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Editorial

Harvard’s i-lab could buoy the entire region

The early success of Harvard’s new Innovation Lab in Allston is gratifying to see — not just because promising medical, software, and education companies are already emerging from the so-called i-lab, but because of what the lab could mean to the future of Greater Boston and Harvard itself. Until recently, Harvard was slower than comparable universities to take on the role of a nurturer of start-ups. A successful i-lab should help turn Harvard — and Boston — into a more welcoming place for entrepreneurs .

As a recent Globe story noted, the year-old lab is humming: In a clear sign of the pent-up entrepreneurial energy that exists within the Harvard community, the lab hosts 65 businesses started by students and seven by alumni. By bringing together students and faculty from across the university, the lab has revealed the benefits of getting past the “every tub on its own bottom” approach that Harvard once took toward managing its disparate schools. A Harvard Law School graduate who co-founded a company called Vaxess told the Globe his colleagues came from the business school, the Kennedy School, and the chemistry department and never would have crossed paths without the i-lab.

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