School:Iona College

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About Iona College

Iona College is a private, four-year Catholic college in New Rochelle, NY located 22 miles from Midtown Manhattan. In 1940, it was founded by the Congregation of Christian Brothers and today offers more than 60 bachelor's programs and 40 minors. Iona is comprised of the School of Arts & Science and the LaPenta School of Business. In addition, the institution has approximately 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in it.

About the Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation

The Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation was established in 2017 due to a generous $15 million gift to Iona from James Hynes, '69, '01H, and Anne Marie Hynes. The Hynes Institute is an emerging force that strives to prepare the future generation of entrepreneurs, innovators, and leaders to move the world. It also ensures that students develop the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to create, lead, and innovate in an ever-changing global economy.

At the Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, their mission is “to create and foster an interdisciplinary community of Iona students who engage in entrepreneurial learning opportunities to develop an entrepreneurial mindset."
The Hynes Institute also includes GaelVentures, the start-up incubator space, which was created to “support student programming at Iona College and to serve the New Rochelle and greater Westchester area as a resource for its local entrepreneurship and business ecosystem.” GaelVentures was temporarily the home of the Hynes Institute and was the physical space for the majority of curricular and co-curricular programming. Now, the Hynes Institute is located at the center of campus, Spellman Hall where students and faculty are able to cowork and work on their business ventures. CEO, the Entreprenuership club runs out of this space, alongside with the activities and workshops offered. GaelVentures will become our student and community incubator

Promoting Student Entrepreneurship & Innovation

School of Business & School of Arts and Science

With the LaPenta School of Business being one of the more prominent schools at Iona, often, it's easier for students to intertwine their business mindsets/endeavors with entrepreneurship and innovation. However, outside of the business school, there are departments in which an entrepreneurial mindset is also encouraged such as in the School of Arts and Science. Iona also offers a wide selection of courses that can be a foundational step for the student innovative process. With an entrepreneurial approach, one can use the skills learned from E&I courses to innovate within their chosen field.


A few of the workshops the Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation hosts include 3D Printing and Storytelling. 3D printing is a relatively new technology that disrupts the traditional way of prototyping and 3D printers can be used for making gadgets out of PLA filament. In addition to the 3D workshops, the Hynes Institute also offers Arduino workshops where students learn to interact with different open-sourced electronic objects.

Speaker Series

The Hynes Institute also hosts speaker series that encourage entrepreneurs to pursue their aspirations wholeheartedly and despite failure, to persevere.

Entrepreneurship Classes

The entrepreneurial mindset has recently amplified at Iona in which multiple new entrepreneurship and innovation courses have been introduced to our students. Introduction into Ideation and Design Thinking, Introduction to Entrepreneurship and Innovation: Practice and Mindset, as well as Ethics and Entrepreneurial Leadership are 3 courses that have boosted entrepreneurial thinking throughout campus. We also have 5 new graduate courses that study Ideation and Design Thinking, Business Modeling, Financing and Sustaining Entrepreneurial Ventures, and a Studio Course that facilitates the process of developing an entrepreneurial venture, from idea to launch, with the help and support of Iona College’s incubator space, GaelVentures.

CEO at Iona - The Entrepreneurship Club

Another feature of Iona College and the Hynes Institute is the extracurricular club that promotes entrepreneurship. CEO (Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization) at Iona - The Entrepreneurship Club, formerly known as Iona’s Entrepreneurship Club, gives students the ability to network with like minded peers from different focus areas. This helps students build teams in which each person can effectively contribute under a role, and heavily focuses on co-working and problem solving.


The Iona Innovation Challenge and the Pizza Pitch Competition were two campus wide competitions in which students could pitch their business/entrepreneurial ideas to a panel of judges. This gave students a “Shark Tank” like experience where they could get feedback on their ideas and prepare for future opportunities.

The Idea Hackathon, hosted by the Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, was a successful event as well. Students were able to develop skills in problem solving, design thinking, and collaboration. There were also many alumni and mentors present for students to obtain knowledge from.

Spaces on Campus

Spaces at Iona College where students can prototype, collaborate, and innovate will be GaelVentures, the future incubator space, the Hynes Institute the new coworking space, Ryan Library, a library that has private rooms for discussion and ideation, and Arrigoni Library, another library that has private spaces for discussion, innovation, and technological creation.


Internship opportunities are not scarce at Iona. Being less than 22 miles from Midtown Manhattan, world-class internships and job opportunities are within reach as well as opportunities outside of New York City. The opportunities at Iona College are limitless and with an entrepreneurial mindset, one can take advantage of Iona’s resources and embark on a journey to success. The new Hynes Institute offers internships as well.

Encouraging Faculty Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Hynes Faculty Fellowship Program

The purpose of this program is to allow full-time Iona faculty with the opportunity to cultivate and enact learning innovations that align with the mission of the Hynes Institute. Faculty will implement learning innovations through experiential exercises, design thinking, incorporating entrepreneurial subject matter and innovative teaching methods into an existing course, and establishing a new course in any discipline. Faculty also have the opportunity to start a student club or work with an existing club to develop a project, organize a co-curricular program such as a speaker event, organize a student workshop, and engage in service learning projects in relation to entrepreneurship.

Lunch & Learn

The purpose of this series is to establish and maintain faculty members and administrators engagement in entrepreneurship. Many of these series include workshops, speaker events, and experiential learning exercises.

Actively Supporting the University Technology Transfer Function

This is one of the gaps we perceived at Iona that needs to be developed.

Facilitating University-Industry Collaboration

IonaCollege is proud to partner with over 100 industry professionals across nine different departments. These programs are offered through the college’s Office of Career Development. In addition to connecting students with these industry professionals, the Office of Career Development offers plenty of workshops. These workshop subjects range from Linkedin to networking.

Engaging with Regional and Local Economic Development Efforts

USASBE, the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship
USASBE is an inclusive community that advances entrepreneurship education through impactful teaching, practice, and scholarship. This association also provides many opportunities to network with researchers, policy makers, educators, entrepreneurs, and management professionals. As of March 2017, Iona College was welcomed to their family of more than 600 college and university members. The Founding Program Director of the Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Dr. Christoph Winkler, is also a contributing editor of Entrepreneurship Education & Pedagogy, a journal for USASBE.

Iona StartupTree

StartupTree is the Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation’s entrepreneurship network. On this platform, students can network with the Hynes Institute's network of entrepreneurs from many different industries, add their venture or project, and participate in various competitions and challenges.

Related Links

Iona College Strategic Priorities

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University Innovation Fellows

Fall 2018

Alberto Goncalves

Tiara Griffith

Eljah Ware

Fall 2019

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Avery Burgos

Riana Khan