Ignite Erie Funding - Beehive Innovation Spaces

Beehives are physical, innovation spaces on a university campus or in a publicly accessible facility.  They provide equipment, talent, and opportunities for collaboration between institutions and entrepreneurs.  The substance of a Beehive is the student-driven interactions that take place between the entrepreneur and university or other institution.  Students must be properly matched with the entrepreneur to solve the problem at hand. Those problems include prototype and product development, branding and communications, business intelligence and modeling, market analysis, cybersecurity, engineering, and information technology.

The Beehive concept has grown out of the Ignite Erie Industry+University initiative.  This is important because the communications platform built by the Ignite Erie partners is central to Beehive success.  In other words, the Beehives may exist at separate institutions, but they are required to communicate with the Ignite Erie collaboartive.  Civic-minded collaboration among institutions on behalf of the entrepreneur is central to the model developed by those participating stakeholders.

The goals of the Beehive grants are to:

  • create and retain jobs by supporting local entrepreneurs/industry through innovation
  • provide institutions like universities the seed funding to launch and/or expand services
  • continue the Industry+University engagement that was started by the Ignite Erie collaborative in 2015
  • further engage the universities of Erie County and other institutions in providing services necessary to assist entrepreneurs/industry in starting new businesses and expanding existing businesses