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Ohio University’s historic business incubator, the Innovation Center, celebrates milestone anniversary

The Ohio University Innovation Center is honoring its past, present, and future success as an early pioneer of adding economic vitality to the underserved Appalachian region through business support for tech and tech-enabled startups with a special reception on Nov. 1, 2023. The event will be attended by OHIO dignitaries, state and regional legislators, and notable guests who comprise the Innovation Center’s ecosystem of support.

The Ohio University Innovation Center was established in 1983 by then-OHIO president Dr. Charles Ping and high tech visionary and OHIO alumnus Dr. Wilfred Konneker with a mission of leveraging the tremendous resources of Ohio University to benefit the economic vitality of the local region. Since its inception, the Innovation Center has incubated over 300 companies that have created more than 3,000 high paying jobs within Southeast Ohio. In 2022 alone, the Innovation Center generated over $66 million in economic input and $26.4 million in employee compensation through its current and graduate clients.

“The Innovation Center is more than just a building. It is a place where ideas come to grow and be successful. We are extremely proud of this milestone anniversary and look forward to another 40 years of stewarding Drs. Ping and Konneker’s vision of supporting successful startups and building economic vitality in the Southeast Ohio region,” said Innovation Center Director Stacy Strauss.

The heavily awarded Innovation Center has been repeatedly recognized for excellence as a business incubator and received the Randall M. Whaley 2019 Incubator of the Year, the highest honor from InBIA, the leading international professional support association for entrepreneurial support providers. It has also won InBIA’s Rural Incubator of the Year (2016, 2019, 2022) and has been ranked by UBI Global of Sweden, the leading benchmarking institute, as the third-best university-based incubator in the United States.

“Ohio University is very proud of the Innovation Center’s 40 years of supporting the growth and development of new businesses in southeastern Ohio,” Ohio University President Lori Stewart Gonzalez said. “The Innovation Center is a valuable resource for the communities we serve throughout the region, and we remain committed to supporting entrepreneurship and economic development.”

October 23, 2023
Staff reports