Innovation Center











The Innovation Center is a business incubator that provides resources and guidance to startup companies located in Athens and the surrounding region. Created in 1983 by visionaries at Ohio University, the center was the first university-based business incubator in the State of Ohio and just the 12th in the United States.

Today, the Innovation Center is located in its custom-built 36,000 square foot facility on the west side of Athens and is a key player in fueling the economic development of Southeast Ohio. The center supports its clients with a considerable range of resources including professional office space, biotechnology laboratories, meeting space, onsite executive coaching, access to an expansive network of experts and key office amenities like front desk reception, a fully-equipped business center, high-speed internet, USPS address, parking, and more!

The impact of the Innovation Center can be seen in the success of our companies located throughout the region as well as the numerous honors and recognitions received. Some of the most recent accolades include:

  • 2019 Randall M. Whaley Incubator of the Year, InBIA
  • 2019 Rural-Based Entrepreneurship Center of the Year, InBIA
  • 2019 Best Support of Entrepreneurial Innovation, Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth (APEG)
  • 2016 Rural Incubator of the Year, International Business Innovation Association (InBIA)
  • #3 Ranked University-Based Incubator in the United States, 2015-2017, UBI Global


Ohio University faculty, students, and entrepreneurs from the region with early-stage ventures are eligible to apply for the incubation program. For more information about applying, visit the Innovation Center’s website.


True to its name, a business incubator provides a carefully designed environment with just the right climate for something young and fragile to grow. By providing resources and guidance, a business incubator like the Innovation Center maximizes the chances of success by providing business owners with the resources and guidance they need. The grim statistics are common knowledge: an overwhelming percentage of new businesses left to survive on their own fail after only a short time. By comparison (according to, over 80% of companies with roots in an incubator are still in operation today.