By Joyce Smaragdis and H. Brevy Cannon
The University of Virginia's Innovation Lab is expanding both its physical space and its institutional
reach to become a hub for entrepreneurship and innovation education serving all
11 U.Va. schools and the local community beyond Grounds.
To support its
enlarged role, the i.Lab, located in Sponsors Hall at U.Va.'s Darden School of Business, is being renovated and
expanded. The renewed facility will reopen and be formally renamed the "W.L.
Lyons Brown III Innovation Laboratory" at a special April 11 event.
new space will offer a design-inspired learning environment and experiential
programs, a prototyping lab and an expanded state-of-the-art business incubator
program that will bring together U.Va. students, faculty and local
The recently admitted 2013-14 incubator class consists of
24 companies, including seven community-based ventures. The other 17 companies
represent a mix of students, faculty and staff from five U.Va. schools. Venture
Carr will head the expanded business incubator.
A new faculty
advisory council will oversee the i.Lab curriculum and programs. Chaired by
professor Bernard Carlson of the School of Engineering and
Applied Science, it will include representatives from all 11 U.Va.
The offices of the Executive Vice President
and Provost and the Vice President for
Research will also be involved in expanding the i.Lab's
"The pan-University i.Lab demonstrates a structural commitment
to cross-school collaboration, one of my strategic priorities for the
University," U.Va. President Teresa A. Sullivan said. "The expanded i.Lab,
U.Va. Innovation, OpenGrounds and related initiatives enable U.Va. to
provide students, faculty and members of the local community with a compelling
environment to advance knowledge and create new businesses."
advisory council will play a critical role in helping the i.Lab realize its full
potential," said Philippe
Sommer, director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership at
Darden's Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and
Innovation, which will operate the i.Lab. Sommer will also serve as
the new i.Lab's director. "The i.Lab will enable students across the University
to learn about, conceive, launch, grow and engage with entrepreneurial ventures
through a diverse array of educational and experiential programs."
advance U.Va. discoveries to the global community, the i.Lab will partner with
"U.Va. Innovation is a pan-University initiative
designed to maximize the impact of U.Va. discoveries through entrepreneurship
and strategic partnerships," said Mark Crowell, executive director of U.Va.
Innovation and associate vice president for research at U.Va. "The i.Lab will be
a key contributor to U.Va.'s robust entrepreneurial ecosystem."
is named after U.Va. alumnus W.L. Lyons Brown III, a 1982 graduate of the
College of Arts & Sciences and a 1987 graduate of the Darden School, who
donated generously to the creation of the new state-of-the-art
incubator, along with 50 other donors and friends.
expanded i.Lab will formally open April 11 as part of the kick off of the
Tom Tom Founders Festival, a four-day series of
events catalyzing innovation in Charlottesville, presented in partnership with
Sullivan and Robert
F. Bruner, dean of the Darden School, will preside over the
11 i.Lab reopening activities, which will begin at 3 p.m.
Activities will conclude with the "U.Pitch.
C'ville Decides" community pitch competition, developed in
partnership with the Tom Tom Founders Festival. The Batten Institute will award
$10,000 in total to the competition's top three winners, who will be selected by
The members of the i.Lab faculty advisory council
- School of Architecture: Jeana Ripple
- College of Arts
& Sciences: TBD
- Darden School of Business: Jeanne Liedtka
- McIntire School of Commerce: Brendan Richardson
- School of Continuing
and Professional Studies: Donna Klepper
- Curry School of Education:
- School of Engineering and Applied Science: Bernard
- School of Law: George Geis
- Frank Batten School of
Leadership & Public Policy: Christine Mahoney
- School of Medicine:
- School of Nursing: Karen Rose
- U.Va. Innovation: Mark
For questions or information, contact email@example.com or
a member of the Communication
About the i.Lab at U.Va.
i.Lab is a University-wide initiative that creates a nexus for entrepreneurship
and innovation education. Its mission is to foster deep cross-collaboration with
no boundaries, across disciplines, schools or ways of thinking. The i.Lab
provides coaching, courses and incubation to students, faculty and community
members innovating the future. Initiatives such as the i.Lab help create a
robust entrepreneurial ecosystem within U.Va. and its surrounding community. The
i.Lab is a collaborative effort of 11 schools of the University, the Provost's
Office, and UVA Innovation.
About the Batten Institute at the
Darden School of Business
The Batten Institute at the
University of Virginia Darden School of Business improves the world through
entrepreneurship and innovation. Its academic research center advances knowledge
that addresses real-world challenges and shapes Darden's curriculum, and its
Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership offers one of the world's top
entrepreneurship programs. The Batten Institute was established with gifts now
totaling over $100 million from the late Frank Batten Sr., a U.Va. alumnus,
media pioneer, visionary and founder of The Weather Channel.
About the Darden School of Business
University of Virginia Darden School of Business is one of the world's leading
business schools, offering MBA, Ph.D. and Executive Education programs. The
unique Darden experience combines the case study method; the highest-ranked
faculty, whose research advances global managerial practice and business
education; and a tight-knit learning environment to develop responsible and
complete leaders who are ready to make an impact.
University of Virginia
Founded in Charlottesville by Thomas
Jefferson in 1819, the University of Virginia is a leading public university
that serves as a national model for excellence through innovation and
collaboration in its missions of teaching, research, public service and health
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