The concept is getting a pronounced twist on the campus of Sacred Heart University, where a partnership with Verizon will offer not just room to innovate, but also the opportunity for students to gain experience working with area corporations.
Opening in time for the fall semester, the provisionally named SHU Innovation Hub on SHU’s West Campus – the former General Electric headquarters at 3135 Easton Turnpike – will be the company’s first Connecticut venture and its first to be on a college campus.
Danny Klein, senior manager, New Business Incubation at Verizon, said the partnership is “a real win/win situation. We’re able to provide students with a taste of what working in a real-life work environment is like, and it reflects Sacred Heart’s expanding focus on technology,” which he said was partly exemplified by its adding “Technology” to the name of the Jack Welch College of Business.
A dedicated SHU project coordinator will help identify, activate and create engagement between the innovation community and SHU’s faculty, staff, administration and student body.
SHU also will establish a student concierge service that members can use as a resource for making connections with various SHU programs, internships, recruiting, events, speaker sessions, office hours and mentoring.
While SHU students are expected to make up the bulk of those utilizing the areas, they won’t be the only ones, according to David Rotbard, vice president, Global Real Estate – Workplace Strategy and Experience at Verizon.
“Being engaged early with these students will help them down the line. And for the students, it’ll be like they’re starting their careers already on third base.”