The Morehouse Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center (MIEC) is a global model for higher education and industry collaborations to foster innovation and entrepreneurial leadership. Established in 2004 as a unit of Morehouse College, the Center has continually operated with an internal and external focus to promote innovation and entrepreneurship with people of color.
Since its inception the Center has secured grants and contracts in excess of $50M and impacted over 2100 students. Through the Department of Defense Mentor-Protégé Program we partnered with over 17 large mentoring corporations and assisted over 100 technology protégé growth companies nationwide. Our efforts of providing developmental assistance to these protege companies resulted in an increase in $20M in revenue and created over 150 new technology jobs.
In 2017, the Center partnered with JPMorgan Chase to launch Ascend Atlanta, a technology startup and small business support pre-accelerator ecosystem for over 125 minority-led companies throughout Metropolitan Atlanta raising $5.5M in capital to support these businesses and an increase of $13.5M in revenue across all participating companies as well as creating 278 new sustainable jobs.
Extending our commitment to improve and increase the viability of community businesses, we launched the Accelerating Growth Activator’s Program (AGAP) partnering with Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE) and sponsorship from Wells Fargo Bank. This program impacted 11 companies, accessed $7.8 million in capital, generated revenue growth of $563,000 and created 24 sustainable new jobs.
On campus, the MIEC has developed and implemented programming for students resulting in experiential learning/internships with companies such as Google, Accenture, Microsoft, Invest Atlanta, Chick-fil-A, Deloitte and Underground App. A speaker series was established to provide students the opportunity to gain knowledge and exposure to real-world innovation and the entrepreneurial mindset from a mixture of young entrepreneurs age 30 and under as well as seasoned entrepreneurs in a variety of industries. The Center afforded students the opportunity to participate in the European Innovation Academy in Turin, Italy and Portugal. This academy is the world’s leading entrepreneurship summer program for 500 students from 50 universities to collaborate and immerse in a multicultural ecosystem to embrace innovation through experiential tools and methods.
The work of the MIEC has not gone unrecognized. They have received multiple awards to include: 2009 Entrepreneurial Advocate of the Year Regional Award – Georgia Minority Business Development Agency; 2009 Entrepreneurial Advocate of the Year National Award – United States Department of Commerce; 2015 Most Entrepreneurial Colleges by Forbes Magazine and 2007-2018 Nunn-Perry Awards – Department of Defense Mentor-Protégé Program (Nunn-Perry Newsroom/Releases)
The MIEC aspires to build an Epic Center that encourages and supports interdisciplinary learning of innovation, entrepreneurship, business development, and community revitalization. The Center’s programs are designed to incorporate research and learning, fostering industry partnerships and driving student entrepreneurial mindset.