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American University’s Kogod School of Business Launches New Center for Innovation in the Capital

By Ericka Acosta

AU Center for Innovation in the Capital

The Kogod School of Business at American University announces the opening of the AU Center for Innovation in the Capital with a launch event featuring remarks by Deputy Mayor Courtney R. Snowden. The new Center will provide innovation and entrepreneurship training, application and research in order to tool and energize a new generation of leaders both inside and beyond the greater Washington region.

Focused on developing vibrant generators of social impact, asset development and wealth creation, the Center for Innovation will train and develop stakeholders to become leaders in industry and in their communities. The Center will also provide access to social, intellectual and financial capital for its stakeholders both on campus and beyond. Forthcoming programs include: innovation speaker series, citywide hackathons, research partnerships, business plan competitions, etc.

“For the past two years the Kogod School of Business at American University has provided coursework, programs, intensive training and funding to support the development and application of new business models, products and services,” said Melisa L. Bradley, Executive Director, AU Center for Innovation in the Capital. “After supporting over 1,000 stakeholders through diverse delivery strategies, the school has decided to focus its efforts, cast a wider net across the University and D.C., as well as focus on capacity building, financing and applied research.”

The launch event will be held on April 27, 2016 at 3:00 p.m. on AU’s campus inside the Kogod School of Business Student Lounge. Director Bradley will host the event and moderate a panel discussion with the following local business leaders:

•  Phil Reeves, Principal, Mercantile Strategies
•  Tien Wong, Chairman & CEO, Tech2000
•  Donna Harris, Co-Founder, 1776

Additionally, Cartified, a former AU Incubator business team lead by Vladimir Kartashov, a full-time Kogod MBA student, will receive a $15,000 investment from the Eagle Entrepreneurs’ Fund. Cartified’s mission is to improve the used car industry by making the process of buying and selling used cars easy and hassle-free.

“I am thrilled to be a part of such a vibrant innovation ecosystem at AU and proud to be the first recipient of a fund investment,” said Vladimir Kartashov, CEO, Cartified. “We are growing aggressively and happy to have the support of the University as an early validator of our future success.”

The Eagle Entrepreneurs’ Fund is a valuable AU Center for Innovation in the Capital program that provides a source of cash infusion to accepted student/alumni ventures. The goal of the Fund is to provide AU business teams the opportunity to apply for modest, early stage seed funding in order to support critical activities such as building out a Proof of Concept, prototype development/refinement, beta testing of the product/service, obtaining customer feedback to assist in product/service improvements, and/or other appropriate early stage activities.