According to a recent article from ExitEvent.com entitled Six People to Know in Western NC University Entrepreneurship, "local universities continue to be one of our startup community's greatest assets—not only do they educate and produce talent that feeds into the startup community but they train students to become entrepreneurs and they employ professors and researchers who develop and commercialize groundbreaking innovation."
The article features write-ups on three Walker College of Business affiliates, each of who helps to connect faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members with various programs and opportunities to promote innovation and economic development in the state of North Carolina.
Jill Sparks, Executive director of Small Business Center/Business Incubation and regional director of the Small Business Center at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, serves on the Walker College of Business Advisory Council. Erich Schlenker serves as Director of Appalachian State University's Transportation Insight Center for Entrepreneurship (TICFE), and Jonathan Carpenter serves as Assistant Director of the TICFE. Schlenker and Carpenter work to create programs and align resources to anyone at Appalachian who has an idea for a new business or venture.
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