Innovation will return once again to the site
of the former Sanford, Varner & Co. Factory Building
at Third & Chillicothe Streets. Find out more about the building's history here.


We are working to encourage the creation of new business in our community.

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Read our updates from March 2018 and April 2018.

Shawnee State University will be a leader in regional entrepreneurism when our new Kricker Innovation Hub opens on Chillicothe Street in downtown Portsmouth on September 28, 2018, during Homecoming Weekend.  This is a landmark facility that will promote entrepreneurship, innovation, and creativity in the region.

KrickerThe Kricker Innovation Hub will be housed in existing property that the institution owns in the Portsmouth downtown main street area, immediately adjacent to campus.  This property will be renovated to showcase state-of-the-art technology including a physical delivery point for OARnet, immersive technology lab resources, and contemporary study and project rooms where students can work with faculty mentors, business leaders, and community members to conduct research, collaborate on business ventures, and develop team-building and leadership skills.

This shared campus-community facility will also serve as an outlet for (1) student research and proof of concept development, and (2) outreach programming supplied by our university resources and existing partners, including small business development workshops, mentoring and coaching, and commercialization.  The physical facility will include collaborative workspace, state-of-art video conferencing and high-speed data access, tech development maker-space, and pre-seed incubation suites.

We are pleased to have a number of distinguished individuals serving on our Innovation Hub Advisory Board.  View the list of advisory board members.


We are a Member of NACCE

NACCE LogoShawnee State University belongs to the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE). This is a member organization of over 300 community colleges representing nearly 2,000 staff. Presidents, educators, administrators and center directors are focused on inciting entrepreneurship in their community and on their campus.

NACCE has two main goals:

  1. Empower the college to approach the business of leading a community college with an entrepreneurial mindset; and
  2. Grow the community college's role in supporting job creation and entrepreneurs in their local ecosystem.

For more information, visit www.nacce.com.

We are a member of SSTI

SSTISSTI strengthens initiatives to create a better future through science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship.

As the most comprehensive resource available for those involved in technology-based economic development, SSTI offers the services that are needed to help build tech-based economies. They strive to maximize the capacity of our members to deliver successful outcomes within the context of the complex innovation communities in which they participate.

Since its inception in 1996, SSTI has developed a nationwide network of practitioners and policymakers dedicated to improving the economy through science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship. To best assist nurturing more vibrant economies, SSTI conducts research on common performance standards, identifies best practices, analyzes trends in and policies affecting tech-based economic development, and fosters greater cooperation among and between all public, private and nonprofit organizations encouraging prosperity.

For more information, visit https://ssti.org/.

We are a member of NCET2

NCET2 LogoThe National Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer (NCET2) is a membership organization of university Startup Officers from the top research universities in the United States. NCET2 aims to advance and professionalize university Startups Officers by providing opportunities for networking, policy advocacy, and education.

NCET2 recognizes that Startup Officers are the backbone of any university's research commercialization program. They work to support the world's most transformative companies created at their university by students, researchers, alumni, faculty, and staff. SOs are instrumental in coordinating with national and regional angels, VCs, and corporates that help fund, mentor and support university startups.

NCET2 also works extensively with Fortune/Global 1000 open innovation and corporate venture groups to align university startups with their technology and scouting requirements. Through the semi-annual University Startups Demo Day and annual University Startups Conference in Washington, D.C., NCET2 showcases the central role of Startup Officers and the university community to national competitiveness and economic growth.

NCET2's mission is to strengthen the innovation and entrepreneurial network by bringing together Fortune/Global 1000 companies, angels, VCs, economic development organizations, state and federal agencies, universities and entrepreneurs.

For more information, visit https://ncet2.org/.



AEP Foundation Presents Second Installment
to Kricker Innovation Hub

On March 5, 2018, the Shawnee State University Development Foundation received the second installment of a $200,000 commitment from the American Electric Power (AEP) Foundation to fund SSU's Kricker Innovation Hub project. The funds from this contribution will be dedicated to interior renovations, with an emphasis on high-tech meeting and planning rooms - providing an opportunity for collaboration and use of advanced technology.

Pictured from left to right: Julie Sloat - President & COO of AEP; Anthony DeBord - Comm. & Customer Experience Account Manager of AEP; Butch Kotcamp - SSU Director of Facilities, Planning & Construction; Rick Kurtz - SSU President


D2D champs

Shawnee State Hosts Glockner Dare to Dream

Shawnee State University was proud to serve as the host of the 2018 Glockner Dare to Dream high school business pitch competition on March 20, 2018. Teams from Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia competed for a total of $30,000 in cash prizes.

This year's grand champion was the Russell (Ky.) High School team of Chloe Porter, MacKenzie Cole, and Bethany Bloss. They took home $7,000 for their pitch of Magna-Strength, a company that makes magnetically-enhanced workout gadgets. Congratulations to them and their team instructor, Missy Wilburn. They are pictured above with Andy and Tim Glockner, title sponsors of the event, and Mick Fosson of the Kentucky Innovation Network. Partner sponsors included WAI/Wastren Advantage and Kentucky Farmer's Bank.

Find out more about this competition at daretodreamtristate.wordpress.com, and follow the Dare to Dream Facebook page for updates.

A video promo for the event may be viewed here.

Shawnee State University and Yost Labs Invited to Present at University Startup Demo Day

StartupYost Labs of Portsmouth was among 40 University Startup companies selected to present to Fortune 1000 corporations, policy leaders, federal government agencies, angel investors, and entrepreneurs in Washington, DC in mid-April 2017 as part of University Startups Conference & Demo Day.

The event featured universities and partners with innovative applied research as well as internship opportunities.  As a university partner, it was an honor for SSU President Rick Kurtz to be invited to talk about our relationship with Yost Labs, describe our game development programs, and introduce Greg Merril, CEO of Yost Labs, who shared highlights of products they are developing with the help of faculty, students, and resources here at SSU.

Shawnee State University Hosts

PORTSFuture Entrepreneurship Roundtable

Photos courtesy of Tristan Smith

 Picture of Moderator: Greg Merrill, CEO, Yost Labs   

Moderator: Greg Merrill, CEO, Yost Labs
  Picture of Alex Russell of LiTS, and Dale King and Renee Wallace of Doc Spartan

Alex Russell of LiTS, and Dale King and Renee Wallace of Doc Spartan
Picture of Shawnee State Student Ambassadors

Shawnee State Student Ambassadors

Picture of Dr. Rick Kurtz, President, Shawnee State University

Dr. Rick Kurtz, President, Shawnee State University

Picture of John Glazer and Faith Knutsen  of TechGROWTH Ohio

John Glazer and Faith Knutsen  of TechGROWTH Ohio

Picture of Alexander Kohls, U.S. Small Business Administration 

Alexander Kohls, U.S. Small Business Administration

Picture of elly O'Bryant, The Ohio State University South Centers

Kelly O'Bryant, The Ohio State University South Centers
Picture of Jason Kester, Southern Ohio Port Authority

Jason Kester, Southern Ohio Port Authority

On Monday, March 13, 2017, Shawnee State hosted the PORTSFuture Entrepreneurship Roundtable.  Attendees heard success stories from local business owners and learned about resources available to start and grow their own businesses.

The PORTSFuture project provided funding for this event.  This project is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office.

Greg Merril, CEO of Yost Labs, served as a member and moderator of the panel which also included Dale King and Renee Wallace of Doc Spartan and Alex Russell of LiTS.  Dale and Renee appeared on Shark Tank on February 10, 2017, and received an offer from Robert Herjavec.  Alex, a senior Computer Engineering Technology major at Shawnee State, helped to start LiTS, an Information Technology service provider.

In addition to Shawnee State University, our sponsors included the Ohio University Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, TechGROWTH Ohio, The Ohio State University South Centers, the Joint Economic Development Initiative of Southern Ohio (JEDISO), the Jackson County Economic Development Partnership and the Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission.


Entrepreneurial Toolkit

Are you interested in starting your own business?  Numerous resources and templates are available at the links below that can be utilized to start or expand your small business.  These tools are provided through our partnership with the Ohio State University South Centers, Endeavor Center in Piketon, Ohio:

TGO Logo

Shawnee State University is a partner with TechGROWTH Ohio, a $52 million public-private partnership composed of the Ohio Third Frontier program, Ohio University and the private investment community.  It is one of the regional entrepreneurial signature programs funded by the Ohio Third Frontier program to provide business expertise, services and investments for startup companies in the 20-county Southeastern Ohio area.  As one of the premier programs of the Ohio University Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, TechGROWTH Ohio is part of an entrepreneurial ecosystem that includes programs supporting university and regional technology commercialization and small business incubation.



At inventhub.techgrowthohio.com, you can request assistance from TechGROWTH to connect you with the experts, money and other critical resources to turn your creative inventions into business opportunities.

LIGHTS (Leveraging Innovation Gateways and Hubs Toward Sustainability

LIGHTSShawnee State University is a Gateway for LIGHTS which provides expertise, training and resources to the regional workforce, entrepreneurs, companies and local communities.  LIGHTS is for individuals who live or work in the 28-county region and are interested in building a product and/or creating a business.  This program partners with various regional hubs and gateways that give its team the ability to make your ideas happen. Contact LIGHTS.



Alumni Career Services & Workforce Development

Contact Information

Angie Duduit
Coordinator, Alumni Career Services & Workforce Development
Shawnee State University
940 Second Street, Massie B50
Portsmouth, OH 45662

Main: (740) 351-3322
E-mail: aduduit@shawnee.edu

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