Innovation COB

Southern Illinois University




October 29, 2014, Emily Precht


Today, just about every business student is armed with the latest and greatest in technology. With laptops and tablets in hand, they’re connected to a nearly limitless well of information anywhere they go.

But technology on its own can’t bridge the small gaps that can separate two brilliant ideas from becoming one great solution.

Terms such as “interconnected” and “collaboration” are buzzwords in today’s business lexicon, and for good reason. Getting the best solutions to the challenges before us frequently requires more than one person or one group offering just one perspective.

The answer to achieving one of our student’s entrepreneurial challenges could come from the College of Design, or perhaps the solution to a question for students in the College of Agriculture resides inside the College of Business.

With these thoughts in mind, we’re seeking to better harness the people power at our disposal – and we’re looking outside of the College of Business to do it.

Last fall we opened our business innovation space, The Hub. It’s a 3,500-square-foot facility designed to promote a climate of entrepreneurship in which a marketplace of interdisciplinary ideas can flourish.

So far, this modular space has been fitted to host everything, from small student gatherings to speakers, workshops and seminars. Once completed, The Hub will be a platform for those who want to harness the intellectual and creative might of their peers and colleagues to help achieve their entrepreneurial aspirations.

Ultimately, we want students and faculty across colleges and disciplines to bring their unique perspectives and find common ground to achieve uncommon goals and world-changing innovations. We believe we’ve built the perfect space in The Hub to do just that.

“I have seen companies spend millions trying to come up with creative areas and fail,” said Kevin Purcell, retired senior director of organization development at Microsoft Corp. “The Hub is the right way to do it.”