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Elon students visit innovation-empowering Triad facilities

Students took the opportunity earlier this month to tour facilities and meet in Greensboro, North Carolina, with the co-founders of both an innovation hub and a makerspace. 

Students visited The Forge, a makerspace located in Greensboro, N.C.

A group of 10 Elon students recently traveled to Greensboro, North Carolina, to visit HQ Greensboro, a newly opened innovation hub, and The Forge, a topnotch makerspace.

The visit was part of the Innovation Road Trip program and sponsored by the Elon Entrepreneurship Living Learning Community. Students from the Bringing the Venture to Life course also participated in the visit.

While at HQ Greensboro, students toured the facility and met with some of its co-founders. HQ Greensboro, in partnership with HQ Raleigh, supports a regional community of entrepreneurs through programming, events, membership, space design and administration. The facility serves as a shared workspace to support high-impact entrepreneurs within the Greensboro community.

Additionally, students met Anita Cafiero and Nick Jones, co-founders of the design firm Tiny Goat Studio. Cafiero and Jones shared their experiences shifting from a service-based to a product-based company. This encompassed utilizing skills such as computer science to benefit the local community and working with challenging clients.

Anita Cafiero and Nick Jones, co-founders of the design firm Tiny Goat Studio engaged with students on the road trip.

“It’s exciting to see the Piedmont Triad explode with creative minds and ventures,” said Meredith Stuz, a senior journalism major. “Hearing from real startup companies about their journeys, the importance of networking and how to handle failure and success was invaluable.”

The group toured The Forge as well, which has a workshop area with equipment for woodworking, rapid prototyping, metalworking and more. The facility also features a collaborative space for software development, digital design and meetings. The Forge’s founder, Joey Adams, spoke with the students about what members can produce in the space.

“Direct contact with innovators outside the classroom is a critical step in the goal of students moving from constantly conversing to continually creating,” said Scott Kelly, coordinator of student entrepreneurship. “Students come back to campus after these trips ready to take action.”

The next Innovation Road Trip will be to American Underground in Durham, North Carolina, on Oct. 15. For more information, contact Kellen Sorensen at ksorensen3@elon.edu.

Olivia Hays,
9/18/2015 2:40 PM