News & Announcements

Cleveland State University Creates Weston Ideation Lab

Innovation learning center made possible by gift from Weston Inc.

Weston Ideation Lab

Cleveland State University has announced the creation of the Weston Ideation Lab, a collaborative, interdisciplinary learning laboratory designed to foster creative thinking, innovation and entrepreneurship across the Cleveland State campus.

Located within the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Monte Ahuja College of Business, the Lab will help students explore entrepreneurship through coursework, workshops, a speaker series and additional engaged learning opportunities. It will also assist potential entrepreneurs in gaining access to business mentors, prototyping services, legal and patent advice and business plan development. The Lab is made possible thanks to a gift from Weston Inc., one of the region’s largest privately held industrial property developers.

“Cleveland has a rich history of innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit,” said James Asher, CEO of Weston Inc. “Cleveland State University is the ideal location to establish a space where entrepreneurs can learn, ideate, launch and grow because of its location and philosophy of experiential learning.”

“Innovation and ideation labs are transforming higher education campuses,” said Ronald M Berkman, President of CSU.  “These spaces foster entrepreneurial ambitions and fuse fields like computer science, design, engineering and business to develop new products and services. I want to thank Weston Inc. and the entire Asher family for spurring development of this important resource for our students.”

The Lab will augment the range of engaged learning, outreach and research programs being undertaken by the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Ahuja College of Business. This includes an interdisciplinary entrepreneurship curriculum featuring multiple internship opportunities with local startups and business incubators, the Startup Vikes business development competition and the Small Business Development Center which provides business plan support and market analysis for new startups.

“Faculty, business mentors, startup counselors and an Entrepreneur-in-Residence will help students develop customer-centered, market-relevant ideas, as well as provide connections to the broader Cleveland startup ecosystem,” added Sanjay Putrevu, dean of the Monte Ahuja College of Business.

Currently a flexible space is being designed around the unique needs of venture development and engagement with the local business community to host courses, workshops, speakers, customer development interviews and meetings. The space will also house resource materials for entrepreneurs.

Weston Inc. is one of Northeast Ohio’s largest privately held industrial building owners and managers with over 500 tenants in 11 million square feet of space in 8 states. Founded in 1972, it is a second generation commercial real estate business led by the Asher Family. For more information, log on to