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Troy University’s Idea Bank open for business

Troy University held an open house and ribbon cutting for its Idea Bank, located on the downtown square in Troy.

The Idea Bank hosts the university’s Small Business Development Center and is also home to Troy Bank & Trust’s Entrepreneurship Program.

“The Idea Banks is a tremendous addition to Troy University and the Troy community,” Troy University Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., said. “The Idea Banks is a big part of the challenge to make the public and students aware of what the university has to offer.”

Hawkins said the university had worked with the Duke University Entrepreneurial Center to develop a similar center at Troy University. He said Troy Bank & Trust Co. had donated half-a-million dollars to fund the Troy Bank & Trust Entrepreneurship Program, which establishes a minor in entrepreneurship.

Hawkins said the key component in the Idea Bank was the university’s Small Business Development Center, which is a part of the Alabama SBDC Network. Juliana Bolivar serves as the center’s director and lead business advisor.

“For students, the Idea Bank is a place for innovation and entrepreneurship,” she said. “They can take their business idea, get it started and become a real business.

“For the community, the Small Business Development Center is here to help people in the community get their business started. We can help them with their business strategy, marketing and anything they need to start their business.”

Bolivar said the SBDC also has an internship program in development. She said the program allows businesses from the community to work with the SBDC to create a student internship and then connect with students at Troy University that might be interested in the internship.

“When I came to Troy in 1989, I said one of the challenges was to get the bushel basket off Troy University and let the light shine,” Hawkins said. “This is an opportunity for the Idea Bank to show the community what Troy University has to offer. This is wonderful for us and the community.”