Mark Leslie and his wife Debra have made a major gift to support the design, construction and initial staffing of a new collaborative space to encourage and support entrepreneurship at New York University. The Mark and Debra Leslie Entrepreneurs Lab will be a 5,900-square-foot facility in the heart of the Washington Square campus where aspiring NYU entrepreneurs from across all of NYU’s schools and colleges—be they students, faculty, or researchers—can meet to connect, collaborate, and tap into a vast array resources to help develop their ideas and inventions into startup companies.
The Leslie eLab will be located on street level at 16 Washington Place at the corner of Greene Street. It will feature flexibly configured co-working spaces, meeting rooms, an event space, and a fabrication lab to encourage interaction, prototyping, and collaboration so essential in the development of entrepreneurial ideas. The Leslie eLab will be staffed by a full-time manager, startup concierge, and entrepreneur-in-residence to train, coach and support entrepreneurs in the development of their new ventures. The Leslie eLab will also serve as the headquarters for the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute and NYU Innovation Venture Fund, which lead many of the University’s entrepreneurial programs, resources and events.
“It is a pleasure for Debra and me to contribute to the growing entrepreneurial culture and ecosystem at NYU,” said Mark Leslie, who received a Bachelor of Arts degree in physics and mathematics from NYU in 1966 and was the founding chairman and CEO of Veritas Software. “NYU has one of the most active and comprehensive programs to encourage and support entrepreneurs and it deserves a prominent home where students and faculty can come together with the critical resources needed to help create the companies of tomorrow.”
The Leslie eLab will instill a stronger sense of community among NYU’s budding entrepreneurs in its many schools and institutes. Its central, storefront location also sends a clear signal about the University’s commitment to teaching and cultivating entrepreneurship and its recognition of the critical role universities play in helping to bring new technologies and businesses to market.