Harrisburg University hires director for new center designed to support startups

//May 14, 2019

Harrisburg University hires director for new center designed to support startups

//May 14, 2019

Jay Jayamohan has been hired as executive director of the new Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Harrisburg University. (Photo: Submitted) –

Hoping to give students, faculty and regional entrepreneurs another outlet to develop business startups, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology is starting a Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship.

The university is still working out details for the center, including a location, but it has named a founding executive director to lead it.

Harrisburg University has hired Jay Jayamohan, an adjunct professor of strategy at the George Mason University School of Business, to lead the new center. The university’s stated goal for the center is to have a greater social and commercial impact by supporting business innovations.

President Eric Darr said he wants the center to support the broader business community in Central Pennsylvania, not just technology startups.

“Given our tech focus, that is a natural focus for us,” he said. “I would say wherever it takes us. I’m not excluding anything.”

He also said he sees the center as complementary to other startup-support ventures in Harrisburg, including Catamaran, an early-stage accelerator that helps people turn ideas into tangible businesses.

As Harrisburg has become home to more tech-focused firms in recent years, including some that occupy space near the university, Darr has floated the idea of partnering or creating a university hub for startups.

Darr said hiring Jayamohan is the first step in the process. Jayamohan is a mechanical engineer with more than 20 years of experience developing startup companies and tech products.

“Everyone has ideas, but the challenge is to find mentors who have been there before to guide you through best practices and help you mine the ecosystem to start and grow successful companies,” Jayamohan said in a statement. “The center will be that for the HU community.”

He said he hopes the center will create an economic engine for Harrisburg and surrounding areas by attracting innovators and entrepreneurs.