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About the I4IE


The Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Give to I4IE


Innovation and entrepreneurship are closely related concepts.

  • Innovation typically refers to a new method or idea about a product design.
    • Organizations desire to harness innovation or creativity.
  • Entrepreneurship is typically associated with starting a new venture or organization.
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship are driving forces in today's economy.

The Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (I4IE) serves as a hub for greater learning and knowledge, resources and infrastructure, and innovation and entrepreneurial activities.

The I4IE serves faculty, students, and staff across campus and members of the Kittitas Valley and Central Washington communities.

Entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angel investors, retired business executives, faculty and alumni form the resource base for the I4IE.

The I4IE hopes to serve as a catalyst for regional economic development when it moves into it's new location at 421 N. Main in Ellensburg, WA in Spring 2022.


There are four primary goals that define operations for the I4IE:

  1. Create an entrepreneurial network that incorporates learning and education.
  2. Encourage, facilitate, promote and develop innovation in small business and entrepreneurial ventures for regional economic development.
  3. Involve entrepreneurs in the College of Business and CWU.
  4. Create a cohesive network of entrepreneurs to assist and/or pursue future innovative initiatives.


The I4IE will pursue activities and initiatives that include:

  • Business Plan Competition
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship Speakers
  • Entrepreneurs Club/Association for Students
  • Advisory Group
  • Faculty Research
  • Profiles in Innovation and Entrepreneurship

I4IE Support

The I4IE received initial support from the Herbert B. Jones Foundation to develop and sustain the institute. Since 1995, the Herbert B. Jones Foundation, based in Bellevue, has promoted entrepreneurship through support for new business programs managed by post-secondary educational institutions in Washington. The initial funding focuses primarily on: student business plan competition, creating a center for entrepreneurship and developing the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Speaker Series. Additional funding provided to expand I4IE programming.

In addition, the Patricia Galloway and Kris Nielsen Foundation awarded grants to the Institute for program development. The Galloway and Nielsen Foundation, based at Unionville Ranch in Cle Elum, was founded in 2009 and supports original research that seeks to create innovative products and services which integrate science and engineering with management concepts. The goal is to assist scientists and engineers in developing creative and innovative ideas that improve the quality of life for all.

By connecting to successful entrepreneurs, I4IE intends to continue building a strong network of support.

Organizational Structure

Director: Dr. Bill Provaznik
Assistant Director: Janie Zencak, MPA (CWU '14, Accounting and Economics)
Entrepreneur-in-Residence: Roland ("Sandy") Wheeler (CWU '74, Accounting) will serve as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence and assist with pursuing institute goals, developing an advisory group and creating a cohesive network or core group of entrepreneurs.

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