New Director at Center for Entrepreneurship

What do you get when you combine innovation with creativity and a dash of risk?

Entrepreneurship, according to James Levin, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at The College of Wooster. Levin plans to tap into the ìpools of energy and creativity” that exist on campus and within the greater Wooster community.

Levin joins the Center for Entrepreneurship after years of private sector experience.† After receiving his J.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Levin founded and directed three cultural organizations in the greater Cleveland community.† The Cleveland Public Theatre, Gordon Square Arts District and the Cleveland Ingenuity Festival ìare all thriving,” says Levin, and he hopes to incorporate his arts and humanities background into activities at the College.

This is the Center for Entrepreneurshipís third year of operation, and Levin succeeds Reuben Domike as Director.† Levin explains that the Center now needs to move into a research and idea development stage.† He is currently speaking with chairs of academic departments and senior faculty, as well as students and members of the greater Wooster community to determine where ideas lie.

Levin plans to continue several successful programs begun under Domikeís lead.† The student idea competition, which encourages students to think creatively about entrepreneurial plans, develop them and present business proposals, then awards top proposals with a cash prize, is planned to continue.† Levin is also continuing the E-Club, a student organization that meets weekly on Wednesdays to discuss innovative ideas and how to implement them.

This year, Levin hopes to develop the E-Club with ìpopcorn sessions,” with 30 minutes of the hour-long session devoted to ìpopcorning” ideas around the group.† The goal, he states, is to establish a ìnon-judgmental, positive, fun environment” to encourage innovation and creativity.† He then plans to use the remainder of the meeting to analyze a few ideas and develop strategies for implementation.† Popcorn snacks will also be served.

Levin also hopes to expand academic discussions of entrepreneurship.† He is teaching two classes in the Department of Theatre and Dance.† One, THTD 100, is entitled the Nuts and Bolts of Arts and Entrepreneurship.† The introductory-level course focuses on both the basics of arts management and entrepreneurship.† The other, THTD 301, is entitled Marketing Culture and the Arts.† In addition to formal course offerings, Levin hopes to bring ìnationally known, out-of-the-box” entrepreneurial thinkers to campus in a series of lectures.† The first lecturer, Grant Marquit, is the leader of Economic Development through Growth and Entrepreneurship, or EDGE, in northeastern Ohio.† Marquit will be speaking at the Center for Entrepreneurshipís Open House on Wednesday, Sept. 16, at 5† p.m.

Levin is also hoping to establish an internship or mentorship program for Wooster students to partner with community entrepreneurs in Wooster and the greater Cleveland area with the goal of inspiring ideas into reality.

ìAction inspires action,” says Levin, ìand I hope to overcome whatever apathy, inertia and resistance may exist and engage a variety of energies on campus.”

ìI have high expectations for what I can do in this position.”