Strategic partnership taps Salve Regina students into Innovate Newport’s entrepreneurship hub
A new strategic partnership formalized through an official memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Salve Regina and Innovate Newport offers undergraduate and graduate students from across the University, as well as the University’s multi-disciplinary entrepreneurship program, access to Innovate Newport’s breadth of resources — including meeting and event space, internships and other joint programming, and networking with an active community of mentors, investors, customers and more.
The MOU bolsters Salve Regina’s growing entrepreneurship program, which includes a recently created minor in entrepreneurship for undergraduate students and a graduate certificate program in social entrepreneurship. Serving students across the University by connecting their entrepreneurial aspirations directly to their own interests and disciplines, Salve Regina’s entrepreneurship program also offers a speaker series, reading groups, pitch competitions and more.
“We are very excited about the partnership with Innovate Newport,” said Adam Witham, assistant professor of economics at Salve Regina. “Entrepreneurs are not just those who study business. They are individuals who are passionate about creating a lasting change or difference in an area.”
Witham said the program aligns with the University’s mercy mission by empowering students to innovate and present solutions to societal and social problems.
“Through Salve’s partnership with Innovate Newport, our students will network with entrepreneurs, contribute to entrepreneurial endeavors in Rhode Island, and understand economic development in the region,” Witham said. “Entrepreneurs come from all different backgrounds and interests, and Salve students will see how immersive and collaborative it is through this partnership with Innovate Newport.”
Innovate Newport’s Mollie Frazer Williams, director of innovation and entrepreneurship at Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce, praised the partnership for bringing together two passionate communities in the spirit of collaboration and achievement.
“The Salve Regina students will be joining an active community at Innovate Newport where entrepreneurs gain access to events, programming, resources, networks, mentors, potential investors and customers in a real-world setting,” Frazer Williams said. “In turn, Innovate Newport benefits by having young entrepreneurs contribute to the community with their fresh ideas and outlooks, energy and collegiality.”
The partnership provides dedicated desk space for select business faculty and co-working spots for Salve Regina students in the Innovate Newport facility, along with access to events and meeting space in the innovation center. It also provides access to Innovate Newport’s entrepreneurial programming such as Startup Week, its select speaker series and internship opportunities.
“Many universities create centers within the walls of their campus,” said David Altounian, Salve Regina’s vice provost of graduate and professional studies. “Salve is partnering with Innovate Newport to create space within the city’s premier innovation hub so that our faculty and students can participate where the startups and entrepreneurial agencies go.”
Altounian said building a network of University collaborations with Innovate Newport will serve as a model for students enrolled in entrepreneurial programs throughout the state.
“This ties to Salve’s strategy to embed civic engagement and community learning into academic and campus life,” Altounian said. “These programs are designed to develop awareness of the responsibilities of citizenship and stewardship of the earth and change-oriented strategies that transform individuals, the institution and the larger community.”