Stemming from a collaboration between Entrepreneurship@Cornell and Student Agencies, a 5,300 square foot space for entrepreneurial networking called eHub is expected to open above Collegetown Bagels next fall, according to Entrepreneurship@Cornell Executive Director John P. Jaquette.
eHub, which will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, will serve as a space for all students working on or interested in business and innovation to use, Jaquette said. Visitors will have access to resources including faculty advising, visiting alumni and collaboration with like-minded students from across the University, he said.
Dan Cohen, a lecturer at Cornell and the director of eLab, a program that helps students accelerate their businesses, said the idea for eHub came from what he and others perceived as a need for a central “hub” to be used for entrepreneurial activity at Cornell.
“We saw on campus a number of classes where you can learn about entrepreneurship, hear about entrepreneurship, but not necessarily do entrepreneurship. We wanted to create a place where you could actually do startups,” Cohen said.
eHub is the latest in a number of Entrepreneurship@Cornell initiatives that seek to increase opportunities for start-up collaboration among students. For instance, the PopShop — where students can go to work with their peers across colleges and majors on various projects — opened on Dryden Road in April.
“Students across the campus, no matter what their interest, [can] sit and talk and meet and match and work on ideas,” Jaquette said of PopShop.
Jaquette said that the success of the PopShop, in part, led faculty to seek the establishment of a larger space with more resources and extended hours.
“There are lots of students who are really excited about the idea of what it takes to create something out of nothing in a business way,” Jaquette said.
Both Jaquette and Cohen said they envision that alumni who come back to Cornell to visit might stop by eHub to see what students are working on and to offer their suggestions.
“If you’re an [alumni] entrepreneur and you want to come back to visit, this is where you go to speak,” Cohen said.
Jaquette said he hopes eHub will also host mini-courses and seminars on leadership to offer educational “building blocks” for the “many people who don’t understand what entrepreneurship is.”
eHub will be a resource to students with a wide range of qualifications, Cohen added. He said the space will serve everyone from the freshman who is new to campus and curious about entrepreneurship to the graduate student “with a fully-fledged concept” for a project.
Cornell has recently begun to open doors for the increasing number of students interested in launching or working for start-ups, Cohen said.
“I think what’s happened is Cornell is being responsive to demand: Students want to do start-ups, they want to create their own companies, more and more students want to create their own path, rather than travel the traditional corporate path,” he said.
Nick Nickitas grad, a student in the Johnson School who is currently working with a team to develop a new cellphone application, said he feels that Cornell has developed an “electrical energy” toward entrepreneurship that is attractive to applicants.
“I chose to come to Cornell because the integrative nature of all these different start-up programs,” Nickitas said. “From eLab, Cornell Startup Weekend, Three-Day Startup, the Popshop, Big Red Ventures and now the eHub, the resources available to entrepreneurs at Cornell are incredible.”
Jaquette added that the University is becoming more plugged into the start-up scene, as reflected by the establishment of CornellNYC Tech as well as the high volume of students who are creating fledgling companies while still on campus.
“This is the first time you’ve read about Cornell regularly in the national press and [seen] the word entrepreneurship associated with [the University] in this way,” he said.
Entrepreneurship@Cornell is working to secure the necessary funding for the project through its alumni network, according to Jaquette. He said renovations of eHub’s future home above CTB are expected to begin this summer.