Enterprise Center supports inventive spirit
New ideas welcomed
Calvin Business Advisory Board (from left): Dick Brill, Roger Brummel, Tom Hoogeboom, Marjorie Hoogeboom, Sid Jansma, John Cash, George Boerigter, Harlan Byker, Ron Lubbers, David Byker, Joseph Byker.
A new center at Calvin College will facilitate the commercialization of intellectual
properties developed jointly
by the college and partners in the business community.
The Enterprise Center at Calvin was formed this fall and already includes a part-time director, a faculty advisory board and a business advisory board.
Ron Lubbers, a 1967 graduate of Calvin and an erstwhile member of the Calvin business faculty, is the center’s director. He is excited about what it can bring to the Calvin campus.
“President Byker noted that the Calvin community has such a wealth of talent,” Lubbers said. “It seems fitting then that the college should foster the sharing of such wealth for the Lord’s kingdom. We formed the Enterprise Center for that purpose.”
Lubbers said the center will leverage the experience of Calvin faculty, alumni and the business community. He said these could be intellectual properties developed on campus by faculty and students, but they also could be properties developed by partners in the business community in conjunction with Calvin.
“Partnerships with businesses, alumni, investors or other interested parties to commercialize products and services will be a big part of what we’re all about,” Lubbers said. “But we also have an amazing faculty at Calvin, and our goal is to have the center be a real advocate for our faculty as they seek to possibly commercialize their work.”
“It will be a doorway for the commercialization of intellectual properties,” said David DeHeer, chair of the biology department and a person who helped spearhead the center’s formation.
To accomplish such commercialization, the center also has assembled a cross section of engineering, science and technology faculty—the faculty advisory board—and business owners and inventors—the business advisory board.
Janel Curry, dean of research and scholarship at Calvin, agreed that the faculty is a major part of the center. The business advisers are also critical, she said.
“That is why we formed the business advisory board,” she said. “They all have, as they say, been there and done that. They will be a key factor in the vetting of the ideas that come through the doorway into and out of Calvin.”
Business advisory board members Tom ’62 and Marge Hoogeboom ’63 have already scrutinized a medical device conceived by an engineering professor and student.
Said Tom Hoogeboom: “As members of the board, we are given another opportunity to further the educational experience of young people. The center will give alumni an avenue to have their ideas developed for the benefit of Calvin, and it will pay dividends to Calvin in so many ways and for decades to come.”
Roger Brummel ’61, another founding member and also member of the Calvin board of trustees, said the center will fit into the mission of Calvin, benefiting its students, faculty and alumni and, most importantly, God’s Kingdom.
With the center just up and rolling, Lubbers said there already is no shortage of ideas.
In fact, he joked that running the center is likely to become “drinking out of a fire hose of profitable ideas.”
Used with permission from Spark.