FAS Will Launch Major New Technology Institute

New program signals increased technology focus

Continuing a major shift in Harvard policy, Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) officials confirmed last week that they are assembling a program to teach undergraduates about high-tech entrepreneurship and help students start their own businesses while still in school.

The program--modeled along the lines of the Institute of Politics--will likely bring speakers to the University and help students get venture capital funding for business start-ups.

Administrators say the current project, which will be operated by the Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences (DEAS), will position the College to actively encourage entrepreneurship, in contrast to current College policy which forbids students from operating businesses from their dorm-room.


Three weeks ago, Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis '68 proposed amending the policy to allow moderate use of College resources--including dorm rooms, telephones and Internet connections--for business purposes.

While Lewis, emphasized several weeks ago that the change was only "permissive," and would not actively encourage students to run businesses, the new proposed center would do just that.

Administrators say they hope the project will help Harvard surpass schools such as Stanford that have had programs helping student entrepreneurs in place for decades.

The incipient program does not yet have an official name, though one possibility is the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard (TECH).

The idea for the center was first proposed by David Alpert '99-'00, who brought the idea to its current champion, Dean of Engineering and Applied Sciences Venkatesh "Venky" Narayanamurti.

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