Center for Innovation Strategies
Community Programs

Group Photo at Columbus Fashion Alliance (CFA)


City of Columbus Partnership 

CIS partnered with the City of Columbus on three exciting initiatives with four of its partners, Columbus Fashion Alliance, Venture Suite, Watt 1 Electric, and Rebuilding Together Central Ohio.

Columbus Fashion Alliance

The Center for Innovation Strategies partnered with the Columbus Fashion Alliance for a student-driven innovation sprint focused around sustainable fashion. This program engaged thirty students in six 1-hour workshops. This collaboration with fashion industry leaders focused on the development of cutting-edge proposals to retail industry challenges around waste with the ultimate goal of creating a more circular economy. 

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Venture Suite

CIS and a team of students worked with Venture Suite senior leadership to build a roadmap that touches on the roadblocks, resources, and possible pathways for underrepresented individuals looking to create their own business. The team conducted research to explore the problem/opportunity area, conducted interviews, developed and iterated potential solutions, and presented final solutions to Venture Suite for consideration.

Strategic Planning - City of Columbus Partnership for Disadvantaged Business Enterprises

The Center for Innovation Strategies collaborated with the City of Columbus to develop strategic plans for two small businesses, Watt1 Electric and Rebuilding Together Central Ohio. The strategic plans will help these minority-owned businesses grow their customer base and increase their profit margins. The project enabled CIS to continue to work with the City of Columbus on the development of a strategic plan for a business incubator/accelerator for disadvantaged businesses in central Ohio.

The center’s work with the City of Columbus to provide strategic planning and develop a plan for an accelerator/service center for disadvantaged businesses was also covered in The Columbus Dispatch.

The Legacy Project, a Partnership with Scotts Miracle-Gro

Legacy Project LogoCIS and its Executive Director Paul Reeder have been involved with the development of The Legacy Project since 2016. The Legacy Project is a youth empowerment  program for high school students supported by The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation and The Hagedorn Legacy Foundation. CIS provides strategic leadership  for the project and along with the Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship, continues to provide comprehensive entrepreneurial mindset content curriculum for The Legacy Project.

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Ohio Prison Entrepreneurship Program

Under the leadership of Dr. Judy Tansky and in collaboration with former ICE Scholar and intern Erin Halleran and the Ohio Department for Rehabilitation and Correction (ORDC), Fisher and the center developed the Ohio Prison Entrepreneurship Program (OPEP). OPEP introduces the currently incarcerated population to entrepreneurial concepts and the process of starting a business.

Learn more about OPEP