Emmanuel College is one of 140 local nonprofits to receive grants of $100,000 to $500,000 each through the Cummings Foundation’s $25 Million Grant Program.
Under the direction of DiscoveryLab Technology and Innovation Specialist Adam Zapotok, Emmanuel College is set to launch the Entrepreneurial Incubator Lab to students during the Spring 2021 semester.
Both the Entrepreneurial Incubator Lab and DiscoveryLab provide Emmanuel students with the physical and intellectual resources to develop their entrepreneurial skills, including one-on-one advising, office hours with subject matter experts, workshops, and the brand-new incubator program.
“One of our main goals is to give students the resources to build a business, starting with nothing,” said Zapotok. “The Incubator Lab will provide a space where students can cultivate ideas with their peers, and we’ll guide them in the advancement of those ideas, step by step, on how to build a business.”
Zapotok is no stranger to incubator programs and is excited to share his experience and knowledge with the Emmanuel community. An important part of his college experience was participating in the Accelerate Incubator program at neighboring Colleges of the Fenway school, Wentworth Institute of Technology.
“I didn’t have any background in business,” said Zapotok. “It wasn’t until a friend pulled me into their incubator team that I realized the full potential of these types of programs. So now I want to share that experience with the Emmanuel community and help students develop the life skills they need through the creative lens of the Entrepreneurial Incubator Lab.”
The Incubator Lab will provide workshops in which anyone can sign up to attend. They’ll feature industry leaders and, in a step-by-step process, cover how to build a business. Depending on each registrant’s goals, the program will also develop a meeting schedule the fits the needs of each student. Some of the workshop topics will include: Starting a Business; Legality of Forming a Business; Building a Business Model; Branding; Creating a Website, Social Media and Marketing; Advertising; Testing & Surveys; and Receiving Feedback to Make Improvements.
Students can be involved in the Incubator Lab for as many semesters as they’d like while enrolled at Emmanuel and can cultivate multiple ideas or businesses along the way. No experience is needed, and students do not need to come to the table with an idea or concept.
“A lot of other schools really focus on innovation, ideas that are really big,” said Zapotok. “What a lot of those places don’t recognize is that you can really sell any skill. You only need to have one skill and know what to do with it to turn it into a profitable business model.”
The Incubator Lab will collaborate with at least one Management course with Emmanuel’s School of Business & Management next semester. All students who participate in the program will have access to a Makerspace in the DiscoveryLab where they can collaborate and work on making, learning, exploring and sharing ideas with a hands-on learning approach to help with critical-thinking skills. Students will also have access to 3D printers, professional camera equipment, laser cutters and the Adobe creative software suite.
“It’s a great opportunity to create something that you can take ownership in while developing life skills that are going to apply to any job you have over your career,” said Zapotok.
WHO: Whether you have a great idea for a product or service, or a marketable skill you would like to develop, the Incubator Lab is open to any student with entrepreneurial aspirations or who are looking for a foundation in building a business, from finance to marketing to management to design.
WHAT: Our new Entrepreneurial Incubator Lab, in which you and your peers will participate in a truly interdisciplinary, hands-on experience. Learn the basics of starting a business from the ground up, with guidance from subject matter experts within the DiscoveryLab and the School of Business & Management.
WHEN: Beginning Spring 2021
WHY: Incubation initiatives are catalysts, known to build confidence, foster big ideas and out-of-the-box thinking, encourage collaboration and teamwork and develop many other professional and life skills that are the driving force behind some of the world's most transformative businesses and startups.
HOW: The Incubator Lab aims to serve as both an educational resource through relevant and timely workshops and one-on-one mentorship and a physical resource with tools to nurture and bring your ideas to life. Through the Incubator Lab, you will have the chance to connect with peers who have like-minded goals or complimentary skills. We encourage students to dive in and take advantage of all offerings, but we also offer students who are exploring the opportunity to drop into individual workshops that interest them.