New E-Center grand opening Tuesday morning

The College of Business at Mississippi State will hold a grand opening for its new Center for Entrepreneurship and Outreach this week.

Part of the college’s annual E-Week schedule celebrating entrepreneurship, the grand opening will begin at 11 a.m. Tuesday [April 19] in the McCool Hall atrium. The event is free but requires a ticket. To register, visit

Located in a corner suite on McCool Hall’s ground floor, the new, 2,000 square-foot E-Center has offices, meeting areas and workstations that will be home to 16 student, staff or faculty startup ventures. Funded through $750,000 in private donations, it boasts state-of-the-art technology and a special dry-erase film on the glass surfaces that encircle the center and divide each workstation. The facility also provides office space for the new Executive-In-Residence program, which will host regional senior business leaders and entrepreneurs who can offer office hours to entrepreneurs both in-person and remotely.

Overall, the Center for Entrepreneurship and Outreach supports about 100 active startups, with staff who help entrepreneurs identify and research their markets, develop prototypes and much more.

“Entrepreneurship teaches students how each area of business can play a role in the development, organization and management of a company,” said Sharon Oswald, dean of MSU’s College of Business. “By offering a minor as well as a world-class entrepreneurship center for budding entrepreneurial students throughout the university, the College of Business is helping to foster well-rounded graduates who are invaluable to the workforce.”

Including the new E-Center and the business incubator located in the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park, MSU has a total of 12,000 square feet dedicated to facilitating entrepreneurship.

“That’s on par with Stanford and Princeton, and more dedicated space than Yale,” said Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Director Eric Hill. He added that the transparent glass walls of the new E-Center offer a “clear portal” to the business world for students, staff and faculty willing to accept the challenge.

“This speaks volumes to the progressive thinking of the College of Business, that we are dedicated to our students starting something rather than just learning about it,” Hill said. “We want everyone who comes through these doors to know that starting a business is within the realm of possibilities and is supported by the university at its core.”

E-Week will begin Monday [April 18] and feature competitions for student entrepreneurs each day, ranging from contests for conceptual and e-commerce startups to prototype and elevator pitch competitions. The week will culminate with an awards ceremony at 7 p.m. Friday [April 22] in Taylor Auditorium in McCool Hall.

For more information on E-Week, visit For more information on the College of Business, visit

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

Zack Plair | Public Affairs

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