Modupe Darabidan Adeoye named inaugural Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
At IU South Bend’s Northside Hall, plans are in the works for a new campus facility: the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center. Centrally located on the first floor of one of IU South Bend’s largest academic buildings, the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center will be a multi-purpose hub in Northside Hall that will allow students to gain the skills they need to launch their own businesses. They will also have access to other resources, such as the North Central Indiana Small Business Development Center, which will be co-located in this new space, to help them.
Chancellor Susan Elrod is pleased to announce that the inaugural director of this new resource is Modupe Darabidan Adeoye. Modupe earned a B.S. in computer science with an economics minor from Obafemi Awolowo University in her native Nigeria. In 2019, she completed the prestigious Mandela Washington Fellowship for Leadership in Business at the University of Notre Dame. She then completed her master’s in ESTEEM (Engineering, Science and Technology Entrepreneurship), also at Notre Dame.
“This new position requires a unique and broad set of skills, and I believe that Modupe Darabidan Adeoye has the required background and passion to launch this new center,” Elrod says. “The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center will create a campus community where students, mentors, and business leaders can all come together and learn from each other. The networking, brainstorming, and productive partnership-building that will emerge from this confluence of talents will be exciting, and Modupe is just the person to oversee these new program developments.”
Modupe has a proven track record in business that goes back to her time in Nigeria, most notably her work as founder and managing director of an initiative called iStarter Hub, an organization that educates and empowers young women going into business and technology fields.
“Innovation is about problem-solving,” Modupe says. “The key to solving a problem is being able to identify all the parts you need, and then bringing them all together. The Center will be catering to people who feel they have the right ideas, the solutions to the many problems we face today. We can get them access to the proper resources.”
Modupe is confident that community business leaders and other organizations in our local entrepreneurship ecosystem will be eager to get involved.
“In the last five years, the region – and Indiana in particular – has been very committed to entrepreneurial pursuits and entrepreneurial agendas. There’s been more awareness that when you’re solving these problems, you’re essentially creating wealth. We can help connect people with resources, databases, networks, mentorships, even ‘fireside chats’ with investors in the region,” Modupe says.
The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center will welcome all students, regardless of major.
“It will be run with an open-door policy, in which anyone can walk in and ask, ‘What is in here for me?’ We can help that person join a team of like-minded people who all fit together as vital pieces of a larger puzzle. You don’t have to be the originator of an idea; you might have the skills to engage and play an important role in someone else’s idea,” she says.
“These young innovators and young entrepreneurs can learn so much from someone who has already walked that path before them,” Modupe says. “They’ll come away thinking, ‘If you made it that far, then maybe I can do that much or even more.’”
The first Innovation and Entrepreneurship programs are slated to be offered during the spring 2024 semester. For more information, contact Modupe Darabidan Adeoye at firstname.lastname@example.org or 574-520-5465.