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The Hub Powered by PNC at the Dayton Arcade

The Hub Powered by PNC marks second anniversary

The Hub Powered by PNC marks its second anniversary in March with growing membership, record student engagement and plans to expand to a third floor early this summer.

“The Hub has had the impact we hoped and planned for — providing unparalleled learning opportunities and experiences for our students, bringing together resources for entrepreneurs and giving purpose to the once-abandoned space at the historic Dayton Arcade,” said Vince Lewis, the University of Dayton’s associate vice president for entrepreneurial initiatives and president of the Hub.

A joint venture of the University and the Entrepreneurs' Center, it is one of the largest university-anchored innovation hubs in the country at over 100,000 square feet. More than 450 University of Dayton students visit the site weekly for classes in art and design, engineering, business and more. Nearly 130 local companies are members, with coworking or office space. The renovated third floor will include 14,000 additional square feet with an event and classroom space as well as 46 private offices.

“It’s gratifying to see our shared vision become a shared reality,” said Scott Koorndyk, president of the Entrepreneurs’ Center and executive vice president of the Hub. “We believed in the synergies between students and entrepreneurial small businesses, and those interactions have exceeded our expectations. There is something special about this space, about the engagements that are going on here, and the impact we are having on the future of this community.”

Through The Hub, undergraduates with Flyer Enterprises, one of the largest student-run corporations in the country, run the Startup Grounds bistro, which is open to the public; students can participate in the Flyer Pitch new venture competition, one of the largest at the collegiate level; they can help solve business challenges for entrepreneurs through formal programs such as the Stitt Scholars; and connect their work to the Dayton community in deeper ways.

“Students get to see the heart of downtown Dayton,” said Misty Thomas-Trout, graphic design associate professor whose class exhibited their Typography Two posters, including on Paul Laurence Dunbar, in The Hub and around Dayton. “They have the opportunity to watch their class work become larger than the walls of that room and more than an idea in their sketchbook. Yes, we get that too at our spaces on campus. The key difference is being directly within the city of Dayton, and being able to network with those in The Hub.”

The Hub also brings together resources for entrepreneurs, including from Launch Dayton, the Ohio Department of Small Business Development Center, the Entrepreneurs’ Center, Greater West Dayton Incubator satellite office, the University’s Crotty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, among others.

“Having an office at the Hub has been great for business visibility, networking and staying connected to all the exciting opportunities in Dayton’s entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Haya Healing Founder Taylor Johnson, a fellow at the Hub through the Greater West Dayton Incubator.

Johnson said she has connected with students as a speaker at Startup Week and through the entrepreneurship capstone course. Undergraduates also connect with businesses as interns, at events, through informal opportunities and more. Junior entrepreneurship major Colton Levey said he has made marketing plans, social media content and helped integrate student life downtown. 

“There are so many benefits to being able to connect with people who are living your future dream, and working together to help make this space an integral part of the University of Dayton,” Levey said.

PNC Bank Regional President David Melin said the bank’s sponsorship serves as an impactful way to bring both the campus and city together, under the same roof.

“This collaboration between students, faculty and staff, regional entrepreneurs, local business leaders and global experts brings innovative ideas and groundbreaking solutions to the Dayton region,” Melin said. “As a national main street bank, PNC is committed to supporting foundational initiatives like The Hub that help advance our region’s business community and lead to an even stronger, brighter future.”


News and Communications Staff