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In the midst of an already-unique season of changes, LaunchNET Kent State is excited to start the Fall semester with an office relocation to the new Design Innovation Hub. LaunchNET, which assists students, staff/faculty, and alumni with entrepreneurial thinking, ventures, and projects, will remain as part of the University Libraries, as a department that serves as a resource for all, but will be able to both utilize and support the plethora of innovative spaces and assets offered in the DI Hub.
“We are excited to be able to be a part of this group of great new resources, labs and maker spaces located centrally on campus,” said Zach Mikrut, LaunchNET assistant director. “As we make plans for new programs and continue to be responsive to both our clients’ needs and the environment, we look forward to creating even more innovative ways to help students engage with the space.”
In addition to the LaunchNET office, the DI Hub is also home to the brand new Marty Erbaugh (I3) Lab, where students will be able to participate in a cohort-based incubator program run by LaunchNET and Design Innovation. The (I3) Lab is generously supported by the Burton D. Morgan Foundation in honor of Marty Erbaugh, an entrepreneur, trustee, and longtime advisor of LaunchNET Kent State.
‘We are extremely excited and fortunate to be able to relocate LaunchNET Kent State to the new Design Innovation Hub,” said Dean Ken Burhanna. “From the conceptual beginnings of Kent State’s Design Innovation Initiative LaunchNET has been a driving force in its adoption, and with the addition of the Marty Erbaugh (I3) Lab, LaunchNET will deepen its engagement with student entrepreneurs and at the same time contribute to advancing the DI Initiative.”
While Kent State students will be the main focus for the activities in the DI Hub, LaunchNET continues to collaborate with cross-campus organizations (RCET, The Fashion School, and the College of Aeronautics & Engineering, to name a few) and external partners including a variety of K-12 programs and local companies.
“The Design Innovation Initiative has its germination in early partnerships pioneered by LaunchNET, and through their efforts, we were able to work to bring together students, faculty and staff from across the university to develop what has grown into the DI Initiative today and has blossomed into an amazing DI HUB environment. I am super excited to have the LaunchNET team move into the DI HUB to further build our co-existence and partnership” states J.R. Campbell, executive director of the Design Innovation Initiative.
Although due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, LaunchNET’s services will continue to be accessed remotely for the Fall semester, the time will partly be spent creating an exciting new space in the newly-renovated building. Following its “Virtual Grand Opening” on October 1st, the DI Labs and makerspace shops will be open for use by appointment.