University of Charleston

UC Receives Innovation Funding from U.S. Economic Development Administration

 

The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) has awarded the University of Charleston funding to move forward in conducting a feasibility study for a UC Innovation SuperHub.

The UC SuperHub concept co-locates business training, an incubator, accelerator, and coworking space in the heart of downtown Charleston at 240 Capitol Street.  The SuperHub will act as a catalyst for entrepreneurship, creativity, business growth, and economic development for the region.

The business incubator would primarily focus on providing commercial office space and technical assistance to new and budding entrepreneurs.  The business accelerator would concentrate on delivering programming and expertise to businesses with a proven business model and who are ready to scale.  The potential coworking space centers on offering resources such as high-speed internet and conference meeting space to entrepreneurs and innovators who would otherwise not have those assets available.

In addition, the UC SuperHub will provide specialized services to existing businesses who need expanded high-end services such as leadership development, organizational development, business and design training, digital resources, and executive coaching.  The University will leverage its innovation staff, expert faculty, and other intellectual assets to provide exceptional value.

The UC Innovation SuperHub is also anticipated to provide artists and other creatives with space to display their work; develop events such as open mike nights, guest speaker series, and student showcase collections; and participate in community events such as ArtWalk, FestivALL, and others to promote new vibrancy in the downtown area.

The feasibility study will be conducted in late 2020-early 2021.  Partners and supporters of the UC Innovation SuperHub initiative include the City of Charleston, Charleston Area Alliance, WV Regional Intergovernmental Council, Advantage Valley, AMFM Foundation, and the Tamarack Foundation.

 

About the EDA:   As the only federal government agency focused exclusively on economic development, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) plays a critical role in facilitating regional economic development efforts in communities across the nation.

Guided by the basic principle that sustainable economic development should be locally-driven, EDA works directly with communities and regions to help them build the capacity for economic development based on local business conditions and needs. EDA’s grant investments in planning, technical assistance, and infrastructure construction are designed to leverage existing regional assets to support the implementation of economic development strategies that make it easier for businesses to start and grow.