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Why the University of Dayton Supports Entrepreneurship

“We’re proud to be named for this city.”

By Livability on August 19, 2022

Dr. Eric F. Spina
Courtesy Entrepreneurs Center

Dr. Eric F. Spina has served as president of the University of Dayton, a top-tier national Catholic research university, since July 2016. During his tenure, the university has entered into innovative community collaborations that build on its role as an anchor institution in Dayton. At the same time, UD’s student body has established records for size, academic quality, and racial and socioeconomic diversity.

Why did the University of Dayton decide to invest in the Arcade?

In becoming an anchor tenant for the Arcade, we sought to capitalize on the entrepreneurial spirit of our campus and the rich innovative history of the region. It’s exciting to see that vision turned into reality as our students now have unrivaled opportunities for experiential learning through collaborations with entrepreneurs and arts and cultural organizations.

What role does the university have in supporting entrepreneurship?

The Greater West Dayton Incubator offers Black, women and other underrepresented entrepreneurs access to resources, including a microloan program. Through the Hub Powered by PNC, local people from all walks of life can access a range of resources. Entrepreneurs can team with our students to solve business problems through the Stitt Scholars program; nonprofits can work with students through Flyer Consulting. Anyone with a business idea in Dayton can enter our Flyer Pitch Competition to win access to funding and mentorship. Flyer Pitch has been a launchpad for 74 businesses.

What’s on the horizon for the university with regard to workforce development?

The university actively engages with local employers and development entities on workforce development to ensure our graduates are ready for jobs. Investments in our computer science department have made it the fastest-growing major on campus, while overall our graduates report a very high level of success in finding jobs in their fields after graduation.

Why is it important for the university to be fully integrated with its community?

It’s in our name – the University of Dayton. We’re proud to be named for this city, and, as an anchor institution, we want to support the region and see it thrive.

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