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New start for Entrepreneur & Innovation Center

By Naidelly Coelho

Asst. News Writer

Christimara Garcia, Director of the Entrepreneur Innovation Center, has been recently hired to lead FSU’s Entrepreneur & Innovation Center (EIC).

Garcia started her new position Jan. 17, reopening the EIC, which has been closed since the summer.

She said she plans to continue the work of her successor, Mark Hardie, who left in June.

Garcia said one of her most significant goals for the center is to have students return to the EIC in order to gain further knowledge about entrepreneurship opportunities.

She said she wants the EIC to be an innovation hub where all stakeholders in this innovation environment can connect.

The EIC’s plan is to be a place for innovators and entrepreneurs to come together to exchange ideas and put the students in between those conversations and see how they think and work together, said John Palabiyik, chair of the Management and Business & Information Technology Department and coordinator of the Hospitality and Tourism Management Program.

The EIC is currently partnering with four businesses, but they hope that will increase to more than 50 next semester, he said.

Garcia said she wants the whole MetroWest community to enjoy this opportunity.

She said she values the connection Framingham State has with the Framingham community, which can facilitate connecting entrepreneurs to the EIC.

Opportunities for internships are also available at the EIC, Garcia said.

With an internship, students will see firsthand how innovation works. Students will be given projects that they will work on with different companies, Palabiyik said.

He said, “At FSU, we have students, juniors and even sophomores that started their own business. … It's not a high tech business, but it's a business.”

Senior Joshua Kole, a business management major with a concentration in entrepreneurship, said he has really high hopes for the EIC.

Kole said he would like to work alongside entrepreneurs “and just kind of understand more about my concentration and what I would want to do because that is a huge goal of mine.”

He said this opportunity was very last minute because the center just reopened at the beginning of January.

EIC has a podcasting station that is open to students interested in this area of entertainment, Garcia said.

Palabiyik said, “We have a YouTube studio over there. If there's anybody who wants to be a YouTuber, there's a chance over there - they can go and start as an influencer. That was one of the things we wanted to create for the students.”

He emphasized that Garcia is a great addition to the team. “She has international experience, and can bring us international business. That's what we want to bring in.”

As quoted on FSU's website, Patricia Thomas, dean of the College of Business said Garcia “brings a wealth of knowledge and research on business innovation to share with our entrepreneurs and the many business interns who work alongside them.”

Garcia has worked with over 100 different entrepreneurs and has launched a BIPOC Entrepreneurship program before, according to FSU’s website.

She said she feels very special to be a Brazilian woman in this position and represent and inspire her community.

Garcia said she plans to reach out to faculty and staff and invite them to stop by the office to see the center's progress.

Students are welcome to stop by and ask any type of questions related to innovation and entrepreneurship, she said.

“My ultimate goal is to bring people back to the center,” Garcia said.

If you would like to reach out to Garcia, her Office is located in the EIC at 860 Worcester Rd. and her email is



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