Harvard Launches its First Innovation Incubator

It was a big news day out of Harvard Business School Thursday. Hot on the heels of the announcement of  Tata’s $50 million gift to fund a new building on the campus, Harvard also heralded the launch of the first lab for innovation and entrepreneurship funded and developed by the B-school.

With the goal of spurring innovative ventures across the university, at HBS, and in the Allston-Brighton neighborhood, the Harvard Innovation Lab will open in the 2011 fall semester.

“For the University as well as for the economy and our nation, the importance of innovation cannot be overstated,” says Harvard president Drew Gilpin Faust when announcing the launch. “It is also of utmost importance and great interest to our students and faculty, many of whom are inventors and entrepreneurs. This lab will foster team-based activities and deepen interactions among both aspiring and experienced innovators across the schools of Harvard.”

During stage one of the launch, the Harvard Innovation Lab will be open to student entrepreneurs across the university, including undergraduates, students in Harvard’s professional schools, and graduate students.

Student teams will have shared space to work on their ventures, access to experienced Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, support by faculty and administrators, and a program of related activities to deepen their understanding of entrepreneurship and innovation.

Through the creation of this distinctive resource, HBS dean Nitin Nohria says, “Our goal is to drive innovation by connecting entrepreneurial teams, not only across the Charles River, but nationally and internationally, in an interdisciplinary approach to creating viable business ventures and social initiatives.”

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