Furman University Innovation and Entrepreneurship held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday, Feb. 21, to celebrate the naming of the Davies Idea Exchange.
The space, located in Hipp Hall, serves as a hub for collaborative thought, exploration and entrepreneurial education. In attendance were members of the Furman Innovation and Entrepreneurship Leadership Council and the Furman Board of Trustees as well as students, faculty and staff.
“The Davies Idea Exchange is critical to our mission of helping emerging entrepreneurs move from idea to concept,” said Anthony Herrera, executive director of Furman Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “This is a designated space for students to transform innovative ideas and ventures into meaningful contributions and sustainable business.”
Lined with white boards and open seating, the office aims to promote a campus culture of innovation that contributes to entrepreneurship in Greenville and beyond. Through mentoring, immersive programming, competitions and workshops, students are provided opportunities for entrepreneurship and creativity regardless of their major or discipline.
The Davies Idea Exchange is the namesake of Gary ’90 and Kristin ’89 Davies, who invested $300,000 in this space on campus to further entrepreneurial education and community impact. Gary is a founding member of the Furman Innovation and Entrepreneurship Leadership Council, and he and Kristin are ardent supports of Furman’s Department of Business and Accounting.
“The generosity of Gary and Kristin provides our students state-of-the-art tools and resources to engage with the community and to contribute to its well-being,” said Herrera. “Their investment will support the development of entrepreneurial talent for generations of Furman students.”
Furman Innovation and Entrepreneurship hosted its first annual venture pitch competition on Feb. 22. The competition featured six student teams that pitched their innovative ventures in hopes of securing a $10,000 grant.