Biz Courier: UC Center for Entrepreneurship, Venture Lab merge

Entrepreneurship head Kate Harmon to lead unified effort to drive innovation

A new partnership between two University of Cincinnati innovation fulcrums is designed to provide UC entrepreneurs with easier access to support and resources, customized programming and activities, and to build a stronger ecosystem for inventors.

Announced last week, the merger between the UC Center for Entrepreneurship — housed in the Carl H. Lindner College of Business — and the UC Venture Lab — located in the 1819 Innovation Hub — will be led by Kate Harmon, executive director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and the El and Elaine Bourgraf Director of Entrepreneurship.

The Cincinnati Business Courier (subscription required) noted that since arriving at UC in mid-2021, Harmon has helped launch nearly a dozen student ventures over the past year; hired the Center’s first paid entrepreneur-in-residence (Allen Woods, co-founder of MORTAR); and founded a pair of student organizations centered on venture investing/capital (Bearcat Ventures) and sustainability (Net Impact); and established the Bearcat Student Venture Fund.


Kate Harmon, executive director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and the El and Elaine Bourgraf Director of Entrepreneurship. Harmon is also now assistant vice president, 1819 Innovation Hub.

“We must always be looking for ways to better support our entrepreneurs — and this integrated team enables us to do just that,” said Ryan Hays, executive vice president and chief innovation and strategy officer at UC, in a UC release. “Kate is a gifted leader who will take our efforts to the next level. The whole innovation ecosystem will benefit greatly from this new vision for entrepreneurship at UC.”

Currently celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Center for Entrepreneurship champions entrepreneurial education through interdisciplinary curricula and co-curricular programming, funding, mentoring and connections to the Cincinnati startup community.

Established in 2018, the Venture Lab helps entrepreneurs from idea conception to startup launch. Through a pre-accelerator course and other offerings, the Venture Lab connects innovators at UC and beyond to knowledge, talent and resources to help launch scalable startups.

“Building upon the commercialization success of the Venture Lab and the Cincinnati Innovation District, this new partnership will allow us to reimagine what Entrepreneurship 2.0 might look like at UC and take our entrepreneurship and innovation efforts to the next level through a more coordinated approach of resource offerings,” said Harmon, who has added assistant vice president, 1819 Innovation Hub, to her job title. 

Read more from the Cincinnati Business Courier.

Featured image: The exterior of the 1819 Innovation Hub. UC file photo.

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