Ignition Lab

An experiential learning program for aspiring entrepreneurs

Program Overview
The Center for Career and Professional Development is launching the Ignition Lab, an experiential learning program for Pratt’s aspiring entrepreneurs, for it’s second year. Accepted participants will take part in a 7-month intensive program that will expose them to the practices of creating a startup with guidance from and access to an Entrepreneur in Residence, diverse mentors with expertise in various facets of entrepreneurship, and speakers known around the world for their startup success. Working with a team from October 2018 to April 2019. The Ignition Lab participants will attend 6 workshop sessions, building the foundational knowledge to launch a business. Theory will be put into practice as each team develops a business plan around a viable product which they will pitch to a panel of entrepreneurship luminaries at the conclusion of the program. Additionally, students that participate fully and pitch in the final will receive a certificate of completion.

Application and Eligibility
The Ignition Lab is a team-based program. Applications must be submitted by teams comprised of at least two but no more than five people. Individual applicants are encouraged to attend one or more information sessions to find others who may be trying to form a team. Participants must be either a current student or alumni who completed a degree program at Pratt. Applications require all team members to be listed, including each individual’s role (ex. programmer, marketer, etc.). Each team will provide a brief description of their business idea and respond to questions that begin the thought process for a viable product in the application.

Access the application at: goo.gl/forms/wLJCsZJCQ87SFcH23.
Applications are due by 5 PM (EST) Monday, October 1st, 2018.
Applicants will be notified of selection one week after application deadline.

The Ignition Lab is a non-credit opportunity sponsored by Pratt Institute’s Center for Career & Professional Development and participation is voluntary. All team members must be committed to carry out their share of the deliverables (as listed under Program Components), attend every session, and agree to the terms of the program. Teams must remain intact throughout the 7-month period.

Sample Participant testimonials from last year’s Ignition Lab 2017-18
“Extremely insightful and educational into the world of business start-ups. I felt that the overall caliber of guest speakers, sessions’ content, and administrators and staff involved was all fantastic. I truly enjoyed meeting everyone, working with the professors/educators, and engaging in a professional environment.” – Samuel Pressman

“It was educational, made some mistakes, took note of these shortcomings for a better next time. It was a great opportunity, every meeting has not only been educational but inspiring.” – Andrew Saldivar

“Carl, James and Liz were always awesome and motivating. They always said that it is not about the competition, that we already won because we were committed for almost a year. Sometimes it may not feel like it. But in ignition lab it was really like that. In this pitch competition I really felt like we were all there to be better and make the world a better place. I am glad for all the ideas and all the teams and friendships.” – Isil  Akgul

Program Components
Info Sessions – Information sessions will be held in September on the Brooklyn campus, and one will be held at the Manhattan campus to introduce the program, help with team formation, and explain the application process.

Dates: TBD
For times and locations, visit ccpd.pratt.edu/events.

Application Deadline – Applications are due by 5 PM (EST) Monday, October 1st, 2018. Applicants will be notified of selection one week after application deadline.

Workshop Schedule – Participants are expected to attend six workshop sessions from 12 to 3 PM on Saturdays:

IMPORTANT DATES: five sessions & team deliverables, ending pitch

SESSION 1) Saturday, October 13, 2018 | 12pm-3pm: Teams will show up and present their idea, problem statement and begin the program!

SESSION 2) Saturday, November 3, 2018 | 12pm-3pm: Teams will present their business idea and findings based on 30 customer validation interviews.


SESSION 3) Saturday, February 2, 2019 | 12pm-3pm: Teams will present their findings based on additional customer interviews.

SESSION 4) Saturday, February 23, 2019 | 12pm-3pm:  Teams will practice their pitch presentation, present their product prototype and a 2-minute video.

SESSION 5) Saturday, March 30, 2019 | 12pm-3pm: Teams will have their slide decks ready to pitch and rehearse for the final.

PITCH COMPETITION) Saturday, April 13, 2019 | Time TBD: At the conclusion of the program, each team will pitch their business plan/product. A selection committee will select a winning team.

  • Pitch competition – At the conclusion of the program each team will pitch their business plan/product on April 13, 2019. A selection committee will select a winning team.

Key Roles and Resources
Each team will have access to course instructors, an alumni mentor, and other advisors to assist them through the process.

  • Program Instructors will manage all program components, deliver instruction, and be available to offer guidance.
  • Guest Speakers from various entrepreneurial fields will give a presentation during each session and likely be available as mentors depending on their individual availability.
  • Selection Committee composed of industry professionals, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurship experts will evaluate and select the winning team at the final Pitch Competition.