After attending three coworking sessions, speaking to numerous staff members with in the Lawrence N. Field Center for Entrepreneurship, and multiple young, budding entrepreneurs in the Manhattan area, I’ve gotten my first small taste of the world of CUNY Institute of Virtual Enterprise (CUNY IVE).
Coworking can be explained as entrepreneurial space and community. It's inspired from the lives of start-ups and small businesses in Silicon Alley, the younger sister of Silicon Valley, as the start-up and tech hub of New York City. The unique features of the start-up culture in New York includes sharing office spaces, exchanging ideas and accessing an entrepreneurial community on a regular basis. This is where CUNY IVE was inspired to replicate this type of community for student entrepreneurs.
CUNY IVE Coworking sessions are open to every student and aspiring entrepreneur interested in developing a business idea in an open environment to participate, provide feedback and support one another. The emphasis is on building an entrepreneurial community while providing physical space for students, mentors, faculty and advisors to convene. From its conception to execution, coworking sessions have successfully attracted over 350 students since its beginnings in fall of 2012. Two and a half years later, coworking sessions continue to bring together a diverse group of students and mentors, from undergraduates to PhD students, to discuss and develop new business ideas.
CUNY IVE Coworking has no set agenda, no protocol nor any formal expressed agreement, in terms of attendance, from students and mentors. Thus, every coworking session tends to be different. Christoph Winkler , CUNY IVE Coworking mentor and Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship at Baruch College, explains “students use it in a way that makes sense for them—some listen, some present, some discuss while others do work separately in the corner”. It’s purely student driven.
CUNY IVE Coworking, due to its open environment, leads to building networks, understanding the process of developing business ideas, navigating time and resources, and ultimately helping students learn the beauty of their dreams and that it can be real. It helps students learn about their ideas, interests and provides access to community that is obsessed with entrepreneurship.
If you dreamed about running your own business one day or if you came across a few ideas in your mind yet you could not fathom the practicality nor the possibility of seeing the idea come to life, CUNY IVE Coworking is truly a place to put yourself out there and understand the entrepreneurial process with support behind you.
Every product or service that exists initially began with a single thought. Great things happen when you become aware of what inspires you, what drives you and what challenges you to pursue your dreams of becoming an entrepreneur. It starts somewhere. It starts at small convenings such as coworking sessions. CUNY IVE Coworking sessions take place every academic semester on Wednesdays from 5-8 pm and Fridays from 1-4pm at the Lawrence N. Field Center for Entrepreneurship at Baruch College.
We hope to see you there and we hope to finally begin working on those dreams!
Wishing you well,