VCU's entrepreneurship center to unveil new facility

VCU's entrepreneurship center to unveil new facility

The da Vinci Center at Virginia Commonwealth University will unveil its 3,500-square-foot new home on Oct. 1, providing entrepreneurial-minded VCU students with expanded space to design, develop and prototype their ideas and innovations.

The center, a collaboration of VCU's School of the Arts, School of Business, School of Engineering and the College of Humanities and Sciences, provides students with a unique collegiate model that aims to advance innovation and entrepreneurship through interdisciplinary collaboration.

The center, located at 807 S. Cathedral Place, will hold an open house for the VCU community on Oct. 1 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. A ribbon cutting for invited guests will be held from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

"The space is designed to facilitate students’ ability to design collaboratively in a space that is open after hours," said Kenneth Kahn, Ph.D., director of the da Vinci Center. "The space is not a classroom, but rather collaborative design studios for undergraduate and graduate students participating in da Vinci Center programs. Student groups engaged in innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives also will have periodic access to the building."

The building was originally the library of the Richmond Catholic Diocese and most recently served as VCU's undergraduate admissions printing office.

The building has been gutted, and the walls have been removed to open up the space.

The upstairs area features four offices, a graduate student work area and a conference room. Downstairs, which was formerly catacombed with offices, now features an undergraduate studio, a graduate studio, a conference room and a prototyping space.

The prototyping space, located in the old Diocese safe, will house 3-D printers and laser printers.

Kahn said the da Vinci Center's new space illustrates VCU's emphasis on fostering collaboration, innovation and entrepreneurship

"807 S. Cathedral Place demonstrates VCU's commitment to making entrepreneurship and innovation real on campus, with the da Vinci playing a key role in making innovation and entrepreneurship happen through cross-disciplinary collaboration," Kahn said.

About VCU and VCU Medical Center

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 226 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-seven of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University comprise VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. For more, see www.vcu.edu.

Murals and other creative decorations cover the walls of one hallway in the da Vinci Center.
Click to view slideshow. Murals and other creative decorations cover the walls of one hallway in the da Vinci Center.