Breakthrough Lab, Brown University’s premiere venture accelerator, kicks off on June 4th. We are thrilled to welcome 14 student ventures to this year’s program. Our founders come from all across the Brown and RISD landscape and bring diverse perspectives, strengths, and interests to the cohort. Their innovations span business sectors from solar energy to high-energy foods, from technical clothing to big data for grocers, and from limb prostheses to internet security. Learn more about this year’s cohort.


We are thrilled to announce that the Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship will have a dedicated home on Thayer Street. This building will do so much more than to provide physical space; it will further our mission of making entrepreneurship an essential part of the Brown experience.



Brown has always been fertile ground for entrepreneurship. It’s true for the students who choose to study here, for the faculty who teach and conduct their research here, and for our alumni once they leave College Hill.



Entrepreneurship is an increasingly global endeavor with connections that span far beyond College Hill. The Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship — in conjunction with BrownConnect and other partners — supports a variety of programs and initiatives that support students exploring these critical linkages from Stockholm to Silicon Valley. While we are just getting started, we expect that students will increasingly work on problems across borders and these programs enable them to do so in a way that is inspired and informed.

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What is Entrepreneurship?

September 6 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Brown students have long pursued ambitious solutions to challenging problems. The spirit that infuses all of this activity is one of collaboration, critical problem solving, and a commitment to interdisciplinary and creative thinking. Join the Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship for a workshop and panel on how you can use entrepreneurship as a tool to solve problems and create impact at scale. RSVP Here! 

Entrepreneurship Picnic

September 7 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

We cannot predict the future, but we can create it. Meet students from the Brown Entrepreneurship Program (EP) and the Jonathan M. Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship center staff, along with other student groups that support entrepreneurship and innovation on campus! Learn about resources, organizations, conferences from both RISD and Brown. RSVP Here! 

Heath Hack @ Brown

September 14 @ 8:00 am - September 16 @ 5:00 pm

More info to come!  

Breakthrough Lab (B-Lab) Venture Showcase

September 20 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Brown University’s Breakthrough Lab (B-Lab) is a unique, intensive 8-week accelerator program that supports student entrepreneurs developing high-impact ventures. The Venture Showcase presentations are a significant milestone for the students who spent their summer in Providence and in the local community exploring, experimenting, and advancing their ventures.  B-Lab provides students access to high-level sector specific mentoring, business and technical support, focused programming, and dedicated space. Our ventures span a wide range of disciplines including, bioengineering, sustainable and healthy foods, fashion,…

Marianna Zaslavsky: Office hours

September 24 @ 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Marianna has a long-standing passion for mentorship and entrepreneurship. She started her startup career in middle school, selling pre-clipped newspaper coupons for things like cereal and candy. While that business didn't take off beyond middle school, she has since worked for several VC-backed startups, venture funds and has advised numerous early-stage founders. She is currently starting a company in the women's health and fertility space. Most recently, she was VP of Business Development at Unacast, a venture-backed human mobility data company. …

John Ireland ’86: Office Hours

September 26 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

John Ireland is the President of Upfront Analysis. Upfront Analysis provides strategic and business development solutions and services to entrepreneurs, startups and existing companies large and small across the United States. John has held positions as CEO, CFO, COO and Director of Business Development in both private and public corporations in several verticals. He has worked in many industries helping companies prosper. Various companies include a solar thermal company, a privately held software company, an electronics company, an electronic component manufacturer,…

Founder Friday: Yelitsa Jean-Charles ’16 RISD

September 28 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Beyond Niche: The Power of Community and Demand Yelitsa Jean-Charles '16 RISD is the founder of Healthy Roots. Her talk will focus on building a product for specific consumer markets that are overlooked, undervalued but have mighty buying power. Yelitsa never had a doll that looked like her growing up. The one time her parents gave her a black doll, she burst into tears because it wasn’t the “pretty one”. Since then, Yelitsa has made it her goal to make sure…


September 29 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

More info to come!

Albert Dong ’19: Office Hours

October 2 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Albert Dong is a Design Partner at Dorm Room Fund (DRF), an early-stage VC fund that invests exclusively in student entrepreneurs. DRF currently has a total portfolio valuation of over $1B. Albert has a strong background in design and funding strategy in the pre-seed space, working with bootstrapped startups as well as YC-backed companies. Sign-up for his office hours here!

A Sea Change: The Convergence of Life Sciences and Technology

October 11 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Are businesses at the convergence of technology and life sciences getting early-stage funding globally? Are global life sciences companies looking to be innovators by involving AI, the cloud, and machine learning to play a role in drug discovery? Does a culture that encourages failure also favor innovation? These are some questions that will be discussed throughout the workshop on the ever-changing world of entrepreneurship and STEM. Kris Brown '89, workshop host, will highlight case studies involving medical devices, robotics/AI and…

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