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Tyler Drenon, second from left, discusses emerging technologies during the MSU Libraries Innovation Lab’s Sept. 24 open house.
Photo provided by Tyler Drenon
Tyler Drenon, second from left, discusses emerging technologies during the MSU Libraries Innovation Lab’s Sept. 24 open house.

Tech entrepreneur starts MSU Innovation Lab

Posted online

Last edited 2:39 p.m., Sept. 26, 2019

A local entrepreneur led the launch of Missouri State University’s new Libraries Innovation Lab, a space where the community can engage with advanced technology.

Tyler Drenon, who previously worked with Charlie Rosenbury at Self Interactive and Tacit, said Libraries Innovation Lab officially got its start on Tuesday. Previously known as ASPIRE — for Achievement Studio: Promoting Interdisciplinary Research and Education — the program has been beefed up with more technology and relocated to the basement of the Duane G. Meyer Library at MSU’s Springfield campus.

“It’s an interdisciplinary space for students, faculty, staff and the community,” said Drenon, who’s a strategy consultant at MSU. “Our major goal for the space will be to democratize access to emerging technologies.”

The Innovation Lab’s inventory includes 3D printers, virtual reality headsets, microrobots and augmented reality technology, among other devices. One specialty, he said, will be working with what’s called a Raspberry Pi, which is an inexpensive single-board computer with various applications.

Drenon said the Innovation Lab — a growing trend among higher education institutions — would work with MSU education departments on curriculum and training, as well as serve as a space for members of the community to come in and experiment with the technology.

“We want to create original content here,” he said. “That’s where the community involvement will come in. We want to push using these technologies for practical solutions.”

At Tacit, a spinoff of development studio Self Interactive, Drenon worked with Rosenbury on VR training programs for various industries, including solutions for CoxHealth, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.

Drenon said he started at MSU in July after exiting Rosenbury’s companies in June. Reached by email, Rosenbury said he restructured this summer and moved to project-based contractors from full-time employees. Tacit, Rosenbury said, was dissolved, as he “decided not to pursue it past the one-off products we had already completed.” Drenon said he was a co-owner in Tacit.

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