UE Awarded $50K Elevate Nexus Grant
Posted: Monday, August 16, 2021
The University of Evansville was awarded a $50,000 grant from Elevate Ventures to support entrepreneurship programming and curriculum. The funding, which is channeled through the Elevate Nexus program, is designed to strengthen bonds among higher education institutions, community partners, and entrepreneurs. UE was one of four recipients, which also included Ball State University, Indiana Institute of Technology (Indiana Tech), and Indiana University School of Medicine.
UE will use the grant to create MakerspACE, a three-pronged entrepreneurial program that provides access to innovation training and support for K-16 students. The program will address cultural challenges in the region, provide support to teachers, and build an innovative ecosystem on and off the UE campus.
The Center for Innovation & Change (CIC) at UE will create an on-campus summer institute for K-16 teachers and University professors in 2022. This institute will train individuals to utilize design thinking and infuse problem-solving activities into existing curricula. The CIC plans to offer this summer workshop for educators at no cost to them.
The MakerspACE will be housed inside the CIC office on the campus of UE. Here, students will have access to design thinking, 3D printing, light prototyping, business canvas assistance, and graphic design. This will allow students to visualize ideas and bring projects to life, particularly through prototypes. CIC staff can also connect students with a wider range of more advanced resources, for those who want to continue their pursuit of innovation and product development.
“We are so excited to generate innovation support for the educators in this region,” said Erin Lewis, executive director of the Center for Innovation & Change. “Southern Indiana has many talented individuals who want to improve the quality of life for everyone. UE can now be an even bigger part of the process to support them and bring their ideas to life.”
Elevate Nexus Higher Education Grants are made possible through a partnership with the U.S. Economic Development Administration. A total of $600,000 has been awarded. The funding enables higher education institutions to launch and improve programming to support growth of Indiana startups.
“In the last three years, we have seen some exceptional proposals—all of which foster entrepreneurship and innovation across the campus and in the communities they serve,” said Landon Young, executive director of the Elevate Nexus program. “We are seeing the successful execution of programs, the building of cross-campus ecosystems, and high-potential companies starting and growing. I look forward to the future success these universities see from the programming they were able to launch and expand.”
To stay appraised of additional and future programs provided by Elevate Nexus, visit elevateventures.com.