Student-run incubation centre making way for production engineering research in Bruneau Centre
Memorial University’s student-run entrepreneurial incubation centre is moving.
The Launch Pad is housed in MUN’s Bruneau Centre.
“Space needs change at Memorial, and it can be a challenge at times,” said Lynn Morrissey, who noted that this isn’t the first time Launch Pad has moved to make way for other priorities. In this case, Launch Pad is moving to make room for production engineering research space, but by the fall, Launch Pad will have a physical location again, said Morrissey. “From the very beginning of our Launch Pad, we’ve been fortunate to have space somewhere in the Bruneau Centre.”
Use of Launch Pad space tends to wane during the summer anyway, said Morrissey.
“What happens at the end of what we call our traditional school year, which would be the end of May, that’s usually when current clients of Launch Pad graduate and move out, and we definitely had that this year,” said Morrissey.
“Then we have others who are transitioning … there’s at least two who didn’t transition out, but because it’s the summer, they didn’t need the space.
“They’re not on campus themselves; they’ll be back in September.”
Empty spaces in Launch Pad are filled in the fall by Memorial’s Innovation Challenge, which sees business students pitch entrepreneurial ideas in a competition for cash and support, and Morrissey said there will definitely be space for Launch Pad in the fall.
“Whether it’ll be working with other, similar service providers here on campus that are going to bring us into their fold right now or whether it’ll be an office here in the faculty and then another office over in the UC (university centre), I don’t know yet what’ll look like,” said Morrissey, who said meetings were already planned to determine where to locate Launch Pad next.
Greg Leaman, owner of Engravable Designs, a laser-engraving business that operated out of Launch Pad this past year, said he found the space invaluable.
“Especially for my business. I wasn’t just a laptop-based business. I couldn’t just put down my laptop somewhere and get to work,” he said. “Where I have physical equipment that needs to operate out of one place, it was especially helpful for me because I didn’t need to go and rent a secondary office or building somewhere else, especially when I was in class.”
Leaman was also pleased with the non-tangible advantages provided by Launch Pad, including mentorship and legal advice, although he notes that previous moves have left Launch Pad in less appealing locations. “When it first started, it was this really nice space. It had really nice windows, it had this exterior door, and every time MUN needed the space, they would shift it around and downsize it and move it around in different spots,” he said.