Olivet University professors understand their academic work to be in the service of the church.

Olivet Innovation Center (IC)


The Innovation Center fosters innovation and entrepreneurship across Olivet. Launched in 2016, the Olivet Innovation Center (IC) is a resource for any student at Olivet interested in entrepreneurship and innovation. Our programming is designed to help students grow their ventures at any stage of development and covers a wide range of disciplines.

About Us

The Olivet Innovation Center (IC) is a new initiative fostering team-based and entrepreneurial activities among Olivet students, faculty, entrepreneurs, and members across the Olivet community. The IC encourages entrepreneurship and innovation across the University, bringing together many cross-curricular interests, including students from Olivet Theological College & Seminary, Olivet Business School, Zinzendorf School of Doctoral Studies, Olivet School of Media & Communication, Olivet School of Art & Design, Olivet Institute of Technology.

  • WelcomeOlivet University Innovation Centers are a unique collaboration and education space designed to foster entrepreneurship and innovation across Olivet. The IC also serves as the gateway to Olivet University’s expanding entrepreneurship footprint in service of global Christian mission and ministry.
  • A Distinctive ApproachAs an entrepreneurship center, the IC is unique in its accessibility. The IC is open to any student from any Olivet school with any idea at any stage of formation.
  • Programming and ResourcesOlivet University’s Innovation Centers focuses on moving students from foundational to experiential learning, enabling students to explore entrepreneurship, meet and engage with a growing community of entrepreneurs, and launch and develop new ventures.
  • Looking AheadThere has never been a better time to be a part of innovation at Olivet. And the IC has an unprecedented opportunity to continue to shape cross-disciplinary collaboration at Olivet and serve as a catalyst to solving the world‘s most pressing needs through innovation and entrepreneurship in service of ministry.


Olivet’s Innovation Center was established during the tenure of Vice President of Olivet University Dr. Nathanael Tran, whose responsibility includes allocating and developing facility space for the IC. Dean Dr. Matthias Gebhardt oversees programming for the I-center. The Faculty Chairperson is Dr. Geoge Zhao.


The Innovation Center is headquartered in the dedicated Innovation Center complex, at the Riverside location of Olivet University in Anza, CA (36401 Tripp Flats Rd, Anza, CA 92539). IC occupies approximately 5,000 square feet of co-working space that is divided into three dedicated buildings with workspaces for Innovation Center participants.

The IC facilities are designed to foster entrepreneurship and team-based learning so it is housed in a location where there are meeting rooms, a well-stocked kitchen, as well as office equipment and administrative support.

In the 2016-2017 academic year, the facilities extended to include the Christian Media Incubator. The Christian Media Incubator provides space for a curated co-working community of Christian media ventures. Olivet University’s Master Plan for the Riverside Campus calls for new IC facilities to be added to foster more teams in the near future.

Related University Courses

For students, the Innovation Center provides foundational learning as the educational entry point for exploring innovation.

The course is for students seeking innovation experience as a founder of a start-up, whether the start-up is a new churches or company. Students do field-based work in entrepreneurship to develop their existing startup and explore new ideas and opportunities for startup design. Students may work individually; teams are preferred. Requires self-directed, independent work and active outreach to mentors and partners for guidance and feedback in addition to that provided by the instructor.

Students will share their work regularly and engage in a peer-to-peer feedback forum. The coursework is customized to the needs of each student and their startup role and includes development of organization and leadership useful for meeting the needs of the local church and business ministry settings.


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