Spelman College Receives $10 Million Grant from The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation to Support Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Spelman College Receives $10 Million Grant from The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation to Support Innovation and Entrepreneurship

ATLANTA – Feb. 3, 2022 – Spelman College today announced a $10 million grant from The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation to support an on-campus creative hub for young entrepreneurs and innovators.

The funding will establish the Arthur M. Blank Innovation Lab. Formerly known as the Spelman Innovation Lab, the space is a campus-wide resource for entrepreneurial ideation, unconventional research, experimental pedagogy, and exploratory play.

The Arthur M. Blank Innovation Lab will form a hub for creative inquiry in Spelman’s new Center for Innovation & the Arts, a state-of-the-art learning environment slated to open in 2024.

In addition to cutting edge technology tools, the Lab will be home to the Center for Black Entrepreneurship (CBE), which will work closely with an entrepreneurship minor in Spelman’s Department of Economics, to provide a host of rich co-curricular activities.

Popular programs, like Spelpreneur, will live in the dynamic Innovation Lab where budding entrepreneurs and innovators across multiple disciplines will work together to create new ideas to solve old problems.

“This momentous gift will allow the College to build on an existing culture of strong innovation and entrepreneurship activity that will help grow a pool of Black entrepreneurs” said Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., president of Spelman. “Through the support of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation the college can expand its existing Innovation Lab, where the entrepreneurial mindset flourishes at Spelman amidst a community of artists, entrepreneurs, creators and innovators.”

Tools available in the Lab include 3D printers, laser cutters, 4-axis CNC router, and a 3D scanner along with many other conventional hand tools and power tools that make prototyping of just about anything possible in one space.

“Today’s young entrepreneurs will play an important role in solving many of our society’s most critical issues, and we’re pleased to support Spelman in creating a place where students can come together to share and test ideas that will also create more opportunities for positive engagement and growth with the local Westside community,” said Arthur M. Blank, chairman, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. “I’m also personally proud to support the alma mater of Rosalind Brewer, Spelman Board Trustee and Blank Family Foundation Associate Board Member, who often champions her experience at Spelman and the impact that it’s had on her success.”

In fall 2022, CBE’s minor developed jointly with Morehouse College, with advice and guidance from the Black Economic Alliance, will launch in Spelman’s Department of Economics and Morehouse’s Division of Business Administration and Economics.

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