Harvard Innovation Lab Officially Opens in Allston

Faust added that when Facebook founder and Harvard dropout Mark E. Zuckerberg visited campus two weeks ago, he specifically requested a tour of the i-lab and told Faust that had the facility existed when he was an undergraduate, he would have spent many hours there.

This past week University students were able to participate in a preview of the i-lab through its “Start-up Weekend Scramble”—an event that paired undergraduate and graduate students with mentors and tasked them with creating a start-up in one weekend. Monica S. Liu ’12 said she used the event to receive advice from mentors and pitch her start-up Townhall 140, a virtual platform that connects users with leaders on political issues.

“The i-lab is incredibly exciting, there’s a spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation that makes you feel welcome and really fosters creativity and collaboration,” Liu said.  “We couldn’t have built our product and pushed our alpha launch through in 48 hours without the i-lab team’s help.”

Jones explained that future business workshops will be provided by local organizations such as the Small Business Administration, Service Corps of Retired Executives, Center for Women & Enterprise, and the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network.

“At the i-lab, we start with community,” Jones said. “One of our primary goals is helping small businesses take their ideas further.”


—Staff writer Matthew M. Beck can be reached at

—Staff writer Nathalie R. Miraval can be reached at