Marshall University’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation (iCenter) and Intuit, makers of QuickBooks, TurboTax and Mint, partnered to present a Virtual Prosperity Pop Up, featuring local small business Heritage Farms May 29. The virtual Prosperity Pop Up was a special opportunity exclusively provided to the Marshall University and Intuit communities and was co-hosted by Marshall alumnus and Intuit Executive Chairman Brad D. Smith, Marshall alumna and Intuit Associate Marketing Manager Mya Linden and Marshall student and iCenter Fellow Kelly Leonard.
Marshall University’s students, faculty and staff, along with Intuit employees from across the country, were invited to join the virtual event. During the Virtual Prosperity Pop Up, which was conducted over Zoom, the two communities learned about the past, present, and future of Appalachian innovation from Heritage Farms’ owner, Audy Perry. The pop up then showcased some of the farm’s Appalachian innovations, such as their new virtual petting zoo and animal encounters, along with locally crafted products from their cooperative Artisan Center member Heather McComas, owner of Three Blind Mice Basket Weaving.
Linden led the creation of Virtual Prosperity Pop Ups at Intuit and spearheaded bringing the event to Marshall. "Intuit has hosted in-person Prosperity Pop Ups at our Silicon Valley campus regularly in the past. When COVID-19 hit, the world changed overnight. My team and I started thinking about how Intuit might be able to continue supporting small businesses during these tough times, so we came up with the idea to continue Prosperity Pop Ups virtually. As a Marshall alumna, it was exciting to partner with Marshall University’s iCenter to expand our reach by supporting small businesses in my alma mater’s town and share their stories and products across the nation," said Linden.
Virtual Prosperity Pop Up is yet another collaboration between Intuit and Marshall University’s Schools of Business to inspire innovation in the college, campus and community. iCenter Executive Director Dr. Ben Eng said, "Intuit has been an incredible partner to us and, more importantly, a catalyst for change. In 2017, the Intuit team brought design thinking here with the Innovating for Impact Challenge. In 2018, they helped us establish the iCenter to spread design thinking, innovation and entrepreneurship across West Virginia and Appalachia. And now in 2020, we see the impact of innovation, as they partner with us to tell the great story of modern-day Appalachian ingenuity that’s being written at Heritage Farms."
These collaborations demonstrate the unique ties between Marshall University and Intuit. Brad Smith, Isabelle Rogner and Mya Linden, all Schools of Business alumni and current members of the Intuit team, have each driven impactful initiatives to bring innovation and entrepreneurship to the university and local community.
iCenter Associate Director Tricia Ball said she believes that the Virtual Prosperity Pop Up furthers the iCenter’s mission by supporting local small businesses and inspiring innovation and entrepreneurship. The iCenter will continue holding one Virtual Pop Up a month featuring a local small business in the community. For more information about the iCenter and Virtual Pop Up, please visit the iCenter’s website, www.marshall.edu/icenter, or follow on twitter @iCenter_MU and on Facebook @iCenterMU.
A replay of the event can be seen here: https://intuit.zoom.us/rec/play/u5IqIr-rrzs3G4aS5gSDU_R-W9W-L6mshCZNqKUMyBzmV3kGM1f1Z7JEY7Cz3QCBkMmw0NLhQpxwtaYp?continueMode=true.