For Dr. John Volker, the establishment of the new Center for Entrepreneurship at Austin Peay State University “is a dream come true.”
“My excitement knows no boundaries,” Volker, a professor in the APSU College of Business, said.
Volker will serve as director of the new center, which was officially announced during a special event May 3 on campus.
At the event, Delta Dental of Tennessee and Civic Bank and Trust, both located in Nashville, contributed $25,000 each to support the new center. The two businesses are led by APSU alumni and brothers Tom Perry, chief financial office at Delta Dental, and Robert Perry, president and chief executive officer of Civic Bank. Both brothers also serve on the APSU College of Business Advisory Board.
The Center for Entrepreneurship will challenge students beyond the classroom and bridge community business with future business leaders from all areas of interest. New student-led business ventures are likely to develop from the center.
“There’s going to be a business. This is a start,” Robert Perry said.
In addition, the Center for Entrepreneurship will help students develop strong business plans and offer a new 21-hour minor in entrepreneurship that will be an option for any APSU student to choose.
“We are going to enter business plan competitions, and we are going to win some of that,” Volker said. “For the minor, I want to see a mix of students.”
The establishment of the new Center for Entrepreneurship will help the College of Business advance in its quest to attain accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), APSU President Tim Hall said.
Dr. William Rupp, dean of the College of Business, said the college is in the “middle of a passionate event” with the new center, one that will place APSU and its students on the business map.
“We might not start the next Microsoft, Google or Facebook. We’re going to start something, so stay tuned,” he said. - Dr. Melony Shemberger