Boston University first opened the doors to its BUild Lab IDG Capital Student Innovation Center last February, and since then the space has served as a workshop environment for students across the university to develop their ideas. This semester, the space is introducing three program series aimed at helping students form their ideas into feasible business plans.
On Saturday, March 2, the BUild Lab is hosting its second annual Idea Conference. The one-day conference is for students in the Boston area to further delve into different aspects of innovation, according to the conference’s website.
BU spokesperson Colin Riley said that the BUild Lab is special because it is open to all BU students.
“If anyone has an idea, it’s a great place to germinate it, work with others who have different skill sets,” Riley said. “It’s a great way to move projects forward.”
Riley said he believes the space has had a “tremendous” impact on campus over the last year.
“There have been so many events, they have provided financial help to student groups. They can apply and receive funding for their ideas. They get financial support, a space to work and collaborate,” Riley said. “There are lots of bright young students on campus, and the BUild lab is a tremendous creative place to foster that,” he said.
The BUild Lab hosts weekly events and workshops, such as Prototyping Fridays and a Startup Law Clinic Talk every Thursday. The space will hold an open mic Monthly Idea Night on Thursday, Feb. 25, as well as a Pitch and Pizza venture competition, according to its events calendar.
The BUild Lab recently launched a four-part program called the “Funding Series” to teach student entrepreneurs how to raise capital for their ideas.
Maggie Whitney, a senior in the College of Communication, said although she doesn’t know much about the space, she likes the idea of having a place dedicated to innovation on campus.
“I work at the Hariri Institute, which is all about providing students with the ability to explore their ideas and give them funding, so I think it’s a really good idea,” she said.
Whitney said she thinks having updated study spaces on campus is important.
“It entices students to come study there,” Whitney said. “So many students now study at Starbucks even though we have these other spaces.”
Olivia Previte, a sophomore in the Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, said she is interested in ways she could utilize the BUild center for her major.
“I’d really be interested in learning more about different innovations in the health field,” Previte said. “I know that there are so many different fields that that can be applied to. I think it’s really cool we have such a great opportunity on campus.”
Rishabh Bhandari, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences, said he likes that BU has an innovation center because it makes the university more comparable to other Boston schools.
“I know that MIT and Harvard and all those other colleges have them, so the fact that BU actually has this stuff is pretty nice,” he said. “I’m a fan.”