Business incubator opens for CU students
ITHACA, N.Y. -- Lance Polivy is a Cornell University senior, and he's created the company Wiggio.com with the help of a new business incubator.
The Cornell University eLab is a non-profit organization that helps undergrads like Polivy get their businesses off the ground.
"We're young, we're entrepreneurs we're doing this for the first time trying to start our own business so the idea of having an office to go to and some mentors to talk to was really valuable to us," said Polivy.
Daniel Cohen got the lab started in April.
He said student entrepreneurs benefit from making connections with Cornell alumni.
"They develop strong mentor-mentee relationships and they really help them negotiate pitfalls and challenges. It's so much easier when you talk to someone whose been there before and done that to direct students," said Cohen.
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There may not be constant activity going on in the eLab, but just having this physical space to work in is something Polivy says is invaluable.
"If our roommates were watching a big basketball game you would just hear eruptions from the living room while we're busy- we've got people sitting on our bed trying to conduct these meetings so it was sloppy. It was unprofessional so having an actual office, a place to run your business from was a really big step for us," said Polivy.
Cohen says the eLab could be a big step for Central New York's economy.
"Central New York has had issues with a lot of companies closing or relocating and so to the extend that we can help generate new companies some of which would want to stay in Central New York, certainly would be a big help to the Central New York economy" said Cohen.
Use of the eLab is competitive, but is open to any Cornell undergraduate student.