Centenary University to launch new Institute for Entrepreneurship

Hackettstown-based Centenary University is launching an Institute for Entrepreneurship. The institute will bring the university’s business consulting capabilities under one roof to provide business owners and prospective entrepreneurs with coaching and guidance from Centenary faculty, credentialed consultants and experienced business students.

“The Institute for Entrepreneurship is a cornerstone of my vision to establish Centenary as an intellectual leader in New Jersey and beyond,” Centenary University President Dale Caldwell said. “This facility consolidates the university’s extensive business resources to provide seamless educational opportunities and coaching to Centenary students and neighboring businesses.”

Before becoming president of Centenary, Caldwell was executive director of the Rothman Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

The Institute for Entrepreneurship was funded through contributions to Centenary Now: The Campaign for College & Opportunity for Everyone, which was announced last fall.   Additionally, Prudent Publishing donated office furniture for the Institute for Entrepreneurship.

The new institute will offer a “Consulting Co-op,” a resource for area businesses to tap the expertise of Centenary University faculty and experienced business students for training on starting or growing a business. It will also feature a “Launch Studio” that will provide resources, training and mentorship through a series of workshops, with a goal to transform innovative ideas into successful businesses.

The Launch Studio recently hosted a student pitch competition under the direction of Library Director Susan Van Alstyne, a certified entrepreneurship librarian, which saw several programs utilize the basis of the Institute.  Those programs are:

  • Patent Monetization Services: A program leveraging the university’s patent experience to guide entrepreneurs through the patent process;
  • Veteran Ventures Program: A free virtual training and coaching program for veterans and their family members planning to start their own business; and
  • Centenary University Enactus: A student-led competitive business team that focuses on social entrepreneurship and has won recognition at national and international competitions. Centenary Enactus holds a patent for Shieldz Wearable Technologies, a wristband that detects fatigue in drivers, and has created other marketable products.

“The Institute for Entrepreneurship marks a new era for business programs at Centenary University,” Director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship Linda Poisseroux said. Poisseroux is a professor of business and director of Enactus, which will make its permanent home at the Institute for Entrepreneurship. “Through the Centenary University Institute for Entrepreneurship, we can expand our existing consulting relationships to collaborate with a growing number of small businesses.”

Enactus and Business, Media, and Writing Department graduate assistant Jenna Glinko said the institute is designed to enhance collaboration: “This space is intentionally designed to support creativity and innovation. It creates a real-world business climate for students and a professional setting to meet with consulting clients.”

A ribbon-cutting event that was originally scheduled for March 15 has been postponed and the University is actively working to schedule a new date and time to celebrate the
Institute for Entrepreneurship.