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The Point at Otterbein University

Welcome to The Point!

The Point at Otterbein University Exterior

Otterbein has partnered with leading organizations from the private and public sectors in central Ohio to create The Point at Otterbein University, a new science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) Innovation Center that combines academics with the business and manufacturing needs of our community.  Located at 60 Collegeview Road, The Point and its STEAM Innovation Center is home to several resident companies and Otterbein academic departments, with lab space available to businesses and the broader community.

First-of-its-Kind Facility

There are a lot of innovation centers where intellectual property is developed, so how is The Point at Otterbein University and STEAM Innovation Center different? Ideas are generated here, but the purpose of the center is to convert ideas into commercialized products and services.

Its objectives are:

  • To create an entrepreneurial ecosystem at Otterbein University and in the City of Westerville
  • To support entrepreneurs and start-up businesses in a collaborative environment
  • To compete for entrepreneurs/innovators in Westerville
  • To create high-value jobs in Westerville
  • To connect education and business/industry in a creative, collaborative environment
  • To provide experiential learning opportunities for Otterbein University students to complete the Systems Engineering and Business programs
  • To offer new opportunities for the broader community to engage with Otterbein University
  • To develop collaborations between Otterbein students and students from Columbus State Community College and area high schools 
"The STEAM Innovation Center will provide an environment of innovation to support both entrepreneurs and existing businesses in central Ohio, as well as being open to innovators in the broader community to explore their ideas.”

President Kathy Krendl

Educational Opportunities for Students

Students, educators, business, industry and regional economic planning and development partners all in one location. That's what you'll find at Otterbein's STEAM Innovation Center. 

With two companies — PolymerOhio and Ikove Capital Partners — in residence at the center, students will work alongside resident professionals and complete on-site internships. They will bounce ideas off students, faculty and working professionals. They will collaborate with successful entrepreneurs and businesses through internship and experiential learning opportunities that could lead to employment in the community. 

The best part? This all comes with the same level of personal attention Otterbein is known for.

“Having a wide variety of skill sets in one place and being able to get different perspectives from students, faculty and professionals will make our students better problem-solvers." 

Gary Maul, director of systems engineering

Collaborative Partnerships

According to a feasibility study commissioned from Boyette Strategic Advisors, the STEAM Innovation Center would be a one-of-a-kind in the entire country and follows a series of strategic objectives recently set forth by the Westerville Economic Development Plan. The study conservatively estimates the direct impact of the project will result in the creation of 200 jobs in five years totaling $16 million in payroll. The state and local tax impact over five years is projected at $3.6 million. 

Otterbein University will serve as the lead organization and will create and manage the facility and establish an educational framework which will integrate with the business programs and services offered by the center. The center will offer:

  • Space and services to support start-up businesses with potential to become high-growth companies
  • Lab space and services to support research and development and prototyping for small- to medium-sized manufacturers
  • Makerspace for all who are interested in innovation and creation
  • Opportunities for interaction between business users and Otterbein students and faculty
  • Networking opportunities for all who are interested in innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Partnerships with Westerville City Schools to provide opportunities for K-12 students
"Manufacturers can benefit from these resources through a faster-to-market introduction of new products and services and the development of our future workforce, supporting our growth plans and producing increased revenue and new job creation."

Bruce Fawcett, executive director of PolymerOhio


  • City of Westerville
  • State of Ohio
  • Vida S. Clements Foundation
  • Columbus State Community College
  • PolymerOhio
  • IKOVE Capital Partners
  • Worthington Industries
  • Nestle PTC, Marysville
  • Reinberger Foundation

Academic Affiliates

  • Columbus State Community College
  • Westerville City Schools


  • Westerville Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Westerville Public Library
  • Columbus Museum of Art
  • The PAST Foundation
  • EdgeThingZ
  • LaserBits
  • Buckeye Educational Systems
  • Woodwerks Small Business Accelerator
  • Rev1
  • Big Kitty Labs
  • IC3D
  • Educational Robotics of Central Ohio

Initial Donors

  • IKOVE Capital Partners
  • Vida S. Clements Foundation
  • William L. '56 and Sonya Stauffer '56 Evans
  • Richard W. '59 and Maxine Swingle '61 Morain
  • Chris K. '77 and Karen Kaiser
  • Worthington Industries Foundation
  • Nestle R&D Center Inc. Ohio
  • Reinberger FOundation
  • Woodwerks Supply Inc.

Steam National Advisory Council Members

  • Michael Swartz, President and CEO, Lake Shore Cryotronics, Inc.
  • Bruce Fawcett, Executive Director, PolymerOhio, Inc.
  • Mike Heyeck, Westerville City Council member
  • Barbara Schafner, Dean of the Graduate School & School of Professional Studies, and Professor of Nursing
  • Michael Hoggarth, Professor of Biology and Earth Science

/The Point at Otterbein University STEAM Innovation Center

60 Collegeview
Westerville, OH 43081

Visit us at: www.OtterbeinPoint.com

Erin Bender
Executive Director
614-823-2941 | 740-225-1079

/STEAM Departments

/See also...

Spotlight On...

Bender named Executive Director of STEAM Center
Bender named Executive Director of STEAM Center

Erin Bender

Erin Bender began her new position as the Executive Director of the STEAM Innovation Center July 1 and is ready to inject entrepreneurial spirit into the building.