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Oklahoma State University launches The WhiteBox initiative

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

The WhiteBox, a mobile retail store

In an effort to promote experiential opportunities for learning, innovation and student-business-ownership, the Schools of Architecture and Entrepreneurship at Oklahoma State University, in collaboration with the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship, have launched a mobile retail store that will provide student entrepreneurs an opportunity to test retail concepts on campus in the Student Union – The WhiteBox.

This initiative will provide OSU students a public venue through which they will be able to test, grow and operate their unique startups.

“We are excited to launch the Riata WhiteBox initiative in partnership with the Oklahoma State University Student Union,” said Marc Tower, executive director of the Riata Center.

“The WhiteBox allows OSU students in the ideation phase or early-stage venture a public venue to test, grow, and operate their unique startups in a real-world environment for valuable feedback and to gain revenue,” said Chad Mills, manager of outreach programs for the Riata Center.

The mobile retail store was designed and constructed by Nathan Richardson, associate professor in the School of Architecture, and research assistants Cameron Patterson, Jennifer Lane, Austin McKiel, Jonathan Choate, Madeline Layland and Kennedy Stephens. It is an adaptable retail display suitable for a broad range of applications. Officially known as B_X, the store is a white box in which student entrepreneurs will be able to sell their products, testing retail concepts in a fitting business incubator.

The project started under the direction of Dr. Craig Watters and Dr. Bruce Barringer with the School of Entrepreneurship. School of Architecture Centennial Professor Suzanne Bilbeisi and professor Phil Choo of the OSU Department of Art, Graphic Design and Art History also contributed to the project.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Riata Center and its launch of the WhiteBox project,” said Tracie Brown, interim director of Student Union Administrative Services. “The Student Union is a firm believer in assisting with the educational experiences of Oklahoma State students and we are proud to offer our highly-trafficked building to provide exposure to these student-run businesses.”

Each individual or company that applies will propose their intended use of the space based on research/education or business operations and sales.  Proposals detailing the businesses’ intended use of the WhiteBox will be reviewed by the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship and Student Union WhiteBox Program Committee. 

The first two tenants of The WhiteBox are Life Out of the Box, a start-up that inspires others to travel and gives to people in developing countries with every purchase, and Infinite Prints, a custom apparel and accessory printing service.

The WhiteBox is located in the OSU Student Union main atrium and is open from 8-10 a.m. Mondays, 11 a.m.-1 p.m Wednesdays and 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Fridays.

For more information contact Mills at 405-744-7552 or visit https://business.okstate.edu/riata/white-box/index.html.

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