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    October 13, 2022

    Poised to Transform the Student Experience, the Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Creativity Officially Opens

    Boasting the latest cutting-edge technology and funded by a combination of alumni philanthropy, public grants, corporate gifts and funds from Le Moyne College, the Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Creativity (KCEIC) will officially open on Thursday, Oct. 13 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Le Moyne and Madden School of Business leadership, regional business leaders and elected officials are expected at the ceremony, which is a culmination of a year-long construction project that has transformed the building into the Keenan Center.

    “The primary goal of the center, which is open to Le Moyne students and the community, is to increase the density of entrepreneurial, innovative and creative talent in Central New York,” said Jim Joseph ‘83, dean of the Madden School of Business. “Today, with the official opening of the Keenan Center, we are taking a moment to celebrate what we have accomplished and recommit ourselves to this goal. I am so grateful for the generosity of Tim and Kathleen Keenan, ’81, Pete ’78 and Tara ’78 DiLaura and others, along with the expertise and hard work of the incredible team that has made this vision a reality.”

    A total of $5.4 million was raised for the center, including $2 million from Le Moyne. In 2019 Le Moyne was awarded a grant of $485,000 from the New York State Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) for the redevelopment and earlier this year DiLaura made a gift in funds and equipment.

    “We attended college in two of the hardest hit areas of the country - Central Ohio and Central New York – and believe that increased entrepreneurial activity will return these regions to economic growth, lifting communities out of poverty,” said Tim and Kathleen Keenan. “We found ourselves in the unique position to reshape how higher education can impact entrepreneurship and innovation. Following two decades of building other successful entrepreneurship programs, we are looked upon as thought leaders and our vision for the future is applied through that filter every day.”

    Center Features
    The 2,700-square-foot center has been built to standards established by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is one of the most unique facilities of its kind found on a college campus in the country.

    The DiLaura Innovation & Design Lab is funded by Pete DiLaura, chair of the Le Moyne Board of Trustees, and his wife Tara, founders of CADimensions, Inc., who stated, “Our vision for this lab is to provide students and all those who use it with tools and technology to inspire them to impact the world.”

    The DiLaura Lab will be utilized by up to 20 students a day for classes and learning, and allow them to build electronic vehicles, space crafts, laser cutting, milling, HAM radio, drone work, and other high-tech designing, building and making.

    Among the DiLaura Lab’s features are the following:

    Additive Manufacturing & Development

    • 10 3D printers, each with different capabilities
    • Three engineering workstations
    • Electronics, Raspberry Pi, Arduino Workbench 
    • Roland vinyl cutter

    Subtractive Manufacturing & Development

    • ShopBot milling machine
    • Epilog Laser Cutter

    Other features of the Keenan Center include:

    Digital Media Studio/Recording Studio:

    • 6K cameras, 4k cameras
    • Realtime video monitor
    • Studio and boom microphones 
    • Studio lights 
    • Green screen background

    Virtual/Augmented Reality Station

    • Microsoft Hololenses
    • Professional VR headset
    • Occulus Rift
    • KAT VR Treadmill
    • VR development workstation

    Production/Communications Center 

    • DaVinci Editing Suite 
    • Podcasting audio equipment
    • Live digital broadcast equipment 
    • Digital audio workstation, full-size music keyboard, and digital controllers
    • Amateur radio station (ham radio), HF/UHF/VHF, and Satellite communications

    Textiles/Paint/Wet Lab 

    •  Four station silk screen machines 
    •  Airbrushes/spray booth 
    •  Flash setter 
    • Carbon fiber layups 
    • Ultrasonic cleaner


    • Table saw
    • Miter saw
    • Drill press
    • Band saw
    • Lathe 
    • Belt sander

    The Center also features collaborative work spaces for students to game, connect, and brainstorm, a conference room, offices and modular meeting spaces, and classrooms equipped with surround sound and theatre-style presentation screens.

    “The support from the Keenans, the Maddens, the DiLauras and so many others within the Le Moyne family has helped us create a launching pad for entrepreneurs and innovators across Central New York and beyond,” said Keenan Center Director Mike D’Eredita ‘92, Ph.D. “The center’s new headquarters is quickly becoming an epicenter of transformative change for our students and the Central New York community. With these gifts, we will accelerate our efforts to increase the density of entrepreneurial talent that will drive the region into the future.”

    Keenan Center Initiatives

    • 'Phin Labs - The center’s exclusive externship program continues to help the Central New York entrepreneurial community grow. As the center expands its influence the Keenan team is focused on improving diversity within the community and building lasting generational wealth.  Each year, the center partners with regional start-ups at various stages, including SpinCar (now Impel), the City of Syracuse and The Castle.
    • Dolphin Tank - Each year, $50,000 is provide to 10 student entrepreneurs to help them launch their businesses. In addition to young, bright leaders, more than 200 community members regularly attend the event, and another 10,000 watch the results on television and online. Regional business leaders make up the panel of judges for the event.
    • Maker Institute – This has become one of the most popular groups in Central New York for inventors, with state-of-the-art equipment and facilities used daily by students from the Maker Zone, Maker Club and local elementary, middle-school and high school students from all over the region. Led by Doug Hill, the institute is making a real, tangible impact on our area.
    • ERIE21 – Partnering with the ERIE21 program, the Keenan Center is impacting the community in a variety of ways. The center is an active partner with this award-winning initiative, engaging local schools and students through programming, training and more. 
    • The Keenan Center’s Entrepreneur in Residence Hasan Stephens continues his work as a bridge between the center and the community at large. Earlier in 2022, the KCEIC sponsored a business competition featuring young entrepreneurs from the Good Life Youth Foundation, with Hasan securing over $10,000 to award the competitors. The event was a powerful reminder of what the center is working towards.
    • More Good Jobs - Supported by the UpMobility Foundation, More Good Jobs is a global community of startup community builders. The community is close-knit but far reaching geographically with members from the West Coast of the United States to Leicester UK.

    Established in 2013 with an initial gift from the Keenan Family Foundation, the KCEIC has become a unifying bridge between Le Moyne’s Madden School of Business and the College of Arts and Sciences. In 2019, there were no arts and sciences students enrolled in any entrepreneurship courses. By 2022, nearly 25 percent of students in the program are arts and sciences students, a percentage that is sure to increase with the newly launched campus-wide effort, the Community of Entrepreneurs, Innovators and Creatives initiative. Learn more about the Keenan Center here.  

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