Impact Entrepreneurship @TNS

What is the Impact Entrepreneurship Initiative?

The Impact Entrepreneurship Initiative (IEI) is a university-wide initiative that supports early-stage entrepreneurial leaders in developing the mindsets, skills, and sense of purpose needed to thrive in a rapidly changing world. The initiative aims to catalyze the creation of a more inclusive economy by making entrepreneurship education, resources, and networks more accessible to students from diverse backgrounds. We envision a world that works for us all, in which individuals from diverse backgrounds can do well by doing good, using their talents to help shape a more inclusive, sustainable, and equitable economy.

Announcing the Venture Lab!

Are you an early-stage student entrepreneur at The New School, looking to accelerate your venture development and create positive social impact? 

The Venture Lab will include experienced faculty, mentorship and funding opportunities to advance your venture. Students accepted to the Venture Lab will enroll in a semester-long course in Spring 2018. Open to graduate students and upper undergraduate students.


Application Deadline: October 4th, 2017.
Course runs from January to May 2018

Want to know more?
Come to a Fall 2017 Info Session:

Info Session 1 > RSVP

Wednesday, September 13
2pm – 3pm
66 West 12th Street
Room 712

Info Session 2 > RSVP

Monday, September 25
5pm – 6pm
6 East 16th Street
Room 1103

Venture Lab Eligibility

Prospective applicant teams to the Venture Lab must meet the following criteria:

  • Be composed of at least one current graduate student or upper undergraduate (junior or senior) in good standing at The New School
  • Be committed to promoting positive change through entrepreneurship
  • Be willing and able to enroll team members in the spring Venture Lab course. Students enrolled at The New School must take the course for credit. In certain cases, the Venture Lab course may qualify as a substitute for specific degree requirements. Team members not currently enrolled at The New School may take the course as non-matriculated students if they live in the greater New York City area.
  • Commit to attending the pre-course intensive January 19-21, 2018
  • Have a demonstrated ability to create an innovative solution, by showing a prototype or proof of concept that represents the promise of the venture

We recognize you will revisit your assumptions as you gain more insight from your target customer, however, strong applicants to the Venture Lab will be able to demonstrate the following:

  • Knowledge of the design thinking process
  • Have identified an unmet social need and have a vision for how to address this challenge
  • Ability to attract various types of resources and skills
  • Knowledge of the existing landscape, including other efforts to address this challenge
  • Have conducted user research and/or developed a prototype to test your assumptions

Resources for Prospective Applicants

  • Have you identified an unmet social need that you wish to address?
  • Do you have an idea about how you might address this challenge in a way that is financially sustainable and has the potential for scalable impact?
  • Have you engaged directly with your target customer to test this idea?
  • Have you created a founding team with between two and five members?

If not, we encourage you to explore the following resources over the coming months in order to refine your idea, test your hypothesis, and deepen relationships with the community you wish to impact. The deadline for applications to the Venture Lab will take place on October 4th, 2017.

There are many free or inexpensive online courses, videos, and toolkits to help you along your research and discovery journey.

Design Thinking & Prototyping Resources:


Stay In Touch!

Sign up here to receive more information about eligibility, benefits, and application details for the Venture Lab in the coming months.

Any questions? Feel free to send an email to

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The Impact Entrepreneurship Initiative is made possible through the Ewing Marion Kaufman Foundation’s Inclusion challenge program. Learn more about the program here.