Ohio University Southern held an open house August 21, 2019 for the Southern Launch, a new business incubator for the community. Need for the project was first expressed by area residents in a 2018 survey and in a feasibility study indicating a lack of supports for new business start-ups in Lawrence County and surrounding communities.
Nicole Pennington, interim executive dean for OHIO Regional Higher Education and dean of Southern, said the project will work with entrepreneurs by providing responsive services. “The Southern Launch will have the strength of the LIGHTS Regional Innovation network as a resource for local business start-ups,” Pennington said. LIGHTS is a 28-county incubation network in Appalachian Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia.
The will provide coworking space and incubation services for six physical members in the facility as well as unlimited virtual members, who do not require use of the facility but wish to access project amenities, said Sarah Diamond Burroway, director of Workforce Success at Southern. “All Southern Launch members will be able to engage in business coaching, custom training, workshops, access to Southern’s workforce partnerships and other services,” she said.
The Southern Launch is located in the Dingus Technology Center on the Ironton campus.
For more information, call the Southern Launch at 740-547-3815.
The Southern Launch will provide coworking space and business incubation services as part of the LIGHTS Regional Innovation Network.
Sarah Diamond Burroway, Ohio Southern’s Director of Workforce Success (left) and Shirley Dyer, Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce Director (center) speak with reporter Fred Pace (right) about the need for business incubation services offered by the Southern Launch.
LIGHTS staff and Ohio Southern Workforce Success staff joined Dean Pennington (second from right) at the open house for the Southern Launch. L-R- Drea Thogmartin, LIGHTS; Jennifer Simon, LIGHTS; Sarah Diamond Burroway, Ohio Southern; Nicole Pennington, Interim Executive Dean for Regional Higher Education and Dean of Ohio Southern; Angy Ross, Ohio Southern.