By Lisa Carlin
Harvard University has launched the Harvard Innovation Lab (i-lab). The i-lab is designed to foster team-based and entrepreneurial activities and to deepen interactions among students, faculty, entrepreneurs, and the Boston community.
“The Harvard Innovation Lab is a bridge between imagination and implementation. What we have done on Western Avenue is create a space that increases the likelihood of planned and unplanned encounters among our students, faculty, staff, and members of Boston’s innovation community, a space where one ought to expect the unexpected,” said Drew Faust, president of the University.
Located on the first floor of Batten Hall at 125 Western Ave. on Harvard’s Allston campus, the i-lab reactivates the building that once housed WGBH-TV’s studios. The lab includes academic space such as classrooms and meeting areas designed to serve both undergraduate and graduate students. It also provides public areas and meeting rooms designed to foster project work, as well as business development resources for companies, nonprofits, entrepreneurs, and other individuals in the Allston-Brighton neighborhood and Boston area. This will be a central place where students, practitioners, and local businesses can work together, share knowledge, and collaborate on ideas.
The i-lab will encourage entrepreneurship and innovation across the University, bringing together many cross-curricular interests, including Harvard College, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Harvard Business School, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Harvard Law School, the School for Engineering and Applied Science, and the Harvard Kennedy School.
Organizations including SCORE, the Small Business Administration, the Center for Women & Enterprise, and the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network have committed to one-on-one coaching and business advising, workshops, and training sessions in the lab. The i-lab will also host lectures, panel discussions, and presentations that will be open to the public, as well as networking events for student teams, local businesses, and nonprofits.