Mason Innovation Lab
The Mason Innovation Lab, located in Enterprise Hall 278, provides a shared work environment where students, professors, and alumni can come together to collaborate on innovations and entrepreneurial projects that are intended to lead to start-up businesses.
While the Mason Innovation Lab is managed by the School of Management's Center for Global Business, the center aims to generate innovations from across Mason's broad community and to encourage them toward commercialization.
In spirit, the Mason Innovation Lab will be a combination of the MIT Media Lab and the Lockheed Skunk Works. The lab offers space and limited equipment to students, faculty, and alumni who propose specific innovation projects. Projects can be of any kind that involves the invention of something new (as example, software for some application on an existing platform; an effort to design a better way to organize work flow in an office; creation of an electronic game; a new process for more efficiently managing a hospital patient experience; creation of a new financial product–possibly using the Bloomberg terminal in the Lab; etc.
Students and alumni from all schools within the university are eligible to request space in the Mason Innovation Lab and to then obtain a semesterlong (6-month) assignment of a work area in the Lab. Space is available on a competitive basis, with the goal of completing a project in that time.
The lab includes a dozen work areas, essentially desk surfaces with students bringing their PCs. Printers, internet and electric access, and furniture are provided. Each work area houses 2-3 people. The lab also has white boards for drawing, a lounge area for people from different projects to relax together and talk, and a "play area" including blocks, tinker toys, and other physical items that could be used to dream up mechanical or conceptual ideas.
Each innovator/team will be given the space and the equipment for a period of six months. After six months, the innovator may request a renewal for a second six month period, or may request help in pursuing a process of incorporation and launch of a company to commercialize the new product or service. In principle, successful innovators may be able to move to the Mason Enterprise Center, which is a small-business development center also on the Mason campus, and which could help the team to set up a company and begin operating.
Each team of 2-3 students working on a project will need an expert/professor to guide them and to ensure that they progress toward successful conclusion of the project. The team should identify the professor and ask him or her to talk with us at the Center for Global Business about the arrangements. In addition to faculty mentors, the Mason Innovation Lab will involve alumni and other entrepreneurs from the community to serve as advisors.
Robert Grosse, Director, Center for Global Business
Hun Lee, Associate Director, Center for Global Business
Mahesh Joshi, Director, Innovation & Entrepreneurship Program
Jim Wolfe, Entrepreneur-in-Residence
School of Management faculty members
School of Engineering faculty members
Scott Martin, Computer Game Design Program
Keith Segerson, Mason Enterprise Center
Zoltan Acs, Director, Center for Entrepreneurship and Public Policy