Troy Bank & Trust provided a $500,000 donation toward the development of the Troy University Innovation, Design and Entrepreneurship Accelerator (IDEA) Bank in partnership with the Troy University Sorrell College of Business.
“We think it’s a great day for both the university and the downtown area,” said Jeff Kervin, Troy Bank & Trust president and CEO. “We want to help the students because when students thrive and a university thrives and a community thrives, a bank thrives.”
The announcement of the partnership was made at a press conference on Thursday, Sept. 7, for the launch of the IDEA Bank.
The former Regions Bank building in downtown Troy will serve primarily as a hub for student entrepreneurs to launch their businesses with the help of other students, faculty and members of the community.
Avalon Dudinsky, a senior marketing major from Panama City, Florida, and student entrepreneur of “Stan’s Stuff,” her seasoning business, served as an inspiration for the IDEA bank.
Dudinsky has been working with the administration to provide student input and ideas on the best ways the IDEA Bank could help future students.
Judson Edwards, an associate professor of economics and dean of the Sorrell College of Business, said he expects to receive student involvement from multiple departments for the project.
“Any student that wants to get engaged with this, no matter their major, can get involved with this program,” Edwards said in an interview with the Tropolitan after the press conference. “We want all students to be engaged here, whether in the business school or not.”
The project has been in development for at least a year and a half, according to Edwards, and still requires internal extensive renovations.
Edwards also said the historic vault inside the original building is expected to remain and be used as mailboxes for business addresses for program students.
At this time, it is uncertain when the building will be completed.
The downtown location is unique because Troy University got its start downtown.
Walter Givhan, senior vice chancellor for advancement and economic development, said he is excited for the project and for Troy to return to its downtown roots.
“You can’t help but be proud when you think of how long we’ve been working to try to do something like this … to have a meaningful presence downtown,” Givhan said.
The IDEA Bank will also introduce an entrepreneurship minor, and the Small Business Development Center, currently located at 100 Industrial Blvd. off campus, will eventually be moved into the same building for easier student and community access.
Chancellor Jack Hawkins said he looks forward to the project and the opportunities it will bring for the University and the community.
“It’s always been my belief that you build great universities by building great opportunities for students,” Hawkins said in an interview with the Tropolitan.