By Aldo Giannattasio ‘19

In what has become a highly popular minor since its creation in 2015, the entrepreneur department has decided to expand its reach into downtown Geneva, N.Y.

Currently, in its infancy stage, Hobart and William Smith Colleges are starting the renovation of 22 Castle Street, which will be used by the Entrepreneur department.

The Incubator as it will be known first become available for students to visit on Sept. 30. However, the official launch where students are able to fully use the space will occur within the 2018 spring semester.

The space will feature classrooms, and discussion spaces for programs such as the Centennial Center for Leadership’s Idea Lab, the Pitch competition and the Innovation Academy.

By expanding downtown, students shall develop their entrepreneurial ideas while increasing their role within the community. “The space will allow students to find a venue, an outlet for really discovering what skills one can build, and what one can do out in society while building on their strengths, and improving weaknesses allowing for their skills to be enhanced within their passions.” stated Professor Talmage.

Professor Talmages’ statement directly correlates with the departments’ expectationsthat they stress as part of the goal for minoring students.

The curriculum discusses how students are to explore and hone their analytical and critical thinking skills while pursuing passions and creating ideas.

Through the Incubator students shall now have the ability to put ideas into practice while being given a foundational understanding of what is necessary to make it a reality.

The space also will allow for a collaborative advantage between the HWS community and the residents of Geneva where the sharing of entrepreneurial ideas will occur. This shall further unify the community within the area while also providing a bridge for future joint projects to come with the town.

Professor Talmage, refers to how the program is not meant to solely benefit the student but the community as a whole. “Often times it is a one sided relationship where the community is asked to help the students. Our hope is to have the incubator be a place where students and community members can pair up and host events, and entrepreneurship related programs allowing for the community as a whole to become better.”

Members therefore learn how to become “well-rounded leaders and resourceful innovators who are globally aware and community-centric”; a core goal of the department.

Students also for the first time will be allowed to join a board that focuses on collaborative ideas and goals for classmates participating in the Incubator downtown.

One student, Allie Haversat stated how: “Being a board member would allow for me to collaborate with community members, leaders, other students and professors leading to more exposure and development of new innovative ideas.”

It is through being able to be part of a business community that makes this opportunity unique where students can leave campus distractions and go somewhere to just share ideas.

One of the hopes “is to make this a fun interactive environment for students to come and refine entrepreneurial ideas with others who share a similar passions,” states Professor Talmage.

Although anyone can be a part of the Incubator, for students who wish to be on the board must apply before Sept. 20th at midnight.

Application requirements are that you are at least a minor and that you write a 150-word response as to how you could contribute.

All responses have to be sent to Ed Bizari who is currently the Margiloff family entrepreneurial leadership fellow.

Every July a new board will be elected allowing for fresh faces and opportunities.

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