Ground Breaking Celebrates the TI Center for Entrepreneurship

HICKORY, NC, March 26, 2012 – Interest in cutting-edge entrepreneurship continues to blossom throughout the country like the dogwood flower in spring. In North Carolina, students of Appalachian State University who are interested in entrepreneurship will soon have the latest tools and resources to pursue their dreams with the ground breaking of the new Transportation Insight Center for Entrepreneurship. Officials from Appalachian State University and Transportation Insight “broke ground” Friday on space at the university’s Walker College of Business.

The ceremonial ground breaking event in Raley Hall was attended by over 100 people as part of the Celebrate Entrepreneurship Event at ASU. Those in attendance included board members, community guests, mentors, event judges, student contestants and other students, faculty and staff.

Transportation Insight Founder and CEO Paul Thompson was the guest speaker at the ground breaking. Transportation Insight, a nationally-recognized third party logistics provider based in Hickory, North Carolina, helps manufacturers, retailers and distributors improve profitability and gain competitive advantage by providing LEAN supply chain solutions.

Chancellor Kenneth E. Peacock thanked Thompson for his generosity in making the Transportation Insight Center for Entrepreneurship renovation possible, saying the expanded center “is a dream come true” that can further enhance collaboration between entrepreneurs and Appalachian.

The new Transportation Insight Center for Entrepreneurship was made possible by a private $1 million gift and will include four offices, student lounge, meeting area and incubator office space to support students trying to launch their own businesses. The 1,700-square-foot, contemporarily designed center will also support outreach services, programming and student travel to entrepreneurship competitions. The facility will open in fall 2012.

A successful businessman, Thompson said he foresees Appalachian becoming North Carolina’s “flagship institution” for academic involvement in entrepreneurship. “The spirit is here,” he said. “You start with the end in mind and my vision is for Appalachian to become one of the nation’s top 10 entrepreneurial schools.”

Thompson said he wanted to get involved with Appalachian’s entrepreneurship initiatives because the world has changed on two fronts. “First, there is ease in starting a business. I never dreamed of being an entrepreneur when I graduated from college. Today, if you have a great idea and access to the Internet you can start a business with little capital,” he said. “Second, we have a great deal of business instability across the country and today most students see each job as a shorter-term opportunity, so increasingly they’re thinking about entrepreneurship as a potential form of lifetime income.”

Walker College of Business Dean Randy Edwards said the new space will greatly expand the physical area of the center, and because of its location next to the building’s main lobby, make it more visible to students and local business people.

“This new space will create great opportunities for our students to interact with entrepreneurs and members of the community,” Edwards said. He added that the college’s entrepreneurship concentration in the Department of Management has the fifth-highest enrollment of any program in the college.

The Transportation Insight Center for Entrepreneurship supports students from all academic disciplines to help them become successful entrepreneurs.

Transportation Insight has been nationally recognized by Inc. Magazine for its entrepreneurial excellence. Referring to the logistics industry as one of the country’s main economic engines, Inc. Magazine has ranked the Hickory-based third-party logistics provider as one of the fastest-growing privately held companies in the United States for the last four years in a row. Transportation Insight is among an elite group of Inc. 5000 companies experiencing significant and continuous expansion in years 10 and beyond of doing business. That positive trend reflects the company’s entrepreneurial commitment to quality continuous improvement, the creation of long-term business value and the development of sustained competitive advantage for its clients.

About Transportation Insight, LLC
Transportation Insight is a global lead logistics provider with more than $1.2 billion in supply chain spend under management. For over a decade, the 3PL has helped companies improve profitability and competitive advantage by providing customized supply chain solutions. Transportation Insight offers a co-managed logistics form of 3PL, carrier sourcing, freight bill audit and payment services, state-of-the-art transportation management system (TMS) applications and business intelligence. Additional competencies include international transportation, warehouse sourcing, LEAN consulting and supply chain sourcing of indirect materials. For more about Transportation Insight, visit