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New GaelVentures Program Nurtures Student Businesses From Concept to Launch

Inspiring students to “Learn Outside the Lines,” the Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation launched a new program this academic year, which helps students get new businesses off the ground.

The GaelVentures Virtual Incubator, a 10-week immersive program, brings a select group of students and recent alumni together with business mentors, a wide range of industry experts and Iona’s entrepreneur-in-residence and managing director of Accel7., Danny Potocki ’06, to work side-by-side to bring business ideas to the marketplace

Participants gain experience in financial planning, prototype development, research and interview techniques to better identify and understand users, defining a brand, creating a digital campaign and much more.

Miguel Bernardino ’21 sees technology breaking down the bonds between people. In response, he created “That’s Life,” a board game that encourages players to discuss values and beliefs. “I have learned that the Incubator is less of a tool but more of a change of mentality and perspective,” he said. “This experience has been challenging, but I look forward to taking on that challenge as I continue to grow my business. The harder the climb, the better the view! That’s what keeps me going.”

Business partner, Anne M. Janiak, Women’s Enterprise Development Center (WEDC) CEO, said, “We are so pleased to be a partner in launching this exciting new initiative, GaelVentures Virtual Incubator at Iona College, and especially pleased that WEDC board member Lisa Tretler has led the first training session for this group focused on Story & Pitch Development. We look forward to partnering in other ways to serve entrepreneurs in our community.”

“The strength of our business and community partners is a testament to both the reputation of the Hynes Institute and the character of our students and alumni,” said Potocki.

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