Nurturing the Entrepreneurial Spirit
Summer 2013 Venture Lab participants are Joe Morrison '14 and Tori Mayernick ‘14. For more information about the Venture Lab program, please contact Allison Dulin at email@example.com.
Davidson College Venture Lab (DC Venture Lab) is a new start-up incubator designed to accelerate the development of Davidson's founders and aspiring entrepreneurs through experiential education. Venture Lab is a full-time, immersive program that runs early June through mid-August and is suited for all business models (for profit and not-for-profit). If you have a venture you want to take to the next level, or even if you have a (well developed) idea, we encourage you to apply to the program (when we next accept applications). DC Venture Lab is located in Packard Place, the hub for entrepreneurship and innovation in the heart of Uptown Charlotte.
The following is a sampling of the benefits available to participants in the DC Venture Lab.
- Community: A major strength of DC Venture Lab is the student and Packard Place community. Teams are expected to learn as much from one another as they do from the DC Venture Lab staff and mentors.
- Mentoring: Mentors and local entrepreneurs are available over the summer to help student entrepreneurs learn and succeed.
- Networking: We prepare student teams to connect with the local and national Davidson entrepreneurial ecosystem, which includes investors, entrepreneurs, accountants, and lawyers.
- Education: Students will participate in entrepreneurship education where various topics are covered that relate to startups and where entrepreneurs come to share their stories and lessons learned.
- Grants: Student teams receive grants of $3,500. In addition, student teams are connected to grant programs across campus, the city, and the state.
- Space: Student teams gain access to a shared facility at Packard Place where they have Wi-Fi, unlimited coffee, conference rooms, plenty of white boards, and 24 hour access.
About Packard Place
Packard Place is the foundation of like-minded entrepreneurs sharing skills and business opportunities in Charlotte. It serves as a community center for entrepreneurial activity in the heart of the Queen City, allowing access to technology, education and hands-on assistance to help business partners and start-ups design, build, market and deliver innovation and solutions. This is accomplished by the collaboration of key organizations in the region including entrepreneurial, industry, civic, economic and university groups that together are changing the landscape of Charlotte business.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the dates of the program?
June 3-August 16. If you would like to start earlier that will be considered.
What are primary criteria for selection?
We are looking for innovative and dedicated founders with a new venture that is prepared for 10+ weeks of accelerated development. Competitive applicants will demonstrate likelihood of a viable market, have founder expertise relevant to the venture's success, and show potential for positive impact to customers, users, and/or the community.
How many ventures will be selected?
In 2013—our first summer offering Venture Lab—we will accept two student ventures. In future years, we will expand the program to include more ventures.
What if my team includes people who are not affiliated with Davidson?
In order to be eligible to apply to the DC Venture Lab, at least one founder has to be a current Davidson student. The Davidson student founder has to be enrolled either at the time of the application or during summer session (therefore incoming freshman and graduating seniors are eligible to apply).
Can social ventures apply?
Yes, we highly encourage ventures from all industries and with all business models to apply. In fact, Queen City Forward, a non-profit organization designed to scale the impact of social entrepreneurs, is based inside Packard Place and will serve as a resource to social ventures in the DC Venture Lab.
What if I am a brand new venture?
Ventures at a variety of stages are encouraged to apply, from preparing to raise significant funds to only having a (well developed) idea.
Can I hold a job or internship during the program?
Other major commitments such as jobs or internships are highly discouraged. Participants must be able to commit full-time to developing their venture.
What if I have another commitment during the summer (family vacation, conference, etc.)?
If you have another short term commitment, please indicate this in your application. If the commitment is long term (more than a week), this will affect your chances of being accepted into the DC Venture Lab.
Do I need to live in Charlotte? Does Davidson assist with housing?
It is in your best interest to live in Charlotte, since Packard Place is located in Charlotte. Some students may also consider living in Davidson, although this would require a daily commute in traffic. Davidson does not pay for your housing or assist in finding housing.
What happens after DC Venture Lab?
For the most part, that is up to you! We will have a final presentation or expo at the end of the summer for you to show off your hard work, but the extent to which you maintain relationships with mentors, Packard Place, and the Davidson alumni network is your decision.