NMSU creates Innovation Den for entrepreneurial students

February 23, 2012 by Janet Perez, NMSU News Center

New Mexico State University is launching a new program aimed at fostering entrepreneurialism in students of all majors.

“As part of our continuing efforts to prepare our students to thrive in a global economy, I am proud to announce the debut of the Innovation Den, or iD,” said NMSU President Barbara Couture. “This new Living Learning Community is open to all students, regardless of their majors, who are interested in entrepreneurship and innovation.”

The iD is the result of a partnership among the colleges of business and engineering and the Arrowhead Center, one of the main centers of NMSU’s economic development work. Arrowhead already has the Studio G incubator for students ready to launch a business, but iD takes the concept a bit further by creating a community of students who share the entrepreneurial spark.

“We’re trying to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem, if you will,” said Garrey Carruthers, dean of the NMSU College of Business and vice president for economic development. “Through iD, students will be able to meet with peers who share their aspirations, as well as learn from faculty and local entrepreneurs. We’re really incubating minds as much as we’re incubating companies.”

Added Ricardo Jacquez, dean of the College of Engineering, “Engineering is the hub of innovation, with applications impacting everything from satellites to smart phones and clean running water. We are excited about partnering with Arrowhead Center and the College of Business on this opportunity to prepare the next generation of Aggie engineers who enter the profession thinking as innovators and entrepreneurs.”

Living Learning Communities are made up of groups of students who live together in residence halls based on common interests. The communities have peer advisers and residential mentors working with each group to provide academic support. There are currently 10 Living Learning Communities at NMSU for students majoring in agriculture, business, education, engineering, fine arts and more.

Unlike the other Living Learning Communities, iD will be open to students of all majors in recognition of the fact that entrepreneurs come from every walk of life. Students at iD will have the opportunity to compete in innovation challenges, learn about venture creation, connect to Studio G, network with local entrepreneurs and receive support from the NMSU Entrepreneurship Institute at the Arrowhead Center.

The iD community, which will be housed in Garcia Hall, is now recruiting students and is expected to be in place by the fall 2012 semester.

For more information, contact Marie Borchert at mhaaland@nmsu.edu or 575-646-7839.

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