Georgetown Entrepreneurship hosted a celebration to recognize the grand opening of the Georgetown Venture Lab on Monday, Oct. 1.
The event included remarks by Brian T. Kenner, deputy mayor for planning and economic development of Washington, D.C.; Zach Leonsis (MBA’15), senior vice president of strategic initiatives of Monumental Sports & Entertainment and general manager of Monumental Sports Network; Arthur “Artie” Minson Jr. (B’92), president and CFO of WeWork; and Jeff Reid, founding director of Georgetown Entrepreneurship.
“What I hope we can do as a community is create a safe place, a stepping stone for a path that is less traveled by other students, a path of an entrepreneurial mindset,” said Leonsis. "We wanted to focus on three key pillars: current students, alumni, and future entrepreneurs. Now, Georgetown has an entrepreneurship minor, an extensive alumni network of entrepreneurs, and this Venture Lab. We hope the next great business comes out of Washington, D.C.”
"This space — the programming, networking, and activities that WeWork and the Georgetown Venture Lab supports — impact not only those alumni who choose to develop their businesses here. This space provides new opportunities for our students who are seeking internships, for our StartUp Hoyas who are just beginning their entrepreneurship journey, and for members of our Red House and other initiatives across campus who are seeking to develop new innovations," said John J. DeGioia, president of Georgetown University. "This space is a belief in the capacities of the 28 alumni entrepreneurs who are part of this initial cohort...their ideas, their dedication, their imagination…and in the alumni and students who will follow them. You’ve chosen to engage your work here — not only at the Venture Lab, but here in Washington, D.C."
The Georgetown Venture Lab at WeWork White House, sponsored by the Leonsis Family, is a modern coworking space for the university and its network of alumni entrepreneurs. Also, it coordinates programming to foster the growth of new ventures and connects Georgetown University entrepreneurs to the greater alumni and student network. It is operated by Georgetown Entrepreneurship, an initiative of the McDonough School of Business.
The lab is supported by longtime entrepreneur Ted Leonsis (C’77, P’14, P’15), founder, majority owner, chairman, and CEO, Monumental Sports & Entertainment; his wife, Lynn; his son, Zach (MBA’15); and his daughter, Elle (C’14), digital marketing director of SnagFilms, Inc.
With space for up to 90 members, the Georgetown Venture Lab exemplifies the university’s collaborative spirit and commitment to entrepreneurship, and allows Georgetown University to create even stronger ties to the larger startup community in Washington, D.C.
“We want to continue to provide that entrepreneurial spirit into the Washington business community,” said Jeff Reid, founding director, Georgetown Entrepreneurship. “We believe that D.C. is a great place to start and grow a business. As a major university in this area, we want to be a big part of growing the ecosystem.”