Mar. 5—The Dayton Arcade is open again after shutting its doors about 30 years ago, and some of the people who helped bring it back to life say its transformation has to be seen to be believed.
But an in-person grand opening of the new Hub Powered by PNC Bank was out of the question because of the coronavirus pandemic.
And so, the hub's official opening took place online on YouTube Thursday evening, which gave people at home a chance to glimpse the newly renovated space.
The University of Dayton and the Entrepreneurs' Center teamed up to establish the hub, which anchors the arcade and occupies about 95,000 square feet of space.
"We set about making a single location for all of the services and support an entrepreneur needs to be successful," said Scott Koorndyk, president of the Entrepreneurs' Center.
The virtual event contained videos from some of the people who will be working, learning and teaching at the arcade.
Some people talked about the uniqueness of the space and how it is set up to encourage collaboration and "collisions."
The hub has co-working and co-share spaces that allow students, faculty, small businesses, entrepreneurs and other community members to network and make connections, said Bonnie Kling, collaborations coordinator with the Entrepreneurs' Center.
Eric Spina, UD's president, said part of his job is to ensure students have the best opportunities possible.
He said the hub is going to be a "game-changer" for the university because of the place, people and expertise. He said the hub also will allow students to interact with a diverse group of people and professionals.
"Here at the hub we're going to have business students, we're going to have engineers, we're going to have law students, we're going to have art and design students, we're going to have students in the liberal arts and humanities," he said.
The hub is expected to have between 200 and 250 UD students when it gets up and running.
The hub is going to have a "monumental impact" on the student experience, said David Marshall, assistant professor with UD's department of management and marketing.
"Sharing space with actual entrepreneurs, investors, local business owners will energize the classroom experience and infuse the classroom with experiential learning," he said.
Business ideas and plans developed in the classroom will have access to resources to make sure the start-up can keep going when students leave school, he said.