WednesdayJanuary 13, 2021

Help requested: Test a new Zoom room for future BOT meetings

The Information Technology Services department is working on improvements for the Zoom experience at virtual Board of Trustees meetings.

ITS is seeking your help in testing the new BOT Zoom environment on Thursday, Jan. 14, starting at 2:30 p.m.

  • The "Test Zoom" meeting will take about 30 minutes.
  • The more employees involved in the test, the better-- so please join even if you think we’ll have enough without you.

For the test session, members of the ITS staff will join as panelists (similar to the Executive Team and Board members) and everyone else will join as attendees.

  • The ITS staff will share their audio and video connections, share a few documents, and play a video.
  • After the test meeting, you'll be asked to submit a short eForm to report on your experience. (You’ll need to be logged into MyCState to complete the eForm.)
  • ITS staff will then use the Zoom logging data to investigate problems.

To join the test on Jan. 14, use this link:

Look for an Outlook calendar invitation reminder that will include the link to the "Test Zoom" meeting and a link to the eForm, so you can share comments after the test session.

Thank you for assisting in improving the Board meeting experience for all participants.

UC Venture Lab invites CState entrepreneurs to explore new business ideas

The University of Cincinnati's Venture Lab invites Cincinnati State students, employees, and alumni to take part in a 7-week program that helps entrepreneurs explore and develop ideas and seek support for launching new companies.

The Venture Lab Pre-Accelerator program is part of UC's 1819 Innovation Hub, "a one-stop destination" to connect industry with talented entrepreneurs from UC or partner institutions.

Grant Hoffman, the Director of Startups for UC's Office of Innovation, said Cincinnati State students, graduates, and faculty and staff members are welcome to join the Venture Lab program at no cost.

"Even if you think your idea for a new product or new company isn't ready to go to market, we encourage you to reach out to us and start talking about it," Hoffman said.

The Venture Lab program started in June 2018. Since then, 137 individuals or teams have participated, and 44 new start-ups have launched as a result.

Joining the Venture Lab begins by filling out the "Share Your Idea" application form, available at

  • New cohorts (a group of Venture Lab participants) begin 5 times each year.
  • A new Venture Lab group will begin on Jan. 19, and the next cohort will start in mid-March.
  • You can apply to participate as an individual or with a team you have formed.

Those selected for a Venture Lab cohort will attend virtual meetings each Tuesday from 9-11 a.m. for 7 weeks. The sessions are recorded for those who can't attend at the scheduled time.

Each session has a designated topic related to planning a presentation that explains the start-up business idea.

  • During the final (8th) week, individuals and teams make their short "graduation day" presentation to an audience of experienced entrepeneurs and community supporters.
  • The presentation focuses on what the new company needs to succeed. Then community members can connect with graduating Venture Lab participants to help bridge skill and knowledge gaps, provide introductions to industry contacts, and form valuable business relationships.
  • If the team includes someone with a connection to UC (student or employee), the team may be eligible to apply for additional funding to help implement the business plan.

You can view the most recent Graduation Day presentations by members of Venture Lab Cohort 12 on YouTube at

  • One of the participating teams in Cohort 12 included a graduate of Cincinnati State's Interpreter Training Program who helped present the idea "ASL Interpretation for Online Classes."
  • Other past Venture Lab presentations are available for viewing at

If you have questions you can get in touch with Grant at, or click here to access his appointment calendar and set up a time for a virtual information session/meeting.

(Image above from the University of Cincinnati)

Loaner laptops & hotspots available for SP21 students

Students entering Cincinnati State in Spring Semester 2021 will continue to have access to on-loan laptop computers and personal Wi-Fi hotspots.

Students who are registered for Spring classes and don't already have a computer and/or hotspot can request loaned equipment by following these steps:

  • First log into MyCState/Blackboard
  • Then click this link: COVID-19 Student Technology Loaner Program
  • Students who were enrolled in Fall 2020 and are continuing to take classes have the option to renew their loan agreement by filling out the eForm for the new semester

Students should allow 2 days for form processing.

  • Students will be notified by email when their requested equipment is available
  • The student who reserved the equipment must pick it up in person, in ATLC Room 315.

For help completing the eForm, call the IT Help Desk at (513) 569-1234.

Student requests for loaner equipment have grown steadily since the program started in Spring Semester 2020.

  • In Fall Semester 2020, 213 laptop computers and 146 Wi-Fi hotspots were distributed to students.
  • In Summer Semester 2020, 129 computers and 120 hotspots were distributed.
  • In Spring Semester 2020, when the loaner program began, distributed equipment included 95 laptops and 7 hotspots.
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