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.
Shawnee State University will be a leader in regional entrepreneurism when our new
Kricker Innovation Hub opens on Chillicothe Street in downtown Portsmouth. This is a landmark facility
that will promote entrepreneurship, innovation, and creativity in the region.
The 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
Shawnee 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:
- Empower the college to approach the business of leading a community college with an entrepreneurial mindset; and
- Grow the community college's role in supporting job creation and entrepreneurs in their local ecosystem.
For more information, visit www.nacce.com.
Shawnee State University to Host Glockner's Dare to Dream
Shawnee State University is proud to be the
host of the Glockner's "Dare-to-Dream" high
School competition on March 20, 2018.
Become an entrepreneurial hero, and
compete for over $30,000 in cash prizes. The
event is at 5:30 p.m. in the Vern Riffe Center
for the Arts. Read more at
A pre-event was held on November 7, 2017,
to provide more information. If you missed it,
you may watch it here. A video promo for
the event may be viewed here. Follow the
Dare to Dream Facebook page for updates.
Shawnee State University and Yost Labs Invited to Present at University Startup Demo Day
Yost 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
Moderator: Greg Merrill, CEO, Yost Labs
Alex Russell of LiTS, and Dale King and Renee Wallace of Doc Spartan
Shawnee State Student Ambassadors
Dr. Rick Kurtz, President, Shawnee State University
John Glazer and Faith Knutsen of TechGROWTH Ohio
Alexander Kohls, U.S. Small Business Administration
Kelly O'Bryant, The Ohio State University South Centers
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 ToolkitAre 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:
- Business Plan and Access to Capital Overview (PDF)
- Business Plan Template (DOC)
- Business Plan Template (PDF)
- Financial Model (XLS)
- Start Up Guide - A go to resource for starting up a business (PDF)
- Ohio Secretary of State's Business Publications
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.
Shawnee 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.