Discovering Venture Labs

Venture labs provide a fertile ground for entrepreneurial endeavors, combining expertise, resources, and a supportive ecosystem. By nurturing and empowering startups, venture labs play a pivotal role in driving innovation, job creation, and economic growth.


Venture Labs allows students new ways in which they can discover their passions as well as become involved in their communities. (Photo Credit: Daria Nepriakhina / Unsplash)

For many high school students in the United States, summer means taking a break, whether it is done through relaxing, working in retail to make a few extra bucks, or by spending time outdoors. While this may be true for many, for the students of Bronx Science, this is not typically the case. Our minds are consumed by thoughts of how we can make our summers appeal to Harvard or MIT. Over the last six months, I’ve been thinking of ways to “make my summer worthwhile,” through summer school, an internship, a college class, or by volunteering.

As college admissions become more competitive, students are constantly looking for ways to stand out. The summer is the perfect time to do just that by letting universities know how you engage with and explore your passions. However, many students don’t know where to find an opportunity that could lead to a worthwhile experience. Fortunately, the key to unlocking these hidden opportunities lie within the very universities that students aspire to attend. By knowing where to look, students can easily establish connections with the schools they are interested in and tap into the vast resources and networks they offer.

On May 20th, 2023, I took a trip with a friend of mine to visit New York University’s venture lab. Two months ago, if someone were to ask me what a venture lab was, I would have had no idea. I thought venture labs were only meant to be explored by graduate students searching for funding. But the truth is, student entrepreneurs are in dire need of assistance and often welcome high school students’ help with open arms.

At a start-up convention, guests are usually provided with informational pamphlets about each start-up. After around half an hour of introductions and thank you’s, each business has the opportunity to present their idea as well as answer questions from the audience. Listening to these ideas not only helps you discover what you are interested in but also helps you recognize if entrepreneurship is something you would like to pursue.

After the convention was over, all the guests had the opportunity to talk to one another, network, and possibly form partnerships. As high school students, my friend and I initially felt very lost. However, after standing around for a long time looking very confused, we were approached by a start-up contestant who asked us what we thought about the convention.

When I returned home, I began to look into other universities’ venture labs and the numerous companies that emerged from them. I started by looking into the universities that I am interested in and went from there. Afterwards, I e-mailed one of the start-ups listed under the contestants and in two days, I had a new summer job.

Annie Bovitz ‘25, a fellow attendee at the convention, also found immense value in the experience. Reflecting on the event, she shared, “I had never been to this kind of event before, but I am so glad that I did! Each group of entrepreneurs based their product on something they would have genuinely needed at some point in their life. They identified problems from solar panel inefficiency to outdated social media functionality to complexities in financial planning, and worked tirelessly to create solutions. I loved that they were passionate about their projects, because for the most part, the start ups were responses to obstacles that had challenged them in the past. It inspires me to be observant and critical of the world around me, because I might just have the next big solution.”

As competitive and curious people, Bronx Science students naturally have the ambition and the drive to volunteer. As we continue in the age of new rising technologies, more and more opportunities present themselves. Start-up companies need as much help as they can get. Alexandra Debow, cofounder of Somewhere Somehow (SWSH), a start-up that was one of the finalists in NYU’s venture lab, told me that she is interested in getting high school students involved in her new venture down the line. Alexandra’s new venture, operates as a “reimagined finsta” and a way for students to connect with their friends, not just their followers. As a person of Gen-Z, Alexandra believes that high school students can definitely have new insights on how to make social media more intimate.

In fact, it was Alexandra’s involvement in start-ups in high school that contributed to her love of entrepreneurship. She said, “Being involved in start-ups in high school taught me grit, work ethic, and collaboration.” Throughout her time working at numerous start-ups, Alexandra also discovered what she was truly passionate about them. She turned this into SWSH as she wanted to find ways to deepen the connections with the people in the world who really mattered to her. Alexandra summed up that it was an extremely valuable experience that she also embedded throughout her college application.

The pursuit of summer opportunities within the realm of start-ups are becoming a defining aspect of the ambitions of students at Bronx Science and beyond. In an era of increasingly competitive college admissions, students are realizing the importance of standing out and showcasing their passion for exploration. However, discovering these opportunities can often be challenging, with many students unaware of where to find experiences that would truly be worthwhile.

As start-up culture continues to thrive, it is increasingly accessible for high school students to engage in projects that align with their interests and aspirations. The allure of making a difference and pursuing one’s passions resonates deeply with students at Bronx Science and beyond. The summer, once seen as a stress-free break, has transformed into a time of purposeful exploration, where students can make an impact and demonstrate their commitment to the future they envision. So, while many may associate summer with leisure, a growing number of ambitious students are embracing the realm of start-ups, using their summers to develop valuable skills, build connections, and set themselves apart in the competitive landscape of college admissions.

The pursuit of summer opportunities within the realm of start-ups are becoming a defining aspect of the ambitions of students at Bronx Science and beyond. In an era of increasingly competitive college admissions, students are realizing the importance of standing out and showcasing their passion for exploration.