Entrepreneurship Lab (eLab)

eLab picture from reception of a student with prototype.

Engineering students Lucas Julian and Meaghan Conway share their prototype of an automated, randomized pitching machine with judges during the eLab's final competition.

The eLab course gives you the skills to develop and manage a successful new venture and apply those skills to launch your own entrepreneurial idea.

A hands-on, 3-credit course, the eLab (MGO 493/695) is taught by Yong Li, associate professor of operations management and strategy, UB School of Management, along with Martin Casstevens, business formation and commercialization manager, UB Office of Business and Entrepreneur Partnerships. In addition, guest presenters are brought in to share their expertise throughout the course.

Who Should Apply

The eLab is for college students from all disciplines who have entrepreneurial ideas, but need help developing them prior to venture creation. The class is especially helpful in assisting those planning to apply for the Panasci Technology Entrepreneurship Competition and other business plan competitions. You should form a team, if appropriate, before taking the course.  


The next course offering will be held in the 2019 Spring semester.


Through the eLab, you will:

  • Expand your knowledge of how to create a startup business
  • Gain the hands-on experience needed to start a new venture
  • Develop the skills to evaluate your entrepreneurial idea

Regular guest speakers throughout the three-week course include: entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angel investors and professional service providers such as consultants and lawyers. Students will also interact with entrepreneurs and investors outside of the class room through things like WNY Venture Association meetings and talks with leadership and residents at 43North and the Z80 Labs tech incubator.

As a participant in the eLab, there is an opportunity to gain additional resources, available to top performing teams. Resources may include seed funding, co-working space at tenX in UB STOR, mentoring or other professional services.

eLab Student Achievements

Many students who have completed the eLab course have gone on to receive top awards and other impressive accomplishments, including the following:

  • First place prize in the Panasci Technology Entrepreneurship Competition
  • Grant recipient of the National Science Foundation's Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program
  • NSF-SBIR Phase I and II grant awards valued at nearly $975,000 through the National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Research program
  • Second place in statewide, student Business Plan Competition in the nanotechnology category
  • Finalist status in the Rise of the Rest competition
  • Acceptance into the Buffalo Student Sandbox program
  • Successful fundraising on crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter
  • Acceptance into the START-UP NY program and awardee of UB TCIE SPIR grant

Application Process

  1. Complete the eLab supplemental application to explain your business idea.
  2. Once your application is received, it will be reviewed ​by the professors teaching the course.
  3. If your application is approved, you will be force registered for the course.


To learn more, contact mgt-cel@buffalo.edu.