When Northeastern President Joseph Aoun visited this year’s Husky Startup Challenge, he said “the world is about innovation,” and that it needs to be fostered. “You need to start as early as possible,” he admitted and, today, Northeastern’s taking one big step toward making that happen.

The University’s announced they’re launching the “Northeastern University Center for Entrepreneurship Education,” all made possible thanks to a $5 million investment by Northeastern alum Alan S. McKim, the founder and chairman of Clean Harbors, according to [email protected].

The new center will not only teach entrepreneurship and business skills, but it will also help students and alumni build their own ventures, and then connect with angel investors and venture capitalists once those ventures are built.

“The center will be the entrepreneurship education engine within the university,” said Harry Lane, acting dean of the College of Business Administration, to [email protected] “It’s a resource for the entire university.”

Marc Meyer, who currently directs Northeastern’s High Tech MBA program, will be spearheading the development of the new center alongside fellow business school faculty members Daniel Gregory and Daniel McCarthy.

The Center will be the bridge between the classroom and extracurriculars, like Northeastern’s Entrepreneurs Club. And for alumni, the Center will offer Startup Bootcamps to help them both develop business plans and network to the local investment community.

All ventures will eventually feed into Northeastern’s venture accelerator, IDEA. Since 2009, IDEA has been doling out cash, mentorship legal services and advice to companies looking to push their ideas one step further. Over the past 24 months, alone, IDEA has worked with more than 200 ventures, providing funding to 14 teams.

The combination of classroom learning and real world learning could change Northeastern’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. The change, however, could be for the better of all of us.