About the Shipley Center

Charles R. '84 (HD) and Lucia Shipley

In 1999, through the generosity of Charles R. ’84 (HD) and Lucia Shipley, the Shipley Center was established to promote student learning and development in leadership, teamwork and entrepreneurship. Since its inception, it has served as a valuable community resource, fostering relationships between local businesses and nonprofits and assisting in the development of new ideas.

The Shipley Center for Innovation continues to play an important role in startup culture across northern New York. Today, it serves as a primary hub for economic development, capitalizing on emerging technologies developed at Clarkson University to create cutting-edge ventures for future solutions nationwide.

What makes us unique is that we hold the innovator’s hand through the entire process, we connect you with the people that help you rather than force you to figure that out on your own.

Matthew Draper, Executive Director Shipley Center for Innovation

The Shipley Center has ...

The Shipley Center has propelled 65 student startups
The Shipley Center has filed 115 patents
The Shipley Center has raised $12.3 million in cumulative capital

Projects range from iPhone apps to pharmaceuticals…from robotic prosthetics to skis. We have a little bit of everything. Some are disruptive and aimed at changing the current market; others are second or third generation replication ideas that improve upon a current model.

Innovation Hub

Logan Fisher

The Innovation Hub is a place for students, faculty and staff to come and play around with their ideas. Located in the middle of Clarkson University, the hub provides a central place to congregate with like-minded individuals and subject matter experts to help elevate your idea to the next level. In addition to the on-campus hub, another facility in downtown Potsdam provides space to physically build prototypes, hold team meetings, pitch to investors and propel the idea to market.

“We're forcing collisions because that's when the best innovations happen,” says Draper. To see if your idea has merit, at the Innovation Hub, you can meet with a variety of expert “wizards” who are on-hand to help, like librarians for patent search assistance, engineers who can determine real world feasibility and others with backgrounds in business, product development and marketing. There is also an opportunity to apply for the Innovation Hub Fellows Program, which allows students to work half time for the Innovation Hub while they pursue graduate studies. Those who are accepted into the fellows program receive a significant scholarship and a stipend.

"The innovators, the entrepreneurs — they're the stars. We're just in the background to guide them," says Draper. 

Young Innovators and Entrepreneurs Program

Student pitching her business idea in the innovation showcase

For the past five years, the Young Innovators and Entrepreneurs Program has catapulted student ideas into business success stories. In a unique partnership, students within this program attend Clarkson tuition-free through a combination of merit-based financial aid and the University’s acquisition of a 10 percent ownership interest in their business ventures. A maximum of five students per year can participate in this one-of-a-kind program that allows you to pursue your idea while earning a degree at a top-ranked university.

“This program is designed for the person who has an idea that could dent the universe,” says Draper. “However, while the initial idea is important, it’s only a starting point. We look for the potential in the individual because when we select our participants, we truly invest in the person as much as in his or her idea.”

Do you have what it takes? Click here to learn how to apply.

Our Staff

Navigating the business world can be tricky, but the Shipley Center staff can help you out. Meet the team who can put your idea to the test.

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