Student Business Accelerator
The WKU Student Business Accelerator, provides students a place to work and network with others that are in the first phase of starting a business. The 1200 square foot space in the Center for Research and Development was renovated to meet the needs of students and their work space expectations.
Lining the walls are four retro style desks turned in various directions to interact with others that may stop by to work. Two large white boards are on the walls so they can brainstorm, a ping-pong table doubles as a conference table, and a large sectional couch and ottoman face a large screen TV that students can plug their laptops into and work on the large screen.
Students that are clients of Student Accelerator are given free space, high speed internet, and shared use of conference and meeting rooms. Also, students are mentored in all aspects of their business and introduced to appropriate contacts.
A few highlights of former student accelerator clients are listed below:
Hangout Creative Group, LLC
Owners: Blake Blackburn and Joel Nivens
Blake and Joel wanted to start their own business to gain work experience. “With the tough job market in the marketing industry we decided we wanted to not only gain marketing experience but also to learn how to start our own business,” Blackburn said.
After running social media campaigns for a few businesses in Bowling Green Blackburn and Nivens realized there was a need that they could fill. “Many business owners in the area want to use social media,” said Blackburn, “but they do not understand how to effectively manage the accounts or do not have the time to invest.” Read more about Hangout Creative Group.
Key Inventions, LLC
Owners: Jeffrey DeJarnette and Justin Henderson
Jeff and Justin always liked the idea of owning their own businesses and being their own boss. “We really wanted to take an idea that we thought of and designed, and make it into a real tangible item that people could buy in stores,” said Justin, President of Key Inventions.
Business ideas come about in a variety of ways. Key Inventions was started because a professor challenged his students to come up with a way to replace the key ring. “The Key Organizer was the result of the idea Jeff came up with during the challenge,” said Justin.
Justin, an entrepreneurship major and Jeff, a mechanical engineering major decided to turn the class project into a business idea. “Three and a half years later we have successfully turned that simple drawing on a piece of paper into a tangible item that will soon be available in stores,” said Justin.
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