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Harvard Entrepreneur Center Opens

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Harvard University officially opened its Innovation Lab today, a center on a satellite campus across the Charles River in Boston, to encourage entrepreneurial activities by students and faculty. The i-Lab, as its called, aims to bring together entrepreneurs from the local community, as well as encourage innovation across Harvard’s schools and academic disciplines.

The i-Lab, according to the university, has classrooms and meeting areas designed to serve both undergraduate and graduate students, and provides public areas and meeting rooms designed to foster project work. The lab also offers business development resources for companies, non-profits, entrepreneurs, and other individuals in the Allston-Brighton neighborhood and Boston area.  It is expected to be a place where students, practitioners, and local businesses can work together, share knowledge, and collaborate on ideas.

Harvard says organizations including SCORE — a non-profit group that helps new entrepreneurs get off the ground — the U.S. Small Business Administration, 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 i-Lab. The facility 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 non-profits.

While i-Lab officially opened today, the center held an event last weekend called the Harvard Student Scramble, billed as “a 48-hour test drive” of the facility. The lab says 125 students took part, who pitched 32 ideas that resulted in 18 teams, most of whom presented their ideas to evaluators, with four of the teams awarded top prizes.

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