AUSTIN — The wait is over. Officially, on Thursday, December 6, Huston-Tillotson University (HT) will open its new location of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI). A Grand Opening celebration will be held on that date beginning at 11:30 a.m. and running until 1:00 p.m. Attendees must RSVP here. The event is free and filling up; only 300 spots are available.
“CEI will offer entrepreneurial education, provide incubator services, and help women and minorities launch new ventures through classroom instructions and experiential learning,” said Steven Edmond, Dean of HT’s School of Business and Technology. Dean Edmond continued, “With CEI, we anticipate the emergence of the next generation of women and minority entrepreneurs and innovators. These future business professionals will have the skills and tools to energize the economies of East Austin, Central Texas, and the state.”
Since HT initially announced its plans to launch the CEI at a new location, many organizations have formed partnerships with the Center. Two of these partners include the City of Austin’s Economic Development Department that will locate its Business Solutions Center at CEI and DivInc, an accelerator program for women and people of color.
In addition to collaborating with the School of Business and Technology to offer courses leading to a specialization in Entrepreneurship, CEI also will provide an array of additional services and programs including an Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program. Additionally, CEI will launch a variety of summer programming aimed at attracting students. For example, a three-day startup camp for students is planned along with the revival of a popular HT program, the Summer Youth Entrepreneurship Institute (YEI) for high school students. For the community overall, small business classes and workshops, as well as a one-week summer startup boot camp are planned. Incubator workspaces will be provided.
CEI is located at the newly-constructed Center for Social Innovation (CSI) Campus, 1023 Springdale Road, less than three miles from the HT campus.
“The Center for Social Innovation (CSI) Campus is an ideal location for the HT Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation,” said Dr. Colette Pierce-Burnette, president and CEO of HT. President Burnette noted the significance of CEI’s location when she remarked that “it is located in historic East Austin and will provide space for non-profits and for-profits. And, just like HT, each organization will be exploring solutions to social issues, including education, access to health care, and poverty.”