The W.L. Lyons Brown III Innovation Laboratory, or i.Lab at UVA, is a University of Virginia-wide initiative with the mission of supporting entrepreneurs and innovators both on and beyond the UVA Grounds. To accomplish this mission, the i.Lab provides programs, funding, workspace, mentors, community, and additional resources to support new entrepreneurs and accelerate new ventures.
The i.Lab is the result of a collaboration among 11 schools at UVA, the Provost’s Office and the office of the Vice President for Research. Ongoing funding for the i.Lab is provided by the UVA Darden School of Business Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
The i.Lab supports entrepreneurs and innovators regardless of their affiliation with the University. The result of this approach is a diverse community of founders, funders and innovators that includes individuals and organizations both with and without a direct link to the University.
Programs managed directly by the i.Lab include:
• the Incubator, a 10-week boot camp providing new entrepreneurs with funding, workshops, workspace, and mentoring;
• Support for the various programs and communities across UVA and to a range of community organizations in the region.
Our nearly 10,000 square feet of space includes co-working facilities, maker space and tools, two classrooms, multiple meetings rooms, private office space, and an open lobby complete with caffeine courtesy of Shark, Too cafe. This facility on Nash Drive is the result of generous gifts made to the University by W.L. Lyons Brown III and 50 donors in response to Brown’s matching gift challenge.
We manage connections to over 100 mentors (a number that continues to grow), each of whom contributes to the community as an entrepreneur-in-residence, a venture coach or an “on call” industry expert. Our mentors come from a wide range of professional roles and industry backgrounds (e.g., experienced entrepreneurs, industry executives, scientists and investors). As a result, we are able to make connections that can provide guidance on an equally diverse range of challenges faced by new entrepreneurs.
The i.Lab manages or provides connections to a range of additional resources. These resources include grant funding, legal services (in partnership with the UVA School of Law Entrepreneurial Law Clinic), web hosting and computing resources (as an Amazon Activate Portfolio Partner), applications design tools (e.g., Balsamiq), and more.