University Announces Creative Labs and Industries Incubator, Major Gift from Charles Stamp Jr.



CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Sept. 27, 2013 — The Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Southeast Missouri State University will break ground Sept. 28 on a Creative Labs and Industries Incubator.

The Creative Labs and Industries Incubator is a new, one-of-a-kind program that cultivates creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship by connecting interdisciplinary teams of students, faculty, and practitioners in highly-integrated laboratories to design novel product and service concepts and test business models through a modern commercial marketplace.

Dr. Kenneth W. Dobbins, president of Southeast Missouri State University, said, “New ideas are driving success in our economy. The creative economy is changing the way people live, work and learn – where they think, invent, and innovate. This program will provide a model for the future of multidisciplinary and experiential learning by connecting students and practitioners in a variety of creative and innovative disciplines that often work in silos, and immersing them in a space with the technology and creative culture to bring big ideas to life.”

Dr. James Stapleton serves as the executive director of the Center and developed the new concept to improve on current incubator approaches that offer little more than inexpensive rent.

“The creative economy is based on new ways of thinking and doing. The most important inputs are individual talent or skill, combined with creativity that generates novelty and transforms familiar ideas into innovations,” he said. “Current incubator approaches don’t bring together creative talent in environments that spawn new ideas with tools to develop innovations, and a marketplace to test business models. Our new program is where creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship come alive.”

The new program will be located at 612 Broadway, in the heart of downtown Cape Girardeau that connects the University’s main campus with its River Campus. Laboratory spaces will include a variety of creative studios for 3D modeling and printing, app and Web development, graphic design, painting, fashion and printmaking. The commercial market will provide an innovative retail destination that includes galleries, print shops, workshop and venue spaces, an impact room and more.

The project was made possible in part by a generous gift of $750,000 to the University from Charles Stamp Jr.

Stamp Jr. is vice president, Public Affairs Worldwide, at Deere & Company, a position he has held since September 2002. In his role, Stamp leads a department that manages government and public affairs to provide the company with timely and actionable plans that address issues of risk and opportunities that exist worldwide within key markets and among key audiences.

Stamp joined Deere & Company in 1999, as part of the company’s acquisition of InterAg Technologies, Inc., where he was president/chief executive officer. He has also served as president, John Deere Special Technologies Group, and president, Agricultural Division – Global AgServices.

Stamp is a native of Missouri. He received a Bachelor of Arts from Southeast Missouri State University and holds the University’s distinguished Alumni Merit Award. He received a Juris Doctorate from the University of Missouri School of Law in Columbia in 1974.

He practiced law from 1974 until 1981 in Sikeston, Mo. He entered the agribusiness industry in 1981 as president of Meyer Agri-Products, which later became a division of Butler Manufacturing Company, where he served as vice president of Butler’s Agri-Products Division. He then served as president of Capital South Investors and as a partner of Capital Partners, Ltd., which founded InterAg Technologies, Inc.

Stamp is a member of the Board of Directors of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He has served as Chairman of the Board of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) and is a Life Honorary Director of AEM. He has also served as a trustee of the Farm Foundation. Stamp is a member of the Missouri Bar Association.

“Charlie’s generous gift allows us to make this next investment in our outstanding entrepreneurship program. He knows first-hand the importance of real-world experiences for students, and the importance of cultivating the talents of aspiring entrepreneurs. We appreciate not only his gift of treasure, but look forward to Charlie spending time mentoring our students,” Dobbins said.

The University hopes to name the facility to honor Stamp at a dedication and grand opening next fall, when the facility renovation will be complete.

The Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Southeast Missouri State University is one of the most comprehensive entrepreneurship-focused university centers in the Midwest, offering a wide array of academic and outreach programs and services, including: innovation development and research; entrepreneurship education, training and mentorship; and business incubation and development services. The CIE supports Southeast Missouri State University’s strategic priority to accelerate entrepreneurial growth and development that improves the quality of lives, communities and businesses in southeast Missouri and the southeast region.