Center for Innovation Strategies
About the Center

Cullman Summit 2017

Our mission

The Center for Innovation Strategies inspires a growth mindset in organizations and students by

  • Acting as a catalyst and facilitator within the innovation ecosystem;
  • Providing quality instruction and enabling the co-creation and sharing of innovation knowledge, frameworks and tools, and;
  • Advancing innovation research and applied practice.

Defining Innovation
Innovation spans multiple disciplines and departments within companies and industries.
It is the practice of top-line growth and value creation through the development of new products and services, including new branded concepts, patents, and intellectual property.

  • Begins with target consumer’s articulated and unarticulated wants and needs
  • Employs multi-disciplinary collaboration
  • Incorporates networked, “open innovation” based partnerships
  • Combines strategic rigor and creative intuition in decision making


Center leadership

  • CIS Team
  • Interns/GAs

    Sarah Elfers HeadshotSarah Elfers
    Sarah Elfers is currently a third year student at The Ohio State University working toward a degree in marketing and nonprofit management. She is interested in pursuing opportunities related to animal health and welfare and fundraising. Sarah holds the position of Vice President of Philanthropy for her sorority and manages various fundraising events throughout the year. She is also involved in Pink Out OSU, which raises money for breast cancer awareness and research. Sarah is very family oriented and owes her work ethic and values to her parents. Within CIS, Sarah assists Jenny Heckscher in the planning of events, seminars, and workshops for students, staff, and corporate partners to develop their knowledge of innovation and entrepreneurship.

    Akash croppedAkash Sharma
    Akash is a second-year undergraduate student studying Finance at Ohio State who has taken great strides toward being involved. He currently serves as the VP of Special Events for the Undergraduate Finance Association, VP of Internal Operations for Fisher Citizenship Program, and is on the general body of Ohio's leading fundraising organization for pediatric cancer, BuckeyeThon. Akash plans on working in the corporate Finance world and hopes to eventually obtain an MBA education. As the Finance and Operations intern at CIS, he works alongside his team to create a successful launch for the Columbus Small Business Accelerator Program (CBIZ).

Contact Us

Paul Reeder  
Executive Director
Center for InnovationStrategies
227 Mason Hall
250 Woodruff Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43210