The Nice Center’s COVID Response

How We Will Continue to Innovate Safely Together

Economic Recovery Depends on Innovation

The reaction to COVID-19 has been to batten down the hatches and ride out the storm, but this is a failure of imagination and only part of the solution. For true recovery, we need to invest in what’s next, not what used to be.

The Nice Center is thinking about future businesses built for a post-COVID era. We maintain this forward focus because 95% of new jobs are created by companies less than five years old. For a jobs recovery, we need new businesses. This requires a mindset shift from playing defense to playing offense. From a focus on surviving to what it will take to thrive again.

As we develop in-person and virtual programming for our students and community members, we are doing so with the health of our participants as our first priority. Here’s how we are modifying how we interact as we continue to build for the future.

Outdoor Meetings

For as long as the weather permits we will meet in our city’s beautiful parks and our campus’ outdoor facilities. The organizing team behind our region’s 1 Million Cups gathering has demonstrated just how effective (and enjoyable) outdoor meetings can be, as they’ve held weekly meetings at Island Park over the summer.

Our first in-person gathering, Nice Leap, is scheduled for August 21st and will be held on the patio area of Renaissance Hall. With open air circulation and more space to physically distance, we believe this setup will actually enhance the experience of meeting together. We will map out future events with the same thoughtful considerations for capacity, spacing, and ventilation.

Face Coverings

In step with NDSU’s recommendation, we are strongly encouraging all students, faculty, staff and visitors to wear face coverings when they are on campus and unable to maintain an appropriate physical distance. In some spaces, such as the classroom, students and faculty are required to wear face coverings. Other places that require face coverings include meeting rooms and lounges when a 6-foot distance cannot be maintained.

We will provide face coverings for events that The Nice Center is responsible for organizing, but we encourage you to bring your own if possible.

Virtual Options

If we are unable to meet in person, whether in groups or one-to-one, we will always offer a virtual option. This has been our practice pre-COVID, but has become increasingly useful in recent months.

For example, our entrepreneurship courses are offered online and are open to anyone, including high school students. And our Innovation Challenge will be hosted as outdoor bootcamps and virtually. (View all of our upcoming programs and events.)

You can schedule an appointment with either myself (Dane) or Scott anytime. Or you can shoot us a text at (701) 354-1801. 

We know that this is a difficult time for many, but we believe that the opportunities are greater than the problems. We look forward to (safely) pursuing those opportunities with you.


For more about how NDSU is responding to COVID-19 read here.

Posted on July 31st, 2020 by Dane Johnson in News and Stories