Widener Small Business Development Center Named SAP Next-Gen Lab
The School of Business Administration and SBDC, along with students and SAP representatives, celebrated the new designation on March 13 in the Leslie C. Quick Jr. Center. Widener is now one of approximately 130 SAP Next-Gen Labs at universities globally.
Widener’s SBDC opened the Success Lab in January 2018 as a fun space to help consultants lead active, participatory sessions with entrepreneurs. The space features high-tech gadgets and surfaces that allow clients to write, draw and design as they engage in mission-specific and outcome-driven brainstorming activities.
The designation will expand these opportunities to connect the university with leaders in industry and academia who are using design thinking to develop methods to drive the digital transformation of industries and solve the world’s most serious problems, as identified in the 17 global goals set by the United Nations.
Dean Jayati Ghosh said the Success Lab has become an environment in which students, faculty and staff embrace the entrepreneurial spirit and culture of leadership.
The SAP Next-Gen Lab designation reinforces our commitment to expanding community and business partnerships that will help students go on to positively influence their workplaces, professions and communities.
— Jayati Ghosh, dean, School of Business Administration
Lenin Agudo, director of Widener’s SBDC, said the SAP Next-Gen Lab designation reaffirms the value of the SBDC’s unique approach to solving clients’ business problems. The SBDC recently redefined its consulting process and created a series of packaged consulting sessions, called Strat Chats and Growth Sprints. A central component of the revamped consulting services are student-driven, research-based projects that allow students to apply course concepts to real businesses.
“This trailblazing designation is crucial to inspiring other small business development centers to evolve and adopt creative solutions when assisting clients,” Agudo said. “We want to lead by example – fostering collaboration, innovation and creativity using our e-design thinking philosophy.”
SAP is the world’s largest provider of enterprise application software. Widener’s School of Business Administration has been a member of the SAP University Alliances program since 1998, allowing both undergraduate and graduate business students to earn an SAP Student Recognition Award by completing courses that use SAP software.
“We are pleased to have Widener University join our growing global network of 130+ SAP Next-Gen Labs and hubs at universities,” said Ann Rosenberg, senior vice president and global head of SAP Next-Gen.
This new designation will also allow Widener to broaden its SAP-related curriculum, bringing new methodologies and applications to enhance the student experience.
“Our strong partnership through the SAP University Alliances program opened the door for the Widener SBDC to apply for the SAP Next-Gen Lab designation for its Success Lab,” said Yvonne Antonucci, a professor and SAP University Alliances faculty coordinator. “Students will now benefit from even more class projects and internship opportunities that allow them to understand how technology can enable integrated business processes and strategic thinking.”