When entrepreneurial students hatched a plan to enhance OHIO’s ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship, they ignited faculty, staff, and alumni interest—and C-Suite was born.
Alex Kneier (BBA ’16) and Lori Bentz (BBA ’17) founded C-Suite in 2015, when they were students. Their vision: “a connected and innovation-focused community that creates with the goal of changing the world around us.”
Alumnus David Pidwell (BSEE ’69, MS ’70) and his wife Tina have given $300,000 to make C-Suite—and an accompanying rapid prototyping lab—a reality.
“The Ohio University ecosystem is in need of a physical location to facilitate business creation, collaboration, and professional support. C-Suite will be that ‘place’ on the OU campus, where student, research, and faculty entrepreneurs collaborate and work to advance the commercialization potential for their innovations and business dreams,” said Pidwell, who visits Athens as a national University trustee, Entrepreneurial Fellow for the Center for Entrepreneurship, member of the Russ College Board of Visitors, and a Trustee Emeritus of The Ohio University Foundation.
Pidwell emphasizes that the “c” in C-Suite stands for commercialization. “Exciting new business endeavors will be launched from C-Suite in the years ahead,” he said.
Student leader Faith Voinovich (BSCE ’19) said, “By doing this we hope to create a campus that is more innovation-focused and a student body that knows that they have the power to change the world with their ideas.”
C-Suite is led by the Center for Entrepreneurship, which is jointly administered by the College of Business and George V. Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. “C-Suite will be a physical hub for student creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship located in a central flexible space for cross-disciplinary collaboration, idea generation, and prototyping,” said Luke Pittaway, center director. “It will unite students from all backgrounds and embed innovation and entrepreneurship into their OHIO experience.”