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Inside the I-Lab

If you’re in college, Boston, New York, California, or perhaps many other places around the U.S., you may have noticed the explosion of “start-ups”. A recent article I read suggested this movement is indicative of a large economic movement. Just as over a hundred years ago marked a move towards massive industrialization and so a new boss-employee relationship from the days of the small-scale apprentice, so too may this era be marked by a move towards independent or self-starter employment from freelancing to entrepreneurship.


Harvard, along with other universities, has caught up to this idea and the result is spectacular: The Harvard Innovation Lab. Open from 9am to midnight every day, the I-Lab—as its known—hosts events to prospective entrepreneurs, provides space for start-ups, and offers a wealth of advice from entrepreneurs-in-residence, mentors, and other experts in the legal and investment fields.


Harvard Business School (across the river from Harvard Yard)

Yesterday I jumped on the Harvard shuttle across the river to the business school to check out the newly opened I-Lab. The event? Evaluating your Start-up Career. Entrepreneurship has always been a passion for me—perhaps it’s the idea of a 9 to 5 desk job, but more likely it’s the opportunity to really create something new and of value. Indeed, as a recent speaker noted, entrepreneurs are business artists.


The event was an hour and a half and led by two successful entrepreneurs, one who create the product of e-ink (Have a kindle or nook? It’s the screen). I was happy to find I wasn’t the only one (undergrad, Harvard Business School student, or MIT grad) wondering about how to evaluate risk or the most important key to a start-up, recruiting a great team. The wealth of resources for student entrepreneurs is fantastic and I can’t wait to see the development of the in-residence start-ups a few years down the road.


Speaking of start-ups, you may have remembered my mentioning the Harvard Careers in Food & Wine from over wintersession: through that I meet a great start-up company, two years started, 90+ Cellars, a wine distribution company. Today was my first day beginning an internship with them on their marketing and operations team—a fantastic opportunity for learning an industry from the very start of a company. I’m looking forward to the experience and will update soon about it. I’m looking forward to a thesis-ful weekend, but a chance to take advantage of Harvard’s new ice-skating rink on Tuesday, Valentine’s Day. Hope you all have a great weekend!



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