Student entrepreneurship programming at OSU was seeded by Ken Austin in 2004 with the launch of the Austin Entrepreneurship Program (AEP), a living-learning residential program for first-year College of Business students interested in entrepreneurship. AEP served the 300 students residing in Weatherford Hall until 2015.

As the College grew, limiting the living-learning residential program to only Weatherford Hall residents was causing many students to miss out on the amazing opportunities offered by AEP. In 2015, it was determined that AEP should grow into a program that could serve all students in the College of Business.

The success of AEP led to the founding of the new College of Business Innovation Nation living-learning community, where all first-year College of Business students live in Weatherford or Poling Halls or the ILLC Global Village and have a dynamic learning environment, courses, and activities optimized for student engagement and success. Meanwhile, the aspects AEP focused on teaching students about the entrepreneurial process have evolved into an integral part of the Innovation Nation experience, where students learn how to create revenue-generating micro-businesses.