New space for students to collaborate in Hynes Institute


James and Anne Marie Hynes (center) but the ribbon for the grand opening of the Hynes Entrepreneurship Center.

Krystal Ortiz, News Editor

The Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of its new workspace over Spellman Hall on Sept. 12.

The Hynes staff will open its doors to students and faculty so that the Iona community can build a sense of entrepreneurship.

Founding Program Director Dr. Christoph Winkler described what the mindset was in terms of developing a program for entrepreneurship that would be an asset for everyone on campus.

According to Winkler, this process began three years ago when the Hynes family was looking to give students the opportunity to study entrepreneurship and develop an entrepreneurial mindset.

“The emphasis is to create something that could be a model for Iona that allows for [the] creation of an environment that benefits every student of any field, something for everyone,” Winkler said.

Winkler also stated that the institute is unique to the campus to fit its needs.

“The goal was not to replicate something from another place, but to find, plan and envision something that would work for Iona because most programs are something that is situated in an academic department and affiliated with every department in the particular school,” Winkler said. “We wanted this to be consistent with the plans and the theme and mission statement of Iona.”

Assistant Director Lendynette Pacheco-Jorge is also excited to have the institute closer in reach to the students and faculty.

“I think that being on campus allows the students to see what we are and what we do,” Pacheco-Jorge said. “Being at GaelVentures, it was out of sight, out of mind. The space is huge and we have it that way because once a person walks in they’re like ‘wow I want to be creative’ and that is important to have. Also, the sense of having the resource at hand is priceless.”

The staff also stresses that the institute is something for everyone, despite what field they are studying or teaching.

“So if the student wants to be a med student, how can you leverage that with being an entrepreneur?” Pacheco-Jorge said. “It does not matter what you want to be, the question is how can you leverage it with entrepreneurship. So if you attend our workshops or attend competitions, you’re building a skillset that you will be using for a lifetime because at the end of the day you can always be entrepreneurial. I think that is powerful that you can create your own path with entrepreneurship.”

Hynes shares Iona’s importance of community by having a staff member dedicated to network students and to create an inviting feeling at the Institute.


“I pretty much make sure that when students come in that they have a great experience,” Community Manager Jarlyne Batista explains. “I oversee the marketing, the communication, the graphic materials, [so] when the students come in they feel that this is their space, that they feel creative and motivated. I want people to feel like working on project to playing a game, connecting with people and exercising their minds whether it’s working on a project or having a good time. I also help them connect to special mentors.”

Winkler is also very excited to work with participants of Hynes.

“What I am most excited about is simply being in a place where I personally learn and thrive and derive my energy from the students, faculty and anyone that navigates the space because without people this is just walls and furniture,” Winkler said.

The Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation has many upcoming events for students and faculty, which can be found on the Iona website.