Sunday, May 26, 2024

NSU gets $2.1M for Entrepreneurial Innovation Center project

by BIZ Magazine

NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University has received $2.1 million in federal funds for renovations and additions to the property located at 520 University Parkway to facilitate the development of the NSU Entrepreneurial Innovation Center (NEIC).  

The NEIC will serve as a business incubator for northwest Louisiana, fostering economic growth and development in the region.  

When complete, the facility will provide a professional business environment complete with full-service support and networking opportunities for entrepreneurs seeking to transform innovative concepts into sustainable businesses.   

Thanks to the leadership and direct support provided by Senator Bill Cassidy with the Small Business Administration (SBA), the NEIC will create new jobs in the region and generate an economic impact of over $3 million annually.  

“We expect the Innovation Center to become a hub to provide resources to aspiring business owners, connect students with business and industry partners and create a co-working multipurpose space where creative ideas come to life,” said NSU President Dr. Marcus Jones.  

“The NSU Innovation Center is so important to the growth and development of our business community. We congratulate Dr. Jones and his administration for securing these funds that will provide the support small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs need as we focus on spurring job creation and the resulting economic impact to our great city,” said Natchitoches Mayor Ronnie Williams Jr. 

The NSU Foundation made the initial investment in the development of this facility through the acquisition of the property and funding of renovations including a new space for the NSU Office of Development and improvements to accommodate the NEIC.  Federal funding will expedite the construction development process and provide resources for programming. 

Strategically located at the intersection of University Parkway and Central Avenue near the main gate of the NSU campus, the building features more than 6,400 square feet of open space primed for future development. Combined with the 1,000 square feet addition, the building will provide the ideal site for the NEIC  

“Upon completion, the NSU Innovation Center will be a resource center with full-service support and networking opportunities for entrepreneurs.  Through the development of new businesses and support of existing businesses looking to improve their operations, the Center will play a critical role in driving economic growth in our region,” said Laurie Morrow, NSU’s executive director for Economic Development, Innovation, & Outreach.   

“In addition, the NSU Innovation Center will offer unique office space available on a short or long-term basis.  We are excited to bring these services to Natchitoches Parish and we are confident that the NSU Innovation Center will have a significant economic impact on our region,” Morrow said.  “Although renovations are underway, we are currently taking inquiries from prospective startups and emerging businesses through the Office of Economic Development, Innovation and Outreach.” 

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