EDGE Will Kick off New Session of The Commons Akron in September

The Commons Program is an entrepreneurship and innovation accelerator program designed to attract, develop, and retain the most talented and motivated minds by blending corporate innovation and student start-up ventures along with mentoring professionals to give students a truly unique, real-world experience. The program is a collaboration with area colleges and universities, innovative local businesses and the region’s entrepreneurs and focuses on engaging undergraduate students of ANY major and ANY year in school and is open to any current (or recent) student of any age or discipline.

The Commons was started in Milwaukee, WI, and crafts unique, real-world experiences that allow students to work on innovation challenges presented by local businesses. Students are given the opportunity to apply their skills, build their networks and create something new. At the end of the day, the program is not about project work or final deliverables; it’s about talent development and retention. The projects and overall process push students to develop skills needed for an entrepreneurial mindset: collaboration, communication, creativity, critical-thinking, confidence, flexibility, persistence, curiosity, risk-taking and focus. The diverse teams, mentor interactions and community support changes their perceptions of the region and help students establish roots.

EDGE is working community leaders and leaders from area schools to establish the highly successful innovation and entrepreneurship accelerator program in Akron.  Current partners include Bounce Innovation Hub, ConxusNEO, The University of Akron, Kent State University, Stark State College, Walsh University, The College of Wooster, University of Mount Union, Baldwin Wallace University, John Carroll University, Hiram College and Ashland Universities.  (All students and all universities are welcome to participate!)  Special thanks to our sponsors: The Harvard Business School Club of Northeast Ohio and The RJ Fasenmyer Fund.

To put it simply: The Commons has proven that great talent is more likely to seek local opportunities when they can meet cool people, work on cool projects and do it all in a cool place.

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