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No Ivory Tower

University venture lab provides real-life entrepreneurial lessons

By Nichole L. Torres

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In a place where people immerse themselves in knowledge,it's only natural that new ideas will emerge. That's thethinking behind the Venture Creation Lab in the Center forTechnology Entrepreneurship at the University of Washington inSeattle.

Designed to give students from all disciplines the chance toresearch business opportunities and emerging technologies, the labis a type of testing ground for business ideas, notes RobertJacobs, managing director of the center. Once accepted into thecenter, students from the engineering, medicine and law programsare put in teams of three or four to decide what is mostcommercially feasible using the technologies developed and owned bythe university. "At that point," says Jacobs, "theystart to work on a full-scale business plan."

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