707 Hub names first intrapreneur-in-residence

The+707+Hub+just+named+Paul+Jones+as+the+first+intrapreneur-in-residence%C2%A0++and+Tom+Avery+was+named+as+the+707+Hub%E2%80%99s+entrepreneur-in-residence.

Photo by Maddy Andresen

The 707 Hub just named Paul Jones as the first intrapreneur-in-residence  and Tom Avery was named as the 707 Hub’s entrepreneur-in-residence.

The 707 Hub just named Paul Jones, the former executive officer for Harley Davidson Inc., as the first intrapreneur-in-residence  or problem solver and innovator of the 707 Hub and Tom Avery, and business development consultant and head of Avery Consulting LLC was named as the 707 Hub’s entrepreneur-in-residence or coach and advisor.

In 2017, two former Marquette students came up with the idea to create an innovation space. This resulted in the creation of the Marquette 707 Hub.

“The 707Hub was the idea of two former Marquette students who wanted to create an innovation space open to all students, faculty, and staff on campus,” Megan Carver, the associate director of the Kohler Center for Entrepreneurship at the 707 Hub and Kelsey Otero, the associate director of social innovation at the 707 Hub said in a joint email.

They said the space opened in 2017 and currently houses the Kohler Center for Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation Initiative which helps students develop and entrepreneurial mindset, develop their skills, and grow their networks.  

“It is a space where ideas are shared, stretched, and realized,” they said. The 707 Hub has helped a number of students to launch their own businesses such as Revive and Pedal Power Cabs.

Carver and Otero said that Paul Jones had been connected to the 707 Hub for a few years through the Rev-Up-MKE program, a small business competition that provided an opportunity for start-up entrepreneurs to expand or start a business and get the support needed to make it successful in the Near West Side where economic development is being promoted.

In his news role as intraprenneur-in-residence, Jones will be a problem solver and innovator within the organization, Carver and Otero said.

“In his current role with the 707 Hub, he will be working with the Dorm Fund Associates and on strategic innovation initiatives. He will be connecting with the other executives in residence on campus to build a collaborative innovation culture at Marquette,” they said.  

Tom Avery has been mentoring students and community members at the 707 Hub for about three years and he was named the entrepreneur-in-residence of the 707 Hub.

“It is a blessing to be able to support so many diverse students and ideas. Instead of retirement, I call this role my ‘preferment’ because it is something I can enjoy doing each week,” Avery said. 

Avery says it will be a natural transition from his role as mentor-in-residence to the entrepreneur-in-residence because he has a lot of experience starting businesses and helping others get their ideas off the ground.

“I have started and scaled businesses in a number of different industries so I have a broad set of experiences that allow me to connect with students,” Avery said.

He said he loves getting to know new people and hearing about their ideas even though some ideas have a greater potential than others, all ideas deserve study and exploration.

“Even if the idea doesn’t become a successful business, the experience is a tremendous learning opportunity. I am always excited to learn about how I can help someone on their path to launch,” Avery said.

Avery said that in his new role as entrepreneur-in-residence he will continue to mentor students, faculty and staff. He said he will also help facilitate business boot camps and meet with entrepreneurs in the Near West Side. He will also be co-teaching a class in the College of Business Administration called Urban Business Learning. 

“We believe that Jones and Avery will help us strengthen the culture of innovation on Marquette’s campus and provide additional resources and guidance for all types of innovators — those who want to start their own thing or learn how they can be more innovative and creative,” Carver and Otero said.

Avery also said he believes this is a great opportunity to strengthen the innovation culture across Marquette’s campus because he is able to meet with students from every college and major. 

Avery also said he’s excited to have Paul Jones on the team.

“We can share best practices and I am excited to be able to refer more students to the Dorm Fund to get investment for their ideas,” he said. The Dorm fund is a Marquette student-run venture capital firm that invests exclusively in undergraduate student-run companies and provides funding up to $2,500 to help accelerate new ventures.

“The 707 Hub is a unique space because it is open to all students and majors,” Carver and Otero said. “It is a place that allows students to flex their creative muscles, learn new skills, and connect with the broader Milwaukee innovation community. Not to mention, everything here is free!” 

This story was written by Matthew Choate. He can be reached at matthew.choate@marquette.edu.