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School of Management and Small Business Development Center Secure Idea Lab Space

Downtown Worcester Space Puts Clark Students and the SBDC in the Heart of the Business Community

The School of Management (SOM) at Clark University has secured a new space in the downtown Worcester area to better serve the needs of its entrepreneurial students and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Clark University.

The space at 20 Franklin Street, known as The Worcester Idea Lab, is a co-working and accelerator space that will provide a downtown presence for Clark students interning with the SBDC, as well as for SOM’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation (E & I) Program students. Interns working with the SBDC can use the space for meetings or interviews with small clients looking to start or grow their small business. E & I students will be able to meet with other Worcester-area college students to brainstorm ideas and become more fully integrated into the broader Worcester business community, especially given the space’s location next to City Hall.

SBDC Downtown

The Idea Lab, owned and operated by the Worcester Business Development Corp (WBDC), is SOM’s and the SBDC’s first physical expansion into the downtown area. The new space provides use of an office, conference rooms, a full kitchen, and high-speed internet connection.

“It offers us resources where students can work on their entrepreneurial ideas and meet with small business owners, and also expands opportunities with a visible presence in the heart of the Worcester business community,” Dr. David Jordan, Dean of the School of Management, said of the expansion. “We’re thrilled to see this new business think-tank already in action and look forward to watching our students and the SBDC continue to thrive.”

President of the WBDC, Craig L. Blais, added, “The Worcester Business Development Corporation is thrilled to partner with Clark’s School of Management and the SBDC to bring its faculty, students, and clients downtown and are excited to see the formation of great connections and partnerships between our existing members and new users of the space.  We are proud to offer flexible and affordable class A office space to help support the regions’ higher education community and entrepreneurs.”

Tom HeraldClark recently appointed Thomas A. Herald as Regional Director of the SBDC. A longtime adjunct faculty member for the University and the SBDC, Herald is now leading the center’s initiatives to guide and support aspiring and existing small business owners and students while contributing to the region’s broader business ecosystem.

With Herald’s appointment, the SBDC at Clark also transitioned back under the purview of the School of Management. The move provides a more seamless way for SOM students to participate in the support services offered by the SBDC to local businesses and entrepreneurs throughout Central Massachusetts via internships and project work.

SBDC Downtown

“I am genuinely excited to be part of the Clark SBDC internship expansion downtown.  Every time a student is paired with an entrepreneur and a business mentor, real synergy takes place.  This expansion showcases that dynamic as a collaboration between the WBDC, MSBDC, Clark University, the SBA, and City, State, and Federal governments.  It is the essence of a community working together to grow the local economy.”

The space must be reserved in advance by students, who can do so by contacting the SBDC at