Ground broken for new Transportation Insight Center for Entrepreneurship
From left, Walker College of Business Dean Randy Edwards, center director Heather Dixon-Fowler, Transportation Insight CEO Paul Thompson and Appalachian State University Chancellor Kenneth E. Peacock shovel dirt at a ceremonial ground breaking for the university’s Transportation Insight Center for Entrepreneurship. (Appalachian photo by Marie Freeman)
Officials from Appalachian State and Transportation Insight “broke ground” Friday on space inside Raley Hall that will become the new home for the Walker College of Business’s Transportation Insight Center for Entrepreneurship.
Made possible with a private $1 million gift, the 1,700-square-foot, contemporary designed space will include four offices, student lounge, meeting area and incubator office space to support students trying to launch their own businesses. The facility will open in fall 2012.
Chancellor Kenneth E. Peacock thanked Paul Thompson, CEO of Hickory-based Transportation Insight, for his support of the renovation, saying the expanded center “is a dream come true” that can further enhance collaboration between entrepreneurs and Appalachian.
A successful businessman, Thompson said he envisions Appalachian becoming North Carolina’s “flagship institution” for academic involvement in entrepreneurship. “The spirit is here,” he said. “You start with the end in mind and my plan is to have Appalachian be among the nation’s top 10 entrepreneurial schools.”
He said he wanted to get involved with Appalachian’s entrepreneurship initiatives because the world has changed on two fronts. “First, I never dreamed of being an entrepreneur when I graduated from college. Today, if you have an unbelievable idea and the Internet you can start a business,” he said. “Second, we have business instability and today students see each job as a short-term opportunity, so they’re thinking about entrepreneurship.”
Walker College of Business Dean Randy Edwards said the new space will greatly expand the physical area of the center, and because of its location next to the building’s main lobby, make it more visible to students and local business people.
“This new space will create great opportunities for our students to interact with entrepreneurs and members of the community,” Edwards said. He added that the college’s entrepreneurship concentration in the Department of Management has the fifth-highest enrollment of any program in the college.
The center’s director, Heather Dixon-Fowler, said “The goal is to provide more resources and opportunities for students.”
The Transportation Insight Center for Entrepreneurship supports students from all academic disciplines with programs, resources and other support to help them become successful entrepreneurs.
Transportation Insight has been nationally recognized by Inc. Magazine for its entrepreneurial excellence. Referring to the logistics industry as one of the country’s main economic engines, Inc. Magazine has ranked the Hickory-based third-party logistics provider as one of the fastest-growing privately held companies in the United States for the last four years in a row. Founded in 1999, Transportation Insight is among an elite group of Inc. 5000 companies experiencing significant and continuous expansion in years 10 and beyond of doing business. That positive trend reflects the company’s entrepreneurial commitment to quality continuous improvement, the creation of long-term business value and the development of sustained competitive advantage for its clients.
- BB&T Student Leadership Center
- Bowden Investment Group
- Boyles CEO Lecture Series
- Brantley Center
- Business Leaders
- Carole Moore McLeod Entrepreneur Summit
- Career Services
- Global Opportunities Conference
- Harlan E. Boyles Distinguished CEO Lecture Series
- Holland Fellows
- Honors Program
- Martha Guy Summer Institute
- Scholarship Golf Tournament
- Transportation Insight Center for Entrepreneurship
- Walker Fellows