Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Selected to Present at National Conference


Photo of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship has been selected to deliver a presentation at a national economic development conference. 

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Aug. 12, 2010 — The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Southeast Missouri State University was selected to deliver a presentation at the University Economic Development Association (UEDA) Annual Summit set for Reno, Nev., Nov. 7-9. 

The presentation is “Driving the “E-Ship”:  Effective Techniques for Implementing Entrepreneurial Programs.” Dr. James Stapleton, the Center’s executive director, and Gina Harper, training coordinator, will present information on business start-up efforts including Operation Jump-Start, the nationally recognized, award-winning entrepreneurial training model the Center created in 2006.  

Stapleton says of the selection, “We are pleased to be identified by our peers as a leader in entrepreneurship education, training, and development. This national recognition is a testament to the hard work of our staff and vision of the leadership at the University. The Center has become one of the most comprehensive entrepreneurship-focused centers in the Midwest, and we look forward to continuing our efforts to improve the quality of lives, businesses and communities in our region.”

Harper adds, “What means the most is that our model for entrepreneurship was seen as important enough to be shared with our peers.  Our center has worked tirelessly to promote the importance of expanding entrepreneurship across all age groups and communities in our region, and it’s an honor to present our work to others contemplating similar initiatives.  My hope is that the presentation will give University affiliates a real, hands-on compass to begin to replicate our success.”

Participants at the Summit are university leaders of economic development, technology commercialization and innovation.  Members of the UEDA come together once each year to share ideas, network and to recognize best practices and outstanding university efforts in economic development through an awards competition.  Southeast Missouri State has been a finalist for best practices awards two of the past three years.

A special feature of the Summit is something new this year. The Showcase of States is a special display area for Summit attendees to exhibit economic development efforts including products, demonstrations and visuals that convey university efforts in product development, entrepreneurship, business assistance, innovation, re-invigoration of market through re-purposing or re-innovation, and partnership between universities and their Small Business Development Center affiliates.  The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship will display information on entrepreneurship, business growth, and community development products and projects they have developed.

The Center has been active in the UEDA for more than four years.  Center employee Christy LeGrand serves on the UEDA Board of Directors and will also attend the Summit.  LeGrand says of the organization, “University focus on economic development is rather specialized.  The UEDA is a great platform for peer leaders from their respective universities, large or small, to compare notes and share ideas.”

The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) supports Southeast Missouri State University’s strategic priority to advance the region’s economic appeal and strength by accelerating local and regional economic growth and development that improves the quality of lives, communities, and businesses in southeast Missouri and the surrounding region.