UNA’s new property could house business incubation center

Officials said a property located at 108 Irvine Ave. could become the home of the College of Business Student Incubation Center, where students and community members can develop business plans, officials said.

A recent university purchase could become the future home of an effort to encourage entrepreneurship among students and community members, officials said.

While other campus entities also hope to land a permanent residence at 108 Irvine Ave., the College of Business could claim the property as a new place for growing business plans, said Vice President for Business and Financial Affairs Clinton Carter.

The university purchased the property for $155,000, and renovations are also expected to cost about that much, Carter said.

“We purchased the property and closed on it over Christmas break,” he said. “It’s almost 6,000 square feet. We don’t know what will end up there, but it is perfect for office space.”

UNA is in the beginning stages of the development of a Student Incubation Center that will provide a place to develop business plans and ideas, according to officials in the College of Business.

The center will be a valuable resource for entrepreneurial students, said Santanu Borah, professor of management.

Any students with ideas for businesses, iPhone apps, or any other technological advancements are encouraged to take their ideas to the Student Incubation Center, where they will be offered expert assistance and resources to facilitate the realization of their ideas.

“If a student has an idea, I want that student to go up to the Student Incubation Center and say ‘what can I do about it?’” Borah said. “It will be a place where we can bounce around ideas. Right now we have no place to go, no guidance.”

Borah said he hopes that the center will urge students, and ultimately the community, to become more “dynamic and vibrant.”

“We want everyone in the community to feel that these are things that are not beyond our reach,” he said. “We are seeing more and more new and different things coming along, and somehow, we have to get on that bus. Otherwise, we’ll be bystanders, watching things go by us.”