707 Hub at Marquette open to new business ideas

Program gives entrepreneurs a place to create

MILWAUKEE, Wis. - Two college seniors decided you do not have to wait to graduate to head up a company and their idea caught on. Now Marquette University has opened up a new center to help.

The 707 Hub at Marquette is now open for business and ideas. The new collaboration center was the vision of two college seniors, Sam Wesley and Creighton Joyce. They came up with it during a leadership retreat two years ago.

"Creighton was an engineering student, I was a business student. It was our first time interacting with different college together," Wesley said.

"We realized if we wanted to do anything on campus we needed something on campus to be home for anything innovative, anything entrepreneurial to start a business," Joyce said.

The two wrote a grant proposal to Marquette University and the college agreed. It turned what was once a lacrosse locker room into a place for students to work on ideas. The 707 Hub already has a student running a coffee business out of it with 10 employees.

"We have a student CEO who oversees them and for every one pound of coffee sold it provides one meal to an orphan in Honduras," said Megan Carver, associate director of the Kohler Center for Entrepreneurship at Marquette.

There are also a dozen other businesses in the works including one for fashion, one involving  technology and a new delivery company.

"You see students launching businesses these days in high school and even younger. These are for students who had lemonade stands when they were young and now turned that lemonade stand into something that's powerful," said Kelsey Otero, the associate director of the Social Innovation Initiative for Marquette University.

Business leaders around Milwaukee will also serve as mentors for the student business owners. Plus, there will be opportunities for them to pitch their ideas to others to gain scholarships and funding.

 

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