The startup spirit is more alive than ever, and VCU is determined to keep this flame going with the opening of Founder’s Corner.
Located in the University Student Commons, Founder’s Corner is a new co-working space for student entrepreneurs. The 656-square-foot-space is open to all undergraduate and graduate student entrepreneurs at VCU regardless of major – but there is one small catch.
To get into Founder’s Corner, student must apply and go through an interview process. This preliminary entry process allows Founder’s Corner to maintain an environment for entrepreneurial people to come work, collaborate and create.
“Co-working spaces allow for individuals to benefit from working in the presence of other like-minded people,” said Dominic Costanzo, program manager with VCU Innovation Gateway. “In the case of Founder’s Corner, it’s about the collaboration between student entrepreneurs that will help to foster creativity and innovation, as well as cultivate the community of entrepreneurs at VCU.”
Founder’s Corner was created due to collaboration between VCU Innovation Gateway, which works to foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship at VCU, VCU Career Services and University Student Commons and Activities.
The corner is a part of Venture Creation University, a university-wide initiative to enhance the culture of entrepreneurship on campus and to provide opportunities for students interested in taking on the startup filled, innovative lifestyle.
“We wanted to create a place where student ventures could grow with support of our resources in a creative space, central and open to anyone with a startup idea working towards expansion,” said Carrie Hawes, assistant director and experiential development of VCU Career Services.
The first students to use the space are involved in a student-founded startup in part of VCU’s pre-accelerator program, which helps student entrepreneurs get their business ideas up and running.
These startups include a company that sells new and lightly used sneakers, one that is developing maternity clothing that protects against electromagnetic radiation, another that sells locally grown gourmet mushrooms and one that’s working to offer ride-sharing services for college students.
“It gives student entrepreneurs an exclusive place to call their own,” Costanzo said.
Applications for Founder’s Corner will be available for the rest of the VCU student community later this spring.
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