The Coleman New Ventures Lab consists of six comfortable work places. Each is equipped with telephone, high speed internet, and is nicely furnished. One cubicle is also equipped with an Apple G-5, adequate memory and storage to support a range of Adobe photo and desk-publishing and Avid film-editing software. Other editing suites are available but not assigned. These spaces constitute an unusually fine incubator for student businesses. This is where students can actually practice reaching for their dreams, and entrepreneurship can be learned best through practice.
Students develop and submit business plans that are considered by CELEB staff. If the entrepreneurial idea seems viable and feasible, private space is awarded for a period typically lasting one or two semesters. The student has full amenities including conference rooms, access to office supplies, (part-time) reception service, and expert counseling from staff.
In exchange, the student agrees to spend a minimum of 12 hours weekly working on his or her business in the lab. The part-time use permits accommodations to be shared so that the lab can support 6-8 businesses at a time. Students pay no rent (unless they become a Michael Dell or Bill Gates, in which case Center staff will wish to talk to them about that.)
There may be no achievement in college so distinctive to future employers or graduate schools than having started a successful business while in college. That indicates dedication, hard work, and an intensity of purpose that separates one from the crowd. But if you can do it in college, why not afterwards? Maybe you can be ready early on to begin a lifetime of entrepreneurship!
The Lab is named for its donor, the Coleman Foundation, founded in Chicago by Dorothy W. and J.D. Stetson Coleman, successful investors and entrepreneurs. The Foundation exists to this day and Its interests include cancer research and treatment and programs for those with disabilities, together with entrepreneurship. The Foundation has awarded nearly $50 million in grants to colleges and universities developing entrepreneurship education programs.