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$1 million gift to help spur next generation of North Carolina entrepreneurs

BOONE— Appalachian State University has announced the naming of the new Transportation Insight Center for Entrepreneurship in its Walker College of Business. The center will expand resources and tools, so that emerging entrepreneurs can develop the skills they need to start their own businesses and drive the economy.

Top state leaders, including N.C. Gov. Bev Perdue, say entrepreneurship is a crucial economic development tool for sustained growth. “Entrepreneurship will continue to play an important role in job creation in North Carolina,” Perdue said. “Nurturing budding entrepreneurs with support through programs and activities, such as those that will be provided students through the Transportation Insight Center for Entrepreneurship at Appalachian, will help ensure a prosperous future in our state.”

The Transportation Insight Center for Entrepreneurship was made possible by a private, $1 million gift.  The center will be housed in Raley Hall in a 1,700-square-foot, contemporarily designed space that will include four offices, student lounge, meeting area and incubator office space to support students trying to launch their own businesses. The center will also support outreach services, programming and student travel to entrepreneurship competitions.

“This gift will be truly transformational for entrepreneurship education at Appalachian,” said Dr. Randy Edwards, dean of the Walker College of Business. “Transportation Insight is a great company and it is a pleasure to partner with them on this project that will benefit our students who have a shared dream of starting their own business.”

With a desire to mentor and foster entrepreneurial spirit, Transportation Insight, hopes the new center will enhance Appalachian’s reputation as a premier institution for entrepreneurship.

“We are honored to participate in the development of these future entrepreneurs,” said Transportation Insight Chief Strategy Officer Chris Baltz. “Their creativity and ingenuity will ultimately enable them to contribute to high growth businesses and create value for the American economy. That’s a real and measurable impact for emerging leaders in the entrepreneurial world of innovation and sustainability.”

Jayme Goodyear, president of the Association of Student Entrepreneurs (ASE) and a senior management major at Appalachian, hopes to start his own business after graduation. “I feel I can accomplish so much more now than I could have without the advisors and professors in this program. It has been quite a venture and I plan to take the experience and knowledge I have gained at Appalachian to pursue entrepreneurial ventures, both social and for profit, in multiple fields, creating jobs and hopefully building success that other entrepreneurs can build from as well.”

“Entrepreneurship has definitely been infused across campus with our students,” said Heather Dixon-Fowler, director of the center and an assistant professor in the Department of Management. “More students are thinking about their futures and realizing they are going to need to create their own opportunities rather than rely on a job being there for them when they graduate.”

In addition to the support provided by the center, the Walker College of Business offers a B.S.B.A. degree in management with a concentration in entrepreneurship. For more information about the academic program, visit

For more information about the Transportation Insight Center for Entrepreneurship, visit

Transportation Insight has been nationally recognized by Inc. Magazine for its entrepreneurial excellence. Referring to the logistics industry as one of the country’s main economic engines, Inc. Magazine has ranked the Hickory-based third-party logistics provider as one of the fastest-growing privately held companies in the United States for the last four years in a row. Founded in 1998, Transportation Insight is among an elite group of Inc. 5000 companies experiencing significant and continuous expansion in years 10 and beyond of doing business. That positive trend reflects the company’s entrepreneurial commitment to quality continuous improvement, the creation of long-term business value and the development of sustained competitive advantage for its clients.