Award for Outstanding Emerging Center presented by Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers during annual conference.
By Bryan Hay
During its annual conference in Las Vegas, the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers presented Lafayette’s Dyer Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship with the 2022 Award for Outstanding Emerging Center at schools with fewer than 5,000 students.
“The significance of this award means that over the last five years, with Brad’s gift (Bradbury Dyer III ’64, whose $6 million gift established the center) and a whole host of other alumni and faculty support, we have been able to build a successful entrepreneurship center on campus that really supports the innovative ideas and capabilities of our students,” says Tobias Rossmann, associate professor of mechanical engineering and Dyer Center interim director, who accepted the award.
“We’re growing that ecosystem on campus where students are now thinking about the value that they can create by exploring a wider variety of opportunities on campus, whether it’s an idea inspired from a class or from a student group or an independent venture,” he says. “A whole host of opportunities have a home at the Dyer Center. And now we’ve been recognized for having built that kind of element on campus by the flagship conference for university-based entrepreneurship centers across the United States.”
The criteria for the award involved showing how a school creates, from a curricular and co-curricular point of view, innovation on campus, builds student support, energizes faculty, and works with alumni to build an entrepreneurial community, Rossmann says.
Established in 2018, the Dyer Center continues to grow. From its humble beginnings in Hogg Hall to its newer grand space in Rockwell Integrated Sciences Center, the Dyer Center has focused on establishing a campus community of like-minded students from a wide variety of majors who are interested in making a difference at Lafayette and establishing an entrepreneurial mindset over the course of their four years.
“We have a lot of students who come to the Dyer Center from technical disciplines who are interested in developing apps or consumer products,” Rossmann says. “But we also see a lot of creative personalities who are interested in brand building or funding their own artistic endeavors.
“We find a huge community of our students doing things outside of the traditional curricular disciplines and co-curricular avenues, seeking knowledge and creating opportunities outside of the classroom,” he adds.