GSU Enterprise Innovation Group Companions with Native Entrepreneur as ‘Group Catalyst’ • The Georgia Advantage


Georgia Southern College’s Enterprise Innovation Group (BIG), a spot the place innovators and entrepreneurs in southeast Georgia can acquire abilities and coaching to rework their companies, has teamed up with one in every of its personal shoppers to supply enhanced sources to the neighborhood. 

BIG has been working alongside Garrett Clark — a Georgia Southern alumnus, Statesboro-Bulloch County Chamber of Commerce board member and native enterprise proprietor — as its Group Catalyst, a job BIG has had since its inception in 2014. On this function, Clark shares his management, problem-solving experience and advertising technique in an advisory capability to BIG’s management staff and fellow entrepreneurs within the house.

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Founding Director of BIG and Affiliate Provost for Innovation and Commercialization at Georgia Southern, Dominique Halaby, DPA, mentioned as the present Group Catalyst, Clark, a visionary and innovator, has been an integral a part of the atmosphere.  

“He’s actually a progress minded entrepreneur, so it’s not simply in regards to the enterprise that he has in place and benefiting from that enterprise, for him it’s about creating methods for progress to make that enterprise scalable and the steps it’s going to take to get it there,” Halaby mentioned. “Having that perspective from the boots on the bottom, having an entrepreneur that’s actually pondering a few steps forward about what the info wants are going to be to assist drive these determinations actually helps us in enthusiastic about which course of we put for different entrepreneurs.”

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Clark, who owns Rolling Monkey Ice Cream in Statesboro, started working with BIG in 2019 after he and his staff started to outgrow the enterprise’ authentic storefront workplace house resulting from speedy success. Clark appeared to amass a bigger workplace house in Statesboro the place he found BIG’s amenities and its operations. 

With a background in engineering and because the proprietor of a thriving enterprise, Clark started pondering of the way he may add worth to BIG’s operation. 

“I take pleasure in including worth and enhancing any group that I’m part of. After I got here into the BIG, I noticed the great potential and was excited to make enhancements that might yield synergy between shoppers and incubator workers,” Clark mentioned. “As a visionary and innovator, it’s of my nature to query what at the moment exists, see the place its foundational alternatives are and map a path ahead.”

From there, Clark used his worth stream engineering expertise and the mannequin he used to create his personal profitable enterprise to develop a framework tailor-made to BIG’s atmosphere that might assist BIG leverage probably the most out of its incubator-accelerator infrastructure. 

“I used a framework that was particularly designed to resolve advanced issues, to map and perceive what the Enterprise Innovation Group’s largest gaps have been,” Clark mentioned. “From there, I studied incubators akin to The College of Waterloo’s Velocity Incubator to grasp what made them world-class after which mapped out a future state for the Enterprise Innovation Group to progress into primarily based on these confirmed fashions.”

It was this that led to his present function as Group Catalyst. 

“Via that framework and future state map, we’re now nicely on the way in which of bringing the imaginative and prescient to actuality as a few of these elements have already been applied, such because the VIP Studying Administration System and the BigX accelerator program,” Clark mentioned. 

The Studying Administration System program was designed to successfully incubate startup corporations by a self-paced, on-demand mannequin to assist them obtain their objectives. It offers them with an in depth studying program that walks them by the expansion cycle inside a particular timeframe. Mentors and workers of BIG present coaching and training help inside explicit sections of this system.

Clark was additionally instrumental within the launch of the BIGx accelerator program — a peer-to-peer advising group with a structured face-to-face cohort mannequin with month-to-month accountability periods — which launched in 2021. He additionally was a participant within the first cohort of entrepreneurs to undergo this system with a view to check the mannequin and supply suggestions for optimization. This system has now been shared on the worldwide degree the place it has been applauded for its innovation. 

Each packages have been well-supported by the BIG management, who additionally invested in leaders to execute the 2 initiatives. Halaby mentioned Clark’s data-driven strategy to entrepreneurship has been very invaluable to the leaders and different entrepreneurs within the house. 

“He does a improbable job in scouring the market and seeing what else is going on, particularly with regards to making information pushed choices and bringing that again in actually an advisory capability,” Halaby mentioned.

Since utilizing this framework for progress in his personal enterprise, Clark mentioned sharing it with others and serving to them downside remedy is a part of what brings him pleasure. 

“It’s a really rewarding course of to provide by doing what I really like,” Clark mentioned. “My hope is to proceed to convey a constructive affect to these I collaborate with.”



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