Troy University’s IDEA Bank serves as a downtown hub for entrepreneurial collaboration with a mission to support student-centric entrepreneurship by creating entrepreneurial resources and collaboration opportunities for students, faculty, staff, alumni, the local community and more.
In April of 2021, I introduced the IDEA Bank to the local community with an Open House event to signify that the center is open for collaboration, demonstrate it as a resource to the Wiregrass region, and showcase the student entrepreneurs who have been working at the IDEA Bank to grow their businesses.
On that day, our work had only just begun. Since April, we have launched multiple programs and ways for individuals to get involved with the IDEA Bank. In addition to being home to the Troy Bank and Trust Entrepreneurship Program, a minor available to students across all disciplines that focuses on the key components of entrepreneurship, the IDEA Bank also offers various niche programming and one-on-one consulting for students who are interested in starting a business and/or launching a new idea.
For example, the IDEA Bank’s Student Launchpad Program provides an opportunity for entrepreneurial-minded students to get one-on-one assistance with developing a success plan for their personal endeavors. This is an opportunity for students to go one step beyond the classroom and apply what they have learned to their real passion project. It’s important to remember that there is no real one-size-fits-all approach to entrepreneurship because every idea and every entrepreneur is unique. Working one-on-one with our students and offering a wide variety of programming is the only way to help them succeed.
My focus this summer has been on filling the fall calendar with educational, collaborative, and hands-on programming for both students and the community. In August, students are invited to kick off the semester with a free 2-part series called “Minding Your Business” which is an interactive workshop focused on strengthening the mindset and reducing stress while increasing productivity. This workshop can be valuable to all students, but it is centered around the unique willpower and persistent can-do attitude of entrepreneurs.
On August 26, both students and entrepreneurs in the community are invited to attend our Entrepreneurship Pop-Up Workshop, a regional workshop designed to help current or aspiring business owners improve their odds of success.
In September, the IDEA Bank will host Entrepreneurship Week which will feature various programs and opportunities to collaborate. Each day will begin with a coffee chat where individuals can come see the Bank, meet the staff, ask questions, or just chat. Each afternoon will feature a different program, with topics ranging from your business logo to your finance plan. One program will feature young Alabama entrepreneur and author, Ty Rickard, who started his first business at the age of 17 and now focuses on helping young people pursue entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship Week is scheduled for September 20-24 and the full schedule will be released in early August.
The IDEA Bank has teamed up with Auburn University’s Government and Economic Development Institute to offer a unique opportunity for leaders in our community on September 29. “PlaceMaking as an Economic Development Tool” is a workshop focused on the multi-faceted approach to the planning, design, and management of public spaces which capitalizes on a local community’s assets, inspiration, and potential, with the intention of creating public spaces that promote people’s health, happiness, and well-being. Register for this workshop at www.troy.edu/ideabank.
These programs mark the start of the IDEA Bank’s inaugural year being in full operation and only scratch the surface of what is being planned.
This is the first year that we are fully equipped to pursue our mission. We are looking forward to a lively fall and will continue to add new programming to our menu of services. We have many plans to grow, but are mostly eager to work directly with students so that we can adapt our plans based on their needs.
In addition to offering unique programming, the IDEA Bank serves as a resource for your customized programming, learning, and creating. With multiple conference rooms and meeting spaces, TROY students, faculty, and staff can reserve a room at any time using the online booking tool and others can request to use the facility by submitting the online request form.
All program details, including event information, booking tools, Student Launchpad consulting, and more can be found online at troy.edu/ideabank. For additional information, contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.