STARKVILLE, Miss.--Members of Mississippi State's Entrepreneurship Club now have a unique place to collaborate and cooperate.
A part of the university's College of Business, the new "Co-Lab"--an informal name for Company Laboratory--provides a dedicated space for student entrepreneurs to originate ideas for future businesses.
The MSU eClub officially dedicated the room with a Monday afternoon [April 1] ribbon-cutting ceremony also attended by faculty advisers and other supporters. During the ceremony, college Dean Sharon Oswald was given a special award in appreciation for what club members termed her "unfailing support" and for seeing their vision of a place set aside for entrepreneurial brainstorming.
Located at 210 McCool Hall, the room provides card access for club members and advisers. The ribbon cutting began Entrepreneurship Week activities that culminate Friday with the Investing in Innovation conference.
The room features walls covered with a special "idea" paint to create a continuous dry-erase surface. Using appropriate markers, eClub members may brainstorm their ideas in written form, also using dry erasers to make additions, deletions and revisions in the process.
Members said the room provides an easy means to develop additional ideas and receive feedback as business plans are hashed out.
Senior Parker Stewart of McComb, eClub president and a management major, said establishing the Co-Lab had been a team effort, one that benefitted from cross-campus input. He said interior design majors in the College of Art, Architecture and Design had contributed their expertise in helping select the room's carpet.
Stewart said the eClub has grown to a current membership of about 35, representing some 20 start-up companies. The organization meets twice a month.
"The energy is just incredible," he said.
Also honored during the opening were professors Rodney Pearson and Allison Pearson. Members of the college's management and information systems department faculty, they were recognized for being co-lab supporters and "dream enablers."
Additionally, Danny Holt, an assistant professor in the same department, and Jeffery Rupp, outreach director in the college's business research division, were recognized for being "constantly in support" of efforts to establish the extra-curricular learning facility.
Stewart said the Co-Lab "truly is the physical embodiment of the entrepreneurial culture that we are building at Mississippi State.
"It shows students that it's possible to have an idea and, with hard work, persistence and passion, see that idea into fruition," he added.
For more information about Mississippi State University, see www.msstate.edu.