University Economic Development Association


Innovation Incubator (I2)

Award Category: Place + Innovation
Submitted By: Georgia Southern University, Business Innovation Group
Program Info: Learn More


The original vision for the downtown City Center began in 2011 with the Downtown Statesboro Development Authority (DSDA) and the College of Business Administration contemplating ideas of how to give Georgia Southern University a footprint downtown. What began as the E-zone coworking and collaboration space for entrepreneurs evolved just one year later as community leaders at an annual retreat discussed the development of the Innovation Incubator (I2) and Digital Fabrication Laboratory (FabLab) in downtown Statesboro.

To help with the development of processes and programs for I2, BIG first started the virtual incubator, Georgia’s Enterprise Network for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (GENIE). GENIE used NAICS funds to connect entrepreneurs and innovators in a handful of rural communities to resources at the university.

The Innovation Incubator (I2) officially opened in August 2016 with the help of funding from the Economic Development Administration in partnership with the City of Statesboro, who owns the buildings, and Georgia Southern University who manages the space and programming. The Business Innovation Group (BIG) was formed in 2014 by combining the business outreach arms of the university under one roof to be a one-stop-shop for business resources in Downtown Statesboro just steps away from City Hall.

BIG is also already managing a second I2 location in Metter, GA for agribusinesses, as well as working on a location in Hinesville, GA for military families and another in Savannah, GA for innovations in logistics technology.

University Economic Development Association

PO Box 97930
Pittsburgh, PA 15227
216.200.UEDA (8332)