Brad D. Smith Student Incubator

Picture of the Marshall University's iCenter's Brad D. Smith Incubator students and mentors

What is the Brad D. Smith Student Incubator?

The Brad D. Smith Student Incubator is designed for budding entrepreneurs who are seeking to launch their start-ups off the ground. The program was established in 2019 through a partnership between the Brad D. Smith Schools of Business and the Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI), and named for Marshall alum, benefactor and now university President, Brad D. Smith, whose successful career as a Silicon Valley executive inspired a passion for uplifting his home state of West Virginia. Students accepted into the incubator program receive best practices in entrepreneurship, mentorship from experienced Entrepreneurs in Residence, and guidance and support as they test, adapt, and validate their business ideas in the market.

Students receive

Subject Matter Expertise

Coaching from iCenter's EIR's

3 Hours Course Credit

Meet our Students

Rafael is a sophomore from Virginia Beach, VA. He is double majoring in Computer Science and Creative Writing. Rafael is a Fulbright Scholar and the Content Editor for The Parthenon (Marshall's student newspaper). A fun fact about Rafael is that he enjoys going to the gym while listening to videos and livestreams of D&D campaigns.

Liam Allan

Liam is a sophomore from Barboursville, WV. He is majoring in Civil Engineering with a minor in Piano. Liam is passionate about sailing, playing the piano, and writing music. He holds a 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and is a U.S. Sailing Certified Instructor. A fun fact about Liam is that he can solve a variety of different Rubik’s cubes.

Olivia Andrew-Vaughan

Olivia is a sophomore from Ann Arbor, MI. She is majoring in Political Science and International Affairs. One of her achievements is being a Marshall University Yeager Scholar. A fun fact about Olivia is that she first applied to college as an Environmental Science major.

Maddy Branham

Maddy is a senior from Beckley, WV. She is majoring in Marketing. Maddy is an intern at the iCenter and a majorette in the Marching Thunder. One of her accomplishments includes receiving the 2nd Place Maier Technical/Workplace Writing Award in Spring 2022. A fun fact about Maddy is that she wants to travel to Antarctica one day!

Evan Green

Evan is a sophomore from Portsmouth, OH. He is double majoring in Journalism and Psychology. Evan is the Executive Editor for The Parthenon and a Yeager Scholar. A fun fact about Evan is that he is has been writing for the newspaper since he was 16.

Isabel Horter

Isabel is a sophomore from Charles Town, WV. She is majoring in Marketing. One of her accomplishments is making the Dean’s list. Isabel is passionate about swimming, design, and volunteering. Some fun facts about Isabel are that she was named after a Steele Eye span song and her birthday is the day before Halloween.

Luke Jeffrey

Luke is a sophomore from Logan, WV. He is double majoring in Accounting and Marketing. His accomplishments include being an Eagle Scout and Yeager Scholar. He is passionate about learning and sharing knowledge with others. Some fun facts about Luke are that he can wiggle his ears and he’s beat guitar hero on expert more than once.

Josh Maddy

Josh is a junior from South Charleston, WV. He is majoring in Computer Science, and recently completed a Summer Undergraduate Research Experience. His other achievements include being a Summer Creative Discovery participant this past summer and receiving the 1st Place Maier Award for 1st Year Research. A fun fact about josh is that he loves jigsaw puzzles, 1000+ pieces especially!

Ashley McClure

Ashley is a sophomore from Barboursville, WV. She is majoring in Marketing, and she is an ALEF scholar. Over the summer, Ashley served as a summer camp staff member for WinShape, and she is now a campus representative for them. Her passions include helping others and community service. A fun fact about Ashley is that her birthday is on Halloween!

Bella Schrader

Bella is a junior from Huntington, WV. She is double majoring in Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Management and Technology with minors in Engineering Sciences, Marketing, and Finance. Bella is an intern at the iCenter and a Yeager Scholar. A fun fact about Bella is that she has been a part of Marshall’s TEDx program for the past two years.

Garrett Shields

Garrett is a sophomore from Milton, WV. He is majoring in Biology and minoring in Chem Pre-Professional Health Studies and Spanish. Garrett is also a Yeager Scholar. A couple of fun facts about Garrett is that he can do a backflip and coaches youth soccer.

Jaxon Smith

Jaxon is a sophomore from Culloden, WV. He is majoring in Biology/Chemistry Pre-Medicine. Some of his current accomplishments include being a John Marshall Scholar and Promise Scholar. One fun fact about Jaxon is that he is a 3-time WV State Champion member of the Hurricane Red Hot Show Choir.

Our Mentors

Want to join the Brad D. Smith Student Incubator?

We are in pursuit of adding new startups each year, with a maximum of three per year.

Are you a Marshall University student interested in learning more?

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Learn More About Brad D. Smith

Since graduating from Marshall University in 1986, Brad D. Smith has been an ally to the school and the West Virginia community at large. Following his obtainment of a Master’s Degree from Aquinas College, Brad went on to have a prominent business career, holding leadership positions at ADVO, Inc. and ADP before spending nineteen years at Intuit, Inc. where he acted as President and CEO for many years before being promoted to Executive Chairman.

Brad always knew he would one day return home to West Virginia. In 2019, he co-founded the Wing 2 Wing Foundation alongside his wife Alys as a means of uplifting the people of Appalachia. Wing 2 Wing is perhaps best known for its remote worker program, Ascend West Virginia, which offers incentives for working professionals to relocate to the Mountain State. Brad's commitment to West Virginia was further solidified when, in 2021, he was selected as Marshall University’s 38th President.

Brad has continually shown his support for Marshall over the years. Brad and Alys established a scholarship fund at MU and, in 2018, made a $25 million dollar gift to the Lewis College of Business, since renamed to reciprocate the Smiths’ generosity.

Learn more about Brad by visiting his website or by following him on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. To learn more about his philanthropic work in West Virginia, visit