Governor Cooper Visits Davidson
Davidson College President Carol Quillen hosted Governor Roy Cooper at the new Hurt Hub on Tuesday, August 7.
Following a tour of the building a meetings with some of the entrepreneurial teams, the governor participated in a press conference. After being introduced by Quillen, Cooper talked about many of North Carolina’s historic “firsts” – starting with the fact that North Carolina was first in public higher education, he also spoke of being “first in flight,” as well giving a shout out to the first x-rays [at Davidson College.]
“Now we are looking at new innovations, and that’s why I’m glad I’m here. Look at where we are – an old textile mill, which is now a place for innovation. It is now a place for collaboration, where young minds can come and can advance far beyond their wildest dreams. I’m grateful that opportunity for these students, and for people who are drawn to this innovation and entrepreneurship culture.”
The Hurt Hub is 23,000-square-foot renovated cotton mill on Delburg Street. It is designed to house as local entrepreneurs and innovative companies as well students and faculty. The project, unique among small liberal arts colleges.
Davidson alumnus Jay Hurt, Class of ’88, made a $5 million commitment to create The Hurt Hub@Davidson. Ed Van Deman, Class of ’69, made a $1 million gift to establish the innovation lab in the Hub. Both alumni were on hand for Governor Cooper’s visit.
Hurt said the following regarding his sizable investment at his alma mater. “At first blush, this project seemed out of place for a liberal arts college of Davidson’s size, but I quickly realized there is a need for students to have this opportunity, and companies can benefit from the engagement of talented students in their work. It also fits with Davidson’s drive to reimagine the liberal arts experience. There is unlimited potential.”
The Hurt Hub officially opened its doors on July 1, 2018, and features the following:
- The Van Deman Innovation Lab, made possible by 1969 alumnus Ed Van Deman’s $1 million gift. The nearly 7,000-square-foot lab includes start-up alley where students will work on long-term projects or business ventures, a multipurpose classroom, a data analytics factory and virtual reality lab.
- Nearly 7,500 square feet of co-working and meeting spaces for entrepreneurs and local professionals, including 15 private offices and 30 open seats.
- A 2,000-square-foot social commons with a self-service coffee bar, café tables, couches and chairs–designed to be a shared space for the Hurt Hub community.
- Two anchor companies leasing larger office suites and partnering with Davidson students and faculty on collaborative projects, research and internships. The first companies to occupy these suites moved into The Hurt Hub in fall 2017, Rocus Networks (a local cybersecurity firm) and Quoin, Inc. (a software engineering firm with offices in Boston, Washington, D.C., and Davidson).
(information taken from the Davidson College web site)
As Cooper was leaving the building, he took the opportunity to have a short follow-up conversation with one of the student-led entrepreneurial teams. The team started a company that combines flying drone technology with a pressure-washing rig.The governor asked Andrew Ashur,David Danielson, Adrian Mayanshow they had come up with their company’s name “Lucid.” Without skipping a beat, Ashur said that they found it while looking through a thesaurus. Cooper replied with a big grin – and “thesaurus, that’s fantastic.”
Editors’ Note:News of Davidson was one of the founding members in the co-working space at the Hurt Hub. The Hub offers 501(c)(3) nonprofits with a discount to their fee schedule, and the NOD board of directors determined that being part of this innovative space in our town was important.