Rowan University’s Hatch House to Spur Entrepreneurship Across Campus
On the second floor of the newly opened Business Hall, home of the William G. Rohrer College of Business at Rowan University, you’ll see a sweeping, 4,000 sq. ft. space surrounded by glass walls. Huge banners declare the area as “Hatch House.”
Hatch House, at first glance, is a campus co-working space and the newly minted home for those interested in pursuing their own venture or a career driven by the entrepreneurial mindset. When you dig deeper, you see Hatch House as a series of dedicated programs for both students and faculty. These initiatives are aimed at extending innovation and entrepreneurship to faculty and students across all academic backgrounds while bridging resources from the Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia regions.
Over the past few years Rowan has made a major commitment to entrepreneurship, including establishing a partnership with Hatch House Ventures in March 2016 to open and run a Hatch House on the Rowan campus. At that time Steve Boerner, President of Hatch House Ventures, LLC, came onto campus to gain insight as to how the program would function and what areas deserved special attention.
“I was intent on listening before planning,” said Boerner. “I conducted interviews with students, faculty and community members. It was clear that building a team approach was critical to meet the needs of the college’s entrepreneurial community.”
Dr. Cheryl Bodnar, who is now the Hatch House Academic Director at Rowan and also Assistant Professor in the Experiential Engineering Education Department (ExEEd), joined Boerner in helping to establish Hatch House on campus. On the academic side Bodnar uses game-based learning and other active learning strategies to infuse entrepreneurial mindset concepts in her classes. Through a newly developed innovation and entrepreneurship faculty certificate program she is now able to share these techniques with faculty across the college.