Get ready for AIU-IEZ!

National governments understand the importance of entrepreneurs to a country’s economic growth and well-being. The Business School has begun formulating plans to create virtual and physical innovation and entrepreneurship zones at AIU, to help encourage business innovation and promote entrepreneurial development.

The new zones (collectively termed AIU-IEZ) will incorporate “incubator” and “accelerator” functions, based on the Academia-Industry-Government (AIG) “Triple Helix Model”. The zones will assist AIU students and local businesses with initiating and growing new business ideas across all mainstream professional disciplines.

At its recent Professional Development (PD) day, Faculty at the Business School discussed basic attributes and operational requirements for incubators and accelerators within the entrepreneurship zone. The need to bundle bespoke training, coaching and mentoring services with AIU-IEZ was stressed, as was the need to offer extensive networking opportunities, horizontally and vertically.

Once approved by upper management and in operation, AIU-IEZ is expected to enhance rates of new business formation locally, as well as improving business survivability, sales growth and financial profitability. The Business School felt that AIG-based incubators were well-positioned to deliver these services. AIU-IEZ will help identify and groom business entrepreneurial talent within the local community. The university is also expecting to leverage the knowledge, expertise and experience from within its highly qualified academic talent pool.

Over the coming months, the Business School hopes to finalize its plans and firm up the essential collaborative links with the School of Engineering and School of Architecture & Design, as well as the putative School of Art & Science. There is particular interest in the provision of bio-technology, engineering, design and informatics incubator space (virtually and physically), with the added possibility of research spin-offs for Faculty at AIU.

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