Framingham State University Opens Entrepreneur Innovation Center

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(Caption: Official Opening of the Entrepreneur Innovation Center, April 22, 2014)

By Dr. Robert Krim

There has been a recent wave of shared workspaces designed to support start-up companies and spur economic growth popping up largely in Cambridge and Boston.

But until recently, no center for innovation existed in the Framingham-Natick region along Route 9, despite it being a global hub for high-tech and Fortune 500 companies, such as Bose, Staples, Boston Scientific, and MathWorks. To fill this void, Framingham State University (FSU) has launched an Entrepreneur Innovation Center designed to serve local entrepreneurs who don’t want to travel into the city.

The official opening of the Center took place on Tuesday, April 22, 2014, and was attended by Framingham State Interim President Dr. Robert Martin, along with college officials and students, local public officials and business leaders from the region.

“MetroWest is the perfect location for a center like this one, to assist in the birth of new companies and new opportunities for students to learn what it takes to launch a business,” according to Massachusetts Commissioner of Higher Education Richard Freeland. “The timing is perfect for a public campus such as Framingham State to raise its profile as a center for innovation.”

The Center’s workspace, located in the Maynard Building right off Route 9 in Framingham, features large windows looking out onto the town’s 300-year-old Village Green. It provides local entrepreneurs space to work on their innovative business ideas and access to FSU student interns and faculty. It’s an exciting resource that stands to benefit the entire community.

For a $95 fee per month, entrepreneurs and students receive access to a shared workspace with afternoon snacks and espresso, free parking, and weekly visits from a variety of lawyers, investors and accountants to help these one-person firms gain the knowledge they need to succeed in the first tough years. Dr. Erastus Ndinguri, an FSU professor who holds a PhD in Entrepreneurship, serves as the Center’s Assistant Director.

There are already six entrepreneurs and seven student interns working out of the facility, half of whom are women and half who are recent immigrants to the United States. The average age of the entrepreneurs is 32. The group includes Raghu Nandan, who is launching Soltrix Technology Solutions, Inc., which provides custom software design and development services.

“The center has been a valuable resource for me already and I look forward to being a part of it for a long time to come,” Nandan said.

Anyone interested in receiving more information about the Innovation Entrepreneur Center can e-mail innovation@framingham.edu or visit www.framingham.edu.

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Dr. Robert Krim is Director of the Entrepreneur Innovation Center and also oversees the University’s Entrepreneurship academic concentration. A MetroWest native, Dr. Krim was the founder and director of a Boston-based research partnership focused on what drives innovation in the Greater Boston region.