As part of our vision of Scholarship in Action, we are proud to introduce you to a new initiative to help our students become agents of change, now and in the future that awaits them.
The Syracuse Campus-Community Entrepreneurship Initiative, led by SU, is a multi-institutional, multi-sector collaboration that will encourage students and faculty across all academic disciplines to think entrepreneurially—that is, to be imaginative, enterprising, agile, responsible, and willing to take risks as they engage the world.
The seed money for this exciting project came from a five-year grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, which made nine highly competitive awards across the nation.
We plan to build on our strengths and on those of our partners in higher education, in business, and in community institutions in Central New York. Our regional partnership will be linked through the Kauffman Campus Initiative to a nationwide network of peer institutions. In Syracuse, the initiative will make disciplined investments across three interdependent entrepreneurship clusters, each of them already under way.
• A technology cluster, centered at our Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems downtown, will seek to transform ideas and technologies into growth-oriented start-up companies, the traditional realm of entrepreneurship.
• A neighborhood entrepreneurship cluster based at our South Side Innovation Center, in one of Syracuse’s struggling inner-city neighborhoods, is partnering with residents, businesses, entrepreneurs, government agencies, foundations, and public schools to build hope and success in this community.
• An arts entrepreneurship cluster, centered around The Warehouse and Connective Corridor in downtown Syracuse and the Arts Quarter on the city’s near west side, will help artists launch sustainable ventures in our region while integrating art into city and community life in ways that attract people who want to live and thrive in a vibrant cultural setting.
Crucially, each of these clusters includes faculty members and students from a range of academic fields and community members from many walks of life. In these settings, “business as usual” is not an option. The clusters are intended to help everyone, including our students and faculty, think about their values and goals in a context larger than themselves, and to take into account the ways that history, politics, economics, science, and culture—as well as personalities—figure into both success and failure. As collaborations, these clusters are designed to provide a hands-on education in appreciating and negotiating differences and to promote the indispensable qualities of creativity, empathy, resourcefulness, patience, persistence, and flexibility. As you read the details of this initiative, I hope you will share our excitement about the possibilities.
Chancellor and President