list of presentations that Innovation DuPage has made about how to successfully develop a business incubator.  Over the past year, Innovation DuPage leadership shared its case study at the National Council for Continuing Educationand Training (NCCET), the Association of Community College Trustees, StanfordUniversity, and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).  Additionally, the American Association ofCommunity Colleges (AACC) recently awarded Innovation DuPage the 2021 Award ofExcellence for Outstanding College/Corporate Partnership for its demonstrated success in advancing economic prosperity in the greater community.

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