A business innovation center will be built to serve humanity

March 07, 2017

Regis University is pleased to announce its College of Business and Economics has received a generous $1 million gift from Jamie and Elizabeth “Ann” Gronowski to build and launch an innovation incubator and design space on the University’s Northwest Denver Campus.

The gift will support the construction, furnishing, technology, and operating of a state-of-the-art design studio that will be a modern “think space” for the University community and local business leaders. The intention is to provide a learning and collaborative environment for designing business solutions to worldwide needs and problems.

Scheduled to open May 1, the Gronowski Innovation Incubator Lab will host public forums and workshops, said Ken Sagendorf, professor and director of the Innovation Center, which will operate the lab and oversee its events. He envisions local business people and other innovative thinkers joining the University community in conceptualizing new designs and products to serve humanity.

“We are striving to educate stewards of society,” said Sagendorf. “Our graduates will face a world that has poverty, violence and climate change. The Incubator will help our students find solutions to these and other pressing world problems.”

Jamie and Ann Gronowski, who have longtime ties to Denver, live near the University’s Northwest Denver Campus. When they learned how the lab would function, they wanted to help.

“We are so grateful for the Gronowski family’s generosity and their vision to build something that could shape the educational experience for future generations, including their young grandson someday,” Sagendorf said.

The Innovation Center will offer workshops and classes for the entire University community, with many sessions open to the public. The design thinking focus will be applicable for any program at Regis.

“No matter what your work is, design thinking principles have widespread applications,” Sagendorf said.

The Innovation Center’s primary goal is to reframe business ingenuity to include not only innovative ideas but heroic leadership – people who are self-aware, ingenious, loving and courageous.

“We’re trying to get all of our students to think in a way so they can change the world, and make it better,” Sagendorf said.

Located on the third floor of Clarke Hall on Regis University’s Northwest Denver Campus, the Gronowski Innovation Incubator Lab will bring local business leaders and entrepreneurs into Regis’ academic atmosphere to cooperatively and creatively tackle real-world problems. This is no “shark tank.” There are no losers and no long odds in this space. Rather, the lab provides the physical arena where ideas are conceptualized, collaborated upon and created. As students, faculty and business partners envision new solutions to complex and compelling world problems, humanity stands to win. Learn more about the Gronowski Innovation Incubator Lab at www.regis.edu/CBEcenters.