WLU’s business incubator heats up

FILLING ORDERS — West Liberty University student Jonathon Howard works on his T-shirt order in the WLU on-campus business incubator. -- Contributed

WEST LIBERTY — It might be cold outside, but West Liberty University’s on-campus business incubator is heating up.

Junior Jonathan Howard of Wheeling is now operating a clothing imprint company there to offer campus a new source for logo wear.

“I saw that there are many people on campus looking for shirts and hoodies with printed messages, logos and custom designs,” he said. “So I purchased this heat press machine back in November and began my new business.”

With the low temperatures, he may have found the perfect way to warm up since he now has an order of 200 shirts to deliver.

“I’m working on my first big order of T-shirts for the business department and should have it finished this week,” he said as he printed another gray shirt with a two-color WLU logo decal.

Graduate assistant Ben Taylor and faculty advisor Ingrid Loy assist students using the business incubator, which is open to any student with a business plan that passes the test.

“We are always looking for entrepreneurial-minded students — even staff and alumni — any Hilltopper looking to advance start-up ideas is welcome to contact us,” said Loy, who is an instructor in marketing.

The Howard Company, as Howard’s start-up is called, is just one of the business endeavors of this ambitious student who is an entrepreneurship and marketing major with a minor in geography.

“I’m one of the first students to join the incubator. In addition to creating T-shirts and hoodies, I can do laser engraving and create comprehensive marketing campaigns,” he said.

Howard is chapter president for Phi Delta Theta fraternity at West Liberty University, and recently obtained his Realtor license. In his free time, he enjoys watching movies, eating good food, and spending quality time with friends and family.

An outreach of the Gary E. West College of Business, the business incubator offers a collaborative workspace that fosters creativity and innovation.

It is located in the Main Hall, rooms 185 and 189, just across the hall from the Learning and Student Development Center.

Resources include an advanced technology workspace for holding one-on-one coaching sessions, filming promotional videos, hosting business plan competition meetings, and running free workshops. Also available is access to the expertise of professionals within the tri-state area.

“We have office space for six entrepreneurs in the on-campus center, and we are available to help students develop their entrepreneurial ideas and transfer them into a business,” said Loy.

For more information on the on-campus Business Incubator, contact Taylor at (304) 336-8285 or contact Loy (304) 336-8496. To contact Howard, call (304) 650-2395.


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