The Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Iona College formally opened its new space on the college’s New Rochelle campus with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sept. 12. At the same time, the institute celebrated the second anniversary of its founding.
The institute is in a glass-enclosed space, which was added to Iona’s Spellman Hall at 715 North Ave. It was founded in 2017 with a $15 million gift from Iona alumni James P. Hynes and his wife, Anne Marie.
Hynes had said at that time he hoped the institute can help teach traits he noticed are common among successful people, including the ability to solve problems, think independently and be adaptable. At the ribbon-cutting, he said, “This team has made incredible progress in such a short time. It is wonderful to see what our students are accomplishing when they have the opportunity to explore subject areas they are passionate about and then link that with innovative, critical-thinking skillsets they learn at the Hynes Institute. The future will bring with it a very different economy, and this type of approach gives our students a leg up.”
Hynes, who is the chairman of Iona’s board of trustees, launched businesses in the telecommunications industry. He co-founded and was CEO of Inteliquent Inc., a U.S.-based provider of interconnection services as well as Colt Technology Services, one of the United Kingdom’s largest telecommunications businesses.
Anne Marie Hynes said the ribbon-cutting was a special moment and, “Being part of the design team that toured the country to look at and learn from entrepreneurship programs and innovation spaces was an amazing experience.”
The institute offers numerous programs for students, including opportunities to work with faculty, entrepreneurs-in-residence, alumni and visiting entrepreneurs. Students who develop business ideas can receive mentoring and may even have access to startup funding.
The president of the Iona College Entrepreneurship Club, Lisbeth Baez, who is in her senior year, said, “I firmly believe that our new space will inspire, motivate and challenge my peers and me to develop sustainable, innovative and entrepreneurial solutions to continue to impact our surrounding communities and the world.”
Christoph Winkler, founding program director and endowed professor, said, “Our new home at the center of campus will allow us to engage with even more students across campus as they set out to translate their Iona experiences into a successful future.”