Harvard Graduate School of Design
Megan Berry is the founder of Vala Collection, a company that launches POPTIQUES that feature emerging fashions and beauty products in unexpected places. A student at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, she is partaking in the Venture Incubation Program for a second semester this school year.
How did you get started at the i-lab?
I heard about the i-lab from a doctoral student at the Graduate School of Design and applied to the VIP program in my first semester at Harvard. Once I arrived in Cambridge, I started coming to the i-lab as often as I could for the workshops and events.
Which resource have you found most useful at the Harvard Innovation Labs? Why is it so helpful?
The mentor matching program is phenomenal.
VIP teams are paired up with mentors that truly care about their startup and the company’s long-term success. The expertise and the experience of the mentors is fantastic, and they each do their best to positively impact your venture as well as help you individually as an entrepreneur.
How have other founders or companies helped you during your time in the i-lab?
Working at the i-lab is extremely rewarding. All of the i-lab teams are moving fast and tackling challenges that you have either already dealt with your venture or are about to face.
We are fortunate to have a wide range of industries represented by the i-lab teams and consequently, there is always something you can learn from the other teams and their current progress.
Personally, I have learned a great deal from my fellow VIP teams about competitions, hiring early employees, and even what classes and workshops to take.
Overall, you can learn just as much from your peers as you can from the i-lab staff and mentors.
What’s next for you and your venture?
We are currently preparing events for Vala Collection Summer 2016. We are currently inviting emerging brands to be a part of our summer collection, and we will be announcing new venues where we will be appearing in the spring!
If you had to give another student one piece of advice to get the most out of the i-lab, what would it be?
Have fun and enjoy your time!
I recommend going to as many of the i-lab events as you can. They are curated to effectively prepare you to carry your ventures forward. I also believe that everyone should partake in the mentor matching program; it is a rare opportunity to get expert advice.