Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Family and Consumer Sciences

First Advisor

Kim Buchholz

Second Advisor

Alex Hokkanen


The aim of an innovation center is to provide a space for individuals to broaden their ideas and create a safe environment for ideas to develop. The question this research paper aims to answer is “What is the purpose of an innovation center and what makes it successful or unsuccessful. The proposed question is important as it helps define the mainstream approach in existing innovation centers and also assists in focusing on future innovation centers and how to better approach the design of such spaces and make each innovation center unique. The common attributes generated by successful innovation centers are those of the requirements of the space. The requirements of the space are a clear focus and orientation, collaborative space, low barriers to entry and advance programs, leveraging resources and committed leadership with working staff members that establish services, management and success of innovation centers. In addition, the implementation of multiple working spaces contributes to the success of an innovation center. These spaces include labs, collaborative, co-working, individual and event spaces. The factors of an unsuccessful innovation center, relates to the center losing its value due to high cost, the services users require and need are not provided on site, and innovation centers not having a clear aim and purpose. The success and failure of innovation centers also prevail on the success and failure of the users of the center. The users create the value and purpose behind the motivation to launch these centers. Ultimately innovation centers are created to support and guide individuals in their path to success. These centers are made for individuals seeking accommodation, advice and mentoring for their ideas and innovations. With a defined and clear aim, the purpose of innovation centers can be accomplished which is assisting and supporting the development of start-ups by providing counseling and continual support.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Restricted

Restricted to Campus until