Saint Mary's CollegeThe Hatchery: An Innovation Center for Women-Led Entrepreneurship and Technical Skill Development
Saint Mary's College
The Hatchery: An Innovation Center for Women-Led Entrepreneurship and Technical Skill Development
Located in the heart of the Saint Mary’s Campus, “The Hatchery” was conceived as an innovative workspace and training center designed to improve opportunities for women of all ages, races, and ethnicities, both as business and industry leaders and in skilled positions in the regional workforce. It consists of three distinct, specialized working areas: the Industry Credentialing Lab, the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Studio, and the Specialized Makerspace Collaborative.
The Industry Credentialing Lab will help create a pipeline of industry-ready talent for the South Bend-Elkhart (SBE) regional workforce by offering training and certifications in as many as 15 digital and physical skills. Students at Saint Mary’s, The University of Notre Dame, and Holy Cross College can earn these credentials alongside their Bachelor’s and/or Master’s degrees, with the opportunity also available to adult learners and the workers of regional employers in the community.
The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Studio is designed to cultivate the entrepreneurial capacity of Saint Mary’s students and under-resourced women in the community through course offerings in design thinking, problem-solving, and intrapreneurship and organizational change.
The Specialized Makerspace Collaborative is a 3,000 sq. ft. flexible workshop conceived to provide a welcoming environment for students and women entrepreneurs to prototype and small-batch manufacture a range of physical and digital products.
Saint Mary’s submitted a grant application seeking funding to renovate and furnish the three spaces, and other start-up costs. The Foundation, impressed with this economic development proposal and the college’s efforts to serve both students and under-resourced women in the community, was pleased to award a grant.