The University of Dayton and the Entrepreneurs’ Center will host a public grand opening for The Hub Powered by PNC Bank at the Dayton Arcade. At 95,000 square feet, it is among the largest university-anchored innovation hubs in the country, including shared and private office spaces, meeting rooms, conference areas, pop-up retail opportunities, learning labs and classrooms. The virtual event will be at 5:30 pm on Thursday, March 4th.
“We could not be more excited for the Hub to become a reality,” said Eric F. Spina, president of the University of Dayton. “This is a ‘triple play’ for the University of Dayton in that it provides excellent learning opportunities for our students; facilitates greater collaboration and connection between our faculty, research staff and students and the greater Dayton entrepreneurial ecosystem; and will help reinvigorate a key part of our city’s downtown and the historic Arcade that was vacant for decades. This truly is a great day for UD and for Dayton.”
“The Hub is visible proof that Dayton’s long heritage of innovation remains vibrant, healthy and growing,” said Scott Koorndyk, president of the Entrepreneurs’ Center. “In one space, we’ve brought together the support, talent and energy that small businesses and entrepreneurs need to be successful. We are thrilled to join our partners at the University of Dayton and PNC Bank in making the Hub a catalyst for the future of our region’s innovation economy.”
“Our goal in supporting the Hub was to foster collaboration, which is the key to success,” said David Melin, PNC regional president for Dayton. “The Hub Powered by PNC Bank will serve as a catalyst that will merge creative ideas from students, entrepreneurs, businesses and the community to create a stronger future for the region.”
The virtual grand opening will include videos with entrepreneurs and UD faculty introducing Hub spaces, such as:
- Innovation Hall, where the Entrepreneurs’ Center offers comprehensive business and commercialization support services, along with its Small Business Development Center; and the University has offices for the L. William Crotty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, a satellite office of the Greater West Dayton Incubator to drive equitable access and inclusion, as well as others;
- UD’s studios for painting, printmaking, photo and graphic design for students and faculty;
- UD’s The GEM, a non-traditional learning space that connects the University and city with a focus on community-centered approaches to social innovation;
- A representative workspace that showcases the environment that entrepreneurs and small businesses can find at the Hub; and
- A café with a menu that will be intentionally curated by the Greater West Dayton Incubator to feature underrepresented entrepreneurs.
The event also will feature a panel discussion with Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, City Manager Shelley Dickstein, PNC’s Melin, developer Cross Street Partners CEO Bill Struever, University of Dayton’s Spina and the Entrepreneurs’ Center’s Koorndyk. The grand opening will conclude with a blessing and a ribbon-tying ceremony to symbolize the coming together of all the partners and stakeholders that have made the project possible and will be involved in the Hub going forward.
Local entrepreneurs and startups are currently working in the Hub or making plans to move in during the coming weeks. Additionally, university classes will begin in the space as public health conditions allow beginning in fall 2021.
“The Hub Powered by PNC Bank could fundamentally shift how universities and community partners collaborate in support of startup ecosystems,” said Vince Lewis, president of The Hub Powered by PNC Bank and director of UD’s Crotty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. “I think the thing that I am most excited about is the opportunity for University of Dayton students to be down here, connected into the startup ecosystem in a space where they’re working with students from all over campus, working with local entrepreneurs and other local businesses. All that connection and opportunity is really what we envisioned years ago when we first started down this down this path. You can’t understate the impact that this project has on the city, especially right now. Since UD signed our letter of intent with The Entrepreneurs Center back in 2017, the Arcade has been a project that people say is never going to happen. And that’s been driven into the psyche of the community. The Hub opening and getting off the ground really resonates the feeling that Look, things are happening, things are moving forward! This will have a huge impact on the psyche of the city and how we feel about downtown.”
Additionally, UD and the Entrepreneurs’ Center will host community programming. This will include the University’s Flyer Pitch competition, one of the largest business plan competitions at the collegiate level; small business acceleration programs; the Dayton Arcade Entrepreneur Academy; summer internships; and opportunities to participate in other competitions and programs.