Newport Interactive Marketers partnered with the URI Business Engagement Center (BEC) to explain the valuable resources available for businesses at URI.
Leading the new Business Engagement Center, Katharine Hazard Flynn, serves as the University of Rhode Island’s connector to the private/nonprofit sectors, helping brands leverage URI’s resources for the betterment of the state. A Brown alum, she also has significant finance experience in senior positions at Prudential Bache, Alex Brown & Sons, Toronto Dominion Securities, and Societe General.
Think of Katharine Hazard Flynn as your concierge if you have a question about how to work with interns, sponsors research that could become product, or host an event at URI. Flynn discussed how the BEC was created to give businesses a place to come and connect with URI. This center was modeled after successful programs such as University of Michigan’s BEC.
In addition to the BEC, URI also has another new initiative, the Small Business Development Center. The center is primarily for small businesses to get counseling and financial support in variety of different counseling mechanisms.
The BEC acts a one-stop destination for business owners to connect with the university. Through the BEC businesses can be connected with URI’s students, faculty, equipment and facilities. Here are some of the resources the center offers.
The BEC’s main goal is to increase industry engagement. URI wants to connect their students with jobs, internships, and faculty research. Some 60 percent of the university’s students are from Rhode Island. According to Flynn, this means that students want to stay here, work here, and thrive here.
The BEC is able to connect businesses with students from all disciplines including business, engineering, healthcare, arts and sciences, technology, and many other fields.
Whether you have a manufacturing issue, new product concept, or business challenge you’d like to do research on, URI can help. URI student and faculty researchers have experience working with businesses and can help you solve these issues. Use the BEC to aid you in accessing URI’s research expertise.
Develop Your Workforce
The BEC provides customized workforce training and skills development to help you achieve your business goals. It offers opportunities to help your staff polish their skills as well as specialized training programs. Here is the full list of training programs the Business Engagement Center offers.
Facilities & Equipment
URI has facilities perfect for accommodating small and large groups. Its meetings rooms range from small meeting rooms to auditoriums accommodating up to several hundred people, and everything in between.
URI also has equipment that can be a valuable asset for businesses. From the 3-D Imaging capability, to equipment in URI’s Sensor and Surface Technology Lab in chemical engineering, its equipment can fit the needs of many different businesses.
Here are some examples:
Meeting space and planning
BEC Success Stories
Although new, the BEC has already partnered with many local business. One example is their partnership with the Pizza Gourmet. Co-Owner Jack Parente approached the center to help him create a better, and safer, grill for his pizza crusts. Hazard connected him with with professors at the engineering school and five seniors. They are now working on a capstone project to help improve Parente’s grill. The owner has been thrilled by the students’ discoveries and suggestions.
Another example of the BEC’s success is its YMCA partnership. When the center was approached by the YMCA looking for students to provide physical therapy, the Y was not disappointed, connecting with the URI physical therapy department for and interns.
Lastly, the BEC has helped to connect GTech with writers from URI. Not only does GTech utilize members of URI’s writing and rhetoric majors as interns, but the global giant also often hires these students after graduation.
URI’s BEC has helped a wide range of businesses find what they are looking for.
Looking for help with any aspect of your business from internships to research? Be sure to URI’s Business Engagement Center Executive Director Flynn.