CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. (Oct. 27, 2023) — Jeni Al Bahrani, director of the Dr. Anthony ’65 and Geraldine ’66 Zembrodt Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ZCEI), and Thomas More senior business administration major Erin Preston participated in a StartUpCincy Week event on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Both spoke during a panel event entitled, “From Dorm Room to Boardroom: How Top Universities are Incubating Top Talent.” StartUpCincy Week serves to connect the region’s and nation’s entrepreneurs, investors, and innovators to cutting edge knowledge sharing, networking, resources, and to our ecosystem.

“Thomas More University is quickly becoming the innovation destination of our region,” says Al Bahrani. “StartUpCincy is a great way for our community to build stronger relationships. At Thomas More, we are committed to advancing the region in entrepreneurship and innovation through teaching the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders. Erin is a great example of how entrepreneurship education can benefit students, creating impact and value in their personal and professional endeavors.”

Five regional universities – Miami University, Xavier University, Thomas More University, Northern Kentucky University, and the University of Cincinnati – took part in the panel discussion to highlight their respective entrepreneurship programs, curricula, and resources. Each introduced a current student or recent graduate of their institution, who described the ways their success has been supported by the university and the wider ecosystem. Panelists also discussed the ways in which entrepreneurship students bring valuable talent to the region through career paths and corporate roles.

Preston currently serves as CEO of The More Co., a student-led organization focused on business, innovation, and personal growth. Additionally, through the ZCEI Fellowship program, she provides thought leadership and strategy in building the center’s programs. Working with the center, Preston gains real-life entrepreneurial skills giving her the ability to recognize opportunities, problem solve, and add value to existing companies. “It is so rewarding to be part of a program that is growing at such a rapid pace and elevating our University’s impact,” comments Preston.

Al Bahrani serves as the inaugural director of the ZCEI as well as a professor of practice at Thomas More University. By complementing the Catholic, liberal arts education provided at Thomas More, the center focuses on project-based learning curriculum, co-curricular programming, building eco-system connections, and the ZCEI Fellowship program, which equips Thomas More students with the tools needed to unleash their inner entrepreneur and carve their own pathways of opportunity.

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About Thomas More University

For 100 years, Thomas More has created a university for the student who wants to Be More, Do More, Seek More, Win More, Achieve More, and Create More. Since its founding in 1921, Thomas More has provided a mission-driven, liberal arts education that is based in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition. Students learn to harness the power of human reason to solve problems and discover truth, which allows them to begin the journey to become the person they were created to be. Entering into the second century, it’s time for More. Serving more than 2,000 students, Thomas More aspires to be the premier Catholic university in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region, build upon its excellent return on investment (ranked #1 among private universities/colleges in Kentucky by MSN Money in 2021 and ranked #2 for long term gain in Kentucky by a 2022 Georgetown University study) and share with this generation the transformative power of the Thomas More experience. To find out more, visit

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