September 28, 2018
A $2.7 million Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant award will complete Shawnee State University's Kricker Innovation Hub in downtown Portsmouth, OH. The announcement was made to a crowd of business leaders, community supporters, students and Shawnee State faculty during a ribbon-cutting ceremony held today at the partially renovated facility at 3rd and Chillicothe Street.
"This is huge," Eric Braun, Vice President for Advancement and External Affairs at Shawnee State, said to the crowd. "This is tremendous news for Shawnee State, our economic development partners, local and state government, faculty, students, community, and entire region. This grant takes what many in this room have started – and gets us the rest of the way."
Shawnee State opened the Kricker Innovation Hub to encourage the creation of new businesses by providing access to OARnet's 100-gigabit per second broadband, immersive technology lab resources, and contemporary study and project rooms where students can work with faculty mentors, business leaders, and community members to collaborate on business ventures, and special projects. The shared campus-community facility will also serve as an outlet for student research and proof of concept development, as well as outreach programming such as small business workshops, coaching and commercialization.
The EDA announced $4.3 million in grants to the state of Ohio, today, including the $2.7 million to the Shawnee State Kricker Innovation Hub to facilitate local job creation and entrepreneurship. The Kricker Innovation Hub is expected to create 200 jobs, retain 40 jobs and spur $2 million in private investment.
"The Kricker Innovation Hub is a place where resources come together to support and promote innovation and entrepreneurship," Braun said. "One of the most important of those resources is people. Some of our donors and partners have been helping us with this project for several years. It's nice to see it all come together and become a reality. We couldn't have gotten here without the help of many, many people in our community, state, and beyond."
The facility is named for long-time business leader and Shawnee State supporter, James Kricker, who was in attendance for the event. Programming for the Kricker Innovation Hub is led by an advisory board that includes Andy Glockner, owner of Glockner Chevrolet; Steve Moore, President & CEO of Wastren Advantage; Kelly Jenkins, SSU Alumnus and Director of EWI; Paul Yost, Visiting Professor at SSU and Chief Technical Officer at Yost Labs; Ryan Mapes, Manager of the OSU Endeavor Center; Ed Daniels, SSU Alumnus and Vice President at Cardinal Health; Nick Davis, Vice President of Corporate at Singularity University; Jennifer Simon, Executive Director of Regional Innovation Network at Ohio University; and Matthew Seifert, Attorney at Law with Johnson Oliver & Howard, LPA.