Justin Hazzard, Director of the Meridian Technology Center for Business Development, has received the Leading Edge Award from the Stillwater Chamber of Commerce.
The Leading Edge award recognizes an individual, company or organization that is leading the way in helping Stillwater become a recognized start-up community. Hazzard is the second recipient to receive the award.
“The Chamber has a focus to help position Stillwater as a regional leader for the engagement, development and growth of entrepreneurs,” said Justin Minges, CEO of the Stillwater Chamber of Commerce, regarding the creation of the new award. “We want Stillwater to be widely known for the many assets and community support which embrace entrepreneurs and start-up companies. We know that economic development can grow with the influence of the entrepreneurial spirit. Justin Hazzard’s efforts are leading the way in helping Stillwater become a recognized start-up community.”
Hazzard’s career at Meridian began in 2015 when he was named Director of the Center for Business Development, a business incubator that provides consulting services for early stage, high growth companies. Since then he has taken the lead in launching Startup Stillwater, a joint effort between Meridian Technology Center, the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship at Oklahoma State University, Cowboy Technologies and the Stillwater Chamber of Commerce.
The Startup Stillwater initiative has expanded the entrepreneurial footprint of the community with initiatives such as 1 Million Cups, a program that brings together community and entrepreneurs; the Entrepreneurship UnConference; Beer for Starters; and the Startup Stillwater Accelerator, a five-week program that helps entrepreneurs to launch their startup.
Hazzard is an experienced entrepreneur with expertise in product validation, new market development, business planning and organizational strategy. He earned a Master of Business Administration from the Grenoble Graduate School of Business. During his career, Hazzard was a Foreign Trade Advisor for Oklahoma State University in the Center for International Trade and Development and also Director of International Sales for a consumer goods manufacturer. He is active in statewide entrepreneurship activities such as the Oklahoma Entrepreneur Mentoring Program and the biennial Oklahoma Entrepreneurship Forum. Hazzard also serves as a board member for the Oklahoma WONDERtorium, Stillwater Chamber of Commerce and Creative Oklahoma.
The Center for Business Development is dedicated to empowering entrepreneurs through networking, education, consulting and business incubation services. Assistance is available in various areas such as marketing, product planning, international business and writing business plans. For more information visit www.meridiantech.edu/entrepreneurs or contact the Center for Business Development.