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IDEA Bank has exciting plans for fall

Today’s students have a different idea about their future, and Troy University’s IDEA Bank in downtown Troy is there to meet those needs.

The IDEA Bank held an open house in April to introduce the center to the community. Director Lynne George said the IDEA Bank serves as a downtown hub for entrepreneurial collaboration between students, the university and the community.

“Entrepreneurial education is a relatively recent development for Generation Z,” George said. “About 60 percent of Generation Z surveyed indicates they want to be their own boss. So the future of their educations is not a traditional four-year degree, but is more customized to what the student wants to do.”

George said the university’s entrepreneurial program launched in 2020 with the Troy Bank & Trust Entrepreneurship Program, a minor available to students across all of the other majors the university offers. She said the program focuses on the key components of entrepreneurship. In addition to the minor, George said the IDEA Bank’s Student Launchpad Program helps students with various programs and consulting to help them start a business or launch a new idea.

But, George said there is a lot more to the IDEA Bank than just helping set students on a path toward the future. She said the IDEA Bank also wanted to create long-lasting partnerships between students, the university and the community.

“The range of ideas we can help students with is limitless,” George said. “We want to pair students with partners in the community that can help students with their ideas and where they want to go with it. A lot of times, student’s think they have to go somewhere else to be successful. We show students there are opportunities right here in Troy and Pike County. By helping them establish partnerships, the have connections in the community and they learn they can be successful here.”

George said the IDEA Bank is still rather new in the community, but there are a lot of big things planned for both students and the community in the fall. George said she’s currently working hard on programming at the IDEA Bank and there is lot more to come in the future. She said the IDEA Bank’s event schedule for the next couple of months includes:

• Troychella: Discover the IDEA Bank — A Taste of Troy event for students on Aug. 13 from 6-9 p.m.

• Minding Your Business Part I — A two-part seminar for students on balancing their student life with starting a business or launching an idea. Aug. 18 from 4-5 p.m.

• Entrepreneur Pop-Up Workshop — A regional workshop for anyone interested in ways to improve their odds for success with their business idea. There is a $25 fee for non-students. To register, visit  troyuniversity.formstack.com/forms/entrepreneurship_pop_up_workshop.

• Minding Your Business Part II:  The program includes a 45-minute yoga session and a conversation about self-awareness and mental health in business and education. Students only. Aug. 26 from 4-5 p.m.

• Entrepreneurship Week: The IDEA Bank will introduce some successful entrepreneurs to the community and showcase sample programs available at the IDEA Bank. Sept. 20-24.

• Placemaking as an Economic Development Tool: A community seminar on the planning, design, and management of public spaces, which capitalizes on a local community’s assets. Presented in partnership with Auburn University. For more information, visit auburn.edu/outreach/gedi/placemaking.htm.

All programs take place at the IDEA Bank, located at 63 S. Court Square in downtown Troy.