However, business school can play a vital role in improving these odds for aspiring entrepreneurs. Many business schools now offer startup labs tailored specifically to developing new ideas, pitching business plans, and pursuing investors.
What is a Startup Lab exactly? Startup labs typically offer services ranging from branding to technology to marketing to help startups build and refine strong foundations so they can ultimately land investors.
These business school startup labs act as incubators for students’ ideas, providing guidance and expertise to develop the idea beyond its seed stage. This experience is invaluable—a safe space to experiment, navigate risks, successes, and failure.
This all takes place within the broader business school framework where budding entrepreneurs garner the knowledge and tools to grow a successful business. The room to play and nurture provides a significant advantage for graduates who subsequently enter the field with more confidence and a more comprehensive understanding of how to advance an early-stage company.
Here’s 10 of the best business school startup labs from across the globe:
1. IE University Startup Lab (Madrid, Spain)
Established in 2013, IE Startup Lab provides year-round workshops for students to develop their business plan for launch, faculty mentoring, training in marketing, funding, strategy and legal aspects of entrepreneurship.
Notable Startups to Emerge: EQOSIS, Hot Hotels, HeyPlease
2. iDendron HKU Innovation & Entrepreneurship Hub (Hong Kong)
iDendron offers workspace, networking events, workshops and HKD 100,000 in seed funding to support student startup ventures.
Notable Startups to Emerge: InspiringHK Sports Foundation, 9gag, Snaparty
3. NUS Start-up Runway (Singapore)
NUS Start-up Runway provides workspaces and access to resources such as a Lean LaunchPad Programme, legal and accounting consultation, NUS technologies by researchers, engineers and scientists, and a wide network of venture capitalists, investors, industry partners, corporate companies and mentors.
Notable Startups to Emerge: TaxiBot, Carousell, 99.co, honestbee
4. DMZ at Ryerson University (Toronto, Canada)
Ranked top business incubator in the world. Established in 2010. DMZ provides access to investors, target customers, industry-leading experts and community events for startups to scale and succeed as global companies.
Notable Startups to Emerge: 500PX, Kepler, rumie, Borrowell
5. ESSEC Ventures at ESSEC Business School (Paris, France)
Established in 2000, ESSEC offers an incubator, a nursery and a SEED fund and boasts a 72% survival rate at 5 years (compared to an average of 30%).
Notable Startups to emerge: Amalone, Aucalme
6. Incubator Program at London Business School (London, UK)
LBS connects students to investors and offers a full range of resources support by professional service providers.
Notable Startups to emerge: AssetVault, CarbonChain
7. SRH Startup Lab at the SRH Hochschule Berlin University (Berlin, Germany)
SRH Startup Lab provides a collaborative co-working space, an online startup platform, and networking events to connect with like-minded entrepreneurs. The lab also offers seminars, workshops, and mentoring for all stages of the company founding process. This lab is part of the 'Entrepreneurial Success Space', which unites all Entrepreneurship activities across the school’s campuses, offering a unique combination of executive and academic education.
Notable Startups to Emerge: Retas Medical Assistance
8. AU Entrepreneurship Incubator at Kogod School of Business (Washington, DC)
AU Entrepreneurship Incubator offers grants and provides experienced mentors, networking and educational opportunities, workspace, resources, and guidance throughout the business development process.
Kogod’s 2,000-square-foot incubator is home to more than 20 ventures, and more than 300 students are enrolled in an entrepreneurship class at the school.
Notable Startups to Emerge: MEANS, Upace, Wearwell
9. Startup Aggieland at Texas A&M University (College Station, TX)
Established in 2013, Startup Aggieland is an on-campus incubator and accelerator designed to help students explore and launch businesses around new and innovative ideas. It provides a collaborative, interdisciplinary community where students, experienced faculty and staff, mentors, and local entrepreneurs come together to bring new products, services and solutions to market.
Notable Startups to Emerge: GoFresh!, Gazoo
10. Startup Garage at the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at Stanford University (Palo Alto, CA)
Established 1996, Startup Garage offers experiential learning opportunities for future leaders in business, and boasts strong connections with the Silicon tech community.
Notable Startups to Emerge: Instagram, Trulia, StubHub
ESSEC Business School
The best intercultural university
There are more than 50 nationality in the grade, so there are opportunities to interact with people from all around the world. In terms of academics, the BBA course offers diverse courses for the 1st
Creativity, adaptability and entrepreneurship
The Master in Management program at the ESSEC Business School allows the students to choose their courses accordingly to their preferences and their professional targets. We can also go through international exchange and take part in internships with companies that are also partners with the school. The school is also next to the city of Paris.
Top business school in France
Doing PhD in essec took some time, to be precise about five years. But the experience was very good and cost effective too. There are opportunities for the student for teaching assistantship and that helps both financially and in career. In the final year I could manage to teach marketing to M1 students and this helped shape my career
The program is well suited for early professionals with an engineering degree preferably or a degree in economics. I would suggest taking the ceasure irrespective of the experience level as it helps you take your time to adjust to the job market.
Good school in France
I am currently enrolled in M2 in Essec business school. I am specialising in marketing management. The Grande Ecole programme is valued in France and my school ranks very high up. There are a lot of opportunities for internships and CDD.
The program curriculum
BBA program. The program is really practical and useful, provide us many international opportunities. Like internship and humanitarian experience, and the flexibility is also really cool, we can choose different campus and tracks as we want.
This school is very international and business oriented. Highly recognized by the companies The campus has been renovated and is very functional and modern from now on. Excellent atmosphere. Reputation of essec is a plus
Friends, Career opportunities.
The program I did gave me the opportunity to start in Singapore. I got the chance to know all the students that started there and we bonded and made some friends for life. The career opportunities that ESSEC also gave me were unbelievable.
Practical and useful
I think the best thing about Essec is that it's not focusing on academics rather it emphasizes on future job mindset and professional experiences.. The classes are interesting and we have plenty of workshops attributing to different sectors.. The campus is very nice with a good cafe and wonderful library. The only problem is the location of the campus. It's quite far from Paris.