The Rowan IDEA Center is the plan for a new business and innovation lab to be housed at the West End Plaza in an effort to support new ventures and small businesses in Rowan County.

The Rowan IDEA Center is the plan for a new business and innovation lab to be housed at the West End Plaza in an effort to support new ventures and small businesses in Rowan County.

INNOVATION

The Venture Lab, Phase1 of the Rowan IDEA Center, will manage and implement the Education Program, the Incubator and Accelerator and the IDEA Mentor Network. It is expected to be completed in 2018 and will provide an …

DEVELOPMENT

The Co-Working Center for solo entrepreneurs and small business start-ups will be Phase 2 of the program. Office and cubicle space, conference rooms, and basic office services will be available on a monthly rental basis …

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

State-of-the-art media production studios for both educational and commercial projects are planned for the Digital Media Studio. The Ketner Center of Business at Catawba College will be the lead technical organization of this component …

ACCELERATION

The IDEA Center’s Prototype Space, or “maker space,” will be equipped to facilitate prototype development, model construction and light manufacturing. It will support new ventures and other local small businesses on a rental basis …

With a start-up date of 2018, it will be open to all current and potential residents and companies of Rowan County. To be built in phases, it is expected to be completed in three years.

The concept is a partnership among government, academia and the private sector with fund-raising under way.

The IDEA Center is an acronym for “Innovation, Development, Entrepreneurship and Acceleration.”

Proactively developing an effective and complete entrepreneurial program stimulates an environment of innovation and creativity throughout the community and creates new opportunities for citizens.

It also attracts new entrepreneurs and small business to the area.

The IDEA Center Team consists of representation from Rowan County, The Economic Development Commission, the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce, Catawba College, Livingstone College, Rowan Cabarrus Community College and local business leaders.

 

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Nationally, small businesses have generated more than 65% of net new jobs since 1995. — Forbes

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Small businesses create more than 50% of the private GDP. — ThoughtCo.