Perspectives

Growth Has Been the Hallmark of the Innovation Center Under Jennifer Simon’s Leadership

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For this special series of “Innovation Conversations,” WOUB’s Tom Hodson welcomes Jennifer Simon, Director of the Ohio University Innovation Center, to Studio B for a discussion on innovation in Southeast Ohio.

When Jennifer Simon took over as director of the Ohio University Innovation Center in March 2009, she infused new energy into the Center and as a result, it has seen remarkable growth in just six years.
The Innovation Center is a business incubator that works with TechGROWTH Ohio to provide facilities and support for fledgling business enterprises trying to get a start in SE Ohio.
Since Simon took the reins, the center increased from 3 clients to 25. She has pulled in over $2 million in grants to expand services and provide facility improvements. She also landed nearly $1 million in shared Biotechnology Research and Development equipment.
Simon also works directly with clients to gain access to capital through angels, venture capitalists and traditional lending institutions.
The impact of the Innovation Center has been dramatic on the economy of SE Ohio.
Simon talks with WOUB’s Tom Hodson about the role of the Innovation Center in the regional economy and how it fits into the entrepreneurial ecosystem at Ohio University.
Before coming to the Innovation Center, Simon had been president of the Athens County Economic Development Council and CEO of the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce.
Simon has a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s in Public Administration and an MBA, all from Ohio University.