Thursday, June 14, 2018

UNC Charlotte’s Data Science Initiative (DSI) has announced a partnership with Packard Place, Charlotte’s largest community and co-working space, to provide a new satellite site for the University’s Data Science and Business Analytics (DSBA) graduate programs. Students and faculty will be embedded in an entrepreneurial environment with direct access to startups, potential collaborators, mentors and employers, honoring a key DSI commitment to community engagement.

Packard Place, located at 222 Church St., serves as a hub for entrepreneurs sharing skills and business opportunities in Charlotte. It is a community center for entrepreneurial activity in the heart of the city, providing access to technology, education and hands-on assistance to help business partners and startups design, build, market and deliver innovation and solutions.

“This opportunity is representative of what we strive to do,” noted Joshua Hertel, director of Charlotte’s Data Science Initiative. “While one facet of the DSI provides education and training to students and industry, our mission has always been to strengthen Charlotte’s technology ecosystem through collaboration between the University and industry. As an incubator for entrepreneurs, Packard Place is the ideal location for our students to work alongside technology leaders and innovators.”

With its mission to “Put Charlotte First,” Packard Place is one of the most successful social entrepreneurship projects in Charlotte’s history. The nonprofit mission of the Garage at Packard Place has allowed its entrepreneurial community to blossom and grow.  Since its 2010 inception, Packard Place has partnered with dozens of community groups to weave the community together and directly helped launch many of the companies that are now the pillars of the community, including [provide one or two examples]

“We are excited to have UNC Charlotte’s DSI under our roof,” said Dan Roselli, co-founder of Packard Place. “Packard Place provides a place to incubate new business and technology solutions – adding this new opportunity to collaborate with a leading research institution and its talent will be very valuable for us.”

For the soft launch, the DSI will offer four classes in the fall, with the intent to add courses in spring 2019. Initially, 75 to 100 students will study at the Packard Place location. By the spring semester, the DSI aims to double its offerings and the number of students engaged there.