HWS IdeaLab

The Centennial Center is launching the HWS IdeaLab. Simply submit a brief proposal that outlines an idea for a product, service or organization. Top ideas will be selected to join a six-week accelerator program designed to develop ideas. If selected, students will be joining a dynamic setting with expert faculty, staff and alumni with the goal of carving out innovative idea. At the end of the six weeks, lab participants will resubmit their proposals for a chance at start up funding from a pool of $3000. All majors are encouraged to apply!

What is it?

Idea labs are essentially start-up accelerator programs. By providing a creative environment, peer feedback, mentoring resources, structured workshops and funding support, this program is designed to power up student ideas in six weeks. If you know a student with a compelling desire to create, innovate or already has an idea for a product, service or organization, this is the program to get them started.

How does it work?

The HWS IdeaLab is designed to bring student ideas to reality and to cultivate entrepreneurial leadership on campus. It is housed at the Centennial Center but steered by a student committee. Meaning, a small group of students in coordination with the Centennial Center will review each application, decide which ideas are accepted into the lab and then determine how the $3000 is allocated at the end of the six weeks.

Who is eligible?

Any current HWS student can apply. All majors and levels of experience are welcome. If interested, students can simply fill out the application and describe his or her idea. Applications will be reviewed by our student committee and selected for innovativeness and viability. If selected, students must commit for the full six weeks. Sessions are typically 90 minutes. The lab takes 8-10 students each spring semester.

What will students learn?

The IdeaLab has assembled an array of faculty and staff to instruct workshops in topics such as idea creation, product development, cost structure and strategic planning. Additionally, we will tap into our alumni network for expertise in areas such as marketing, design or sustainability. The lab will be a space for students to gather and work towards innovative ideas. Students will receive peer feedback, instructor challenge, mentor expertise and potential funding to support the implementation of his or her idea.

How does the funding work?

There is a pool of $3000. At the end of the six weeks, lab participants will submit a final proposal. Our student committee in coordination with the Centennial Center will review the proposals and allocate the funding. All committee decisions are final. Funding will vary from individual to individual.

How do students enter?

The HWS IdeaLab takes place each Fall semester. Applications will be available on the Centennial Center’s Collegiate Link page. Contact Amy Forbes at for more information.


Applications can be found under the Documents section on our Collegiate Link webpage.

HWS IdeaLab Application



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Geneva, NY 14456

Phone: (315) 781-4550

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