For the last several months I’ve been collaborating with about 8 other students as well as Cornell University’s Entrepreneurship department to develop a new way for students to bring their amazing ideas into reality. At Cornell, we have 7 seperate undergraduate colleges, each with amazingly smart people. Unfortunately, these students often don’t meet each other, and as a result, hundreds of potential entrepreneurial ventures are never formed. That’s where The PopShop comes in. We’ve opened the PopShop co-working space as a one month experiment right outside Cornell’s main academic campus. The “shop” is a bit like a cross between a hackerspace and startup incubator, with student entrepreneurs and innovators from all over campus working in the space every day! For the next month, we’ll have programming almost every day, with tons of great lectures by successful entrepreneurs, “office hours” where attendees can learn about things ranging from web developing to financial analysis, and social events. We only opened a week ago, but the space has already been a big hit (maybe it’s because we give unlimited free popcorn to everybody who works here). In addition to managing the space, I’ve been using it as a creative outlet to work on 3D printing, a solar tracking project, technology for hotel check-ins, and just some general hacking. Other students are working on art projects, apparel lines, smartphone-equipped laser tag guns, political tracking websites, microcontroller projects, microfunding plans, and more. I’ve started collaborating with hotel management students, economics students, art majors, architects, etc. I’m really excited to see what we’ll be able to do with this space, and I’m hoping its success will allow us to gather funding and keep it running well past the experimental month.
Already this week, we’ve been featured in the Cornell Daily Sun, and have been featured in one of their videos. We’ve had several talks, ranging from web development to outsourcing concerns, all led by student entrepreneurs who have worked intimately with these problems. Yesterday, I hosted a digital fabrication and 3D printing workshop, where I invited Cornell students and members of the community to come checkout my MakerBot 3D printers and to learn how they work. It was a blast, and there are some great pictures from the event below!