AUSTIN — When one talks about Huston-Tillotson University’s students, better known as members of the “genius generation,” innovation and entrepreneurship must be mentioned. That is why there is no better way to embrace the budding innovators and entrepreneurs of HT than to open a new, expanded location of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI).

This June 2018, on Springdale Road here in East Austin, HT’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation opens in a new location. The Center’s mission is to provide women and minorities with transformative experiences through entrepreneurship and innovation.

It has been just over a year since the idea for an entrepreneurship center was hatched at HT. Over that year, HT’s School of Business and Technology (SBT) has offered new entrepreneurship courses, which then led to an academic concentration in entrepreneurship. SBT also partnered with the City of Austin’s Economic Development Department to present an eight-week Artists Entrepreneur Training Workshop. Additionally, SBT teamed with FDIC to present a “Strengthening Small Business Forum.” Many successful entrepreneurs also have been a part of SBT’s lineup as speakers.

CEI is an interdisciplinary division of the SBT. It will offer a wide variety of programs and opportunities for students to learn and engage in all phases of entrepreneurship. CEI will serve undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and the community.

“CEI will offer entrepreneurial education, provide incubator services, and help women and minorities launch new ventures through classroom instructions, experiential learning, and on-campus incubation,” said Steven Edmond, Dean of the SBT. “CEI is designed to be a one-stop destination for entrepreneurs looking to take their business concepts from idea to launch to success.”

The address for the center is 1023 Springdale Road. HT will lease space for the center in a brand-new 6,600-sqaure-foot building at the Center for Social Innovation (CSI) Campus. The CSI campus, which has 15 buildings, is located on Springdale Drive/Airport Blvd. corridor. It is just five minutes from HT’s main campus and 10 minutes from downtown Austin and the airport. Several restaurants and cafes will line the East Austin 10-acre 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. “It is in historic East Austin and will provide space for non and for profits. And, just like HT, each organization will be exploring solutions to social issues, including education, access to health care, and poverty.”

CEI will provide a wide array of additional services and programs, including:

  • A Startup Weekend for HT students and entrepreneurs from the general community
  • One-week summer Startup Boot Camp
  • Summer Youth Entrepreneurship Program (YEP) for high school students

“With CEI, we anticipate the emergence of the next generation of women and minority entrepreneurs and innovators,” Edmond said. “These future business professionals will have the skills and tools to energize the economy of East Austin, Central Texas, and the state.” HT

Frost Bank Donates to CEI
In January 2018, Frost Bank made a $15,000 contribution to support the HT Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Pictured are Steven Edmond (left), Dean of the School of Business and Technology and Angelo Foadey, Assistant Vice President at Frost Bank 


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