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More than 200 associates of the Rice association and Houston’s startup arrangement aggregate at the university Oct. 22 to bless a new affiliate in the city’s entrepreneurship history with the aperture of the Liu Abstraction Lab for Addition and Entrepreneurship, or Lilie. The lab occupies a bright, 4,000-square-foot advanced amplitude on the aboriginal attic of the new Cambridge Office Building.

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Students pitched startup account to a console of bristles board on the final day of the Three-Day Startup program, captivated at the new Liu Abstraction Lab for Addition and Entrepreneurship (Lilie). The angle affair preceded the barrage affair for the space. Photos by Starlic Williams

Houston administrator and Rice alum Frank Liu ’78, his wife, Cindy, and their family, through their altruistic foundation, fabricated a $16.5 actor gift in March 2016 to barrage Lilie. Lilie appearance new and broadcast entrepreneurship courses as able-bodied as a arrangement of co-curricular activities and assets with the ambition of acknowledging the Rice association in ambitious endeavors. The lab is a key centerpiece of — and provides a concrete home for — Rice’s cross-disciplinary entrepreneurship apprenticeship efforts, which were launched in 2015. The efforts aim to accommodate acceptance above the university with added abilities and ability to accomplish in a apple area ambitious capabilities are added analytical for allusive and affecting careers.

For Liu, a first-generation Chinese-American, the aperture anniversary provided a adventitious to accurate his acknowledgment for the university and a burghal that has been a abode of arresting befalling for him and his family. Lui was built-in in Taiwan, and his father’s profession in the bolt industry took the ancestors to Vietnam in 1960.

“I was there during the (Vietnam) war,” Liu said. “I was there during the Tet Offensive. I accomplished many, abounding things that accustomed adolescent kids would never experience. During the Tet Offensive, we didn’t go out of the abode for 20-some days. My ancestor had afterlife threats adjoin him.”


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Liu’s parents eventually beatific him to assurance in the U.S. in 1971 with the advice of a friend, a affluent Chinese businessman, who knew the American ambassador. “How advantageous can I get to accept the befalling to appear to this country?” Liu said. Liu abounding Rice as a almsman of banking aid and acclaimed that the allowance was his way of “paying aback his debt” to the university.

Liu accelerating from Rice in 1978 with a bachelor’s amount in civilian engineering. He is the architect of Lovett Homes, InTown Homes and Lovett Bartering and has developed residential, retail and bartering absolute acreage in Houston for added than 35 years. Liu met his co-founder back they were attached at Rice, and he told acceptance they ability do the same. He brash the ambitious entrepreneurs in appearance to be assiduous and accept a passion. “There is no such affair as a bad idea,” Liu said. “Keep it up.”

Rice Provost Marie Lynn Miranda and Yael Hochberg, arch of the Rice Entrepreneurship Initiative and the Ralph S. O’Connor Professor of Entrepreneurship at Rice’s Jones Alum Academy of Business, thanked Liu for his generosity and vision. “A acceptable day for me is a day back I apprentice something,” Miranda said. “Today … it was able for me how amazing our accumulation of acceptance is, and I abstruse so abundant added about what motivated Frank to accord his generosity aloft the university. It goes above actuality an alum of the university and it goes above his own ambitious skills. It’s about activating, enabling and allotment an ambiance for all of you.”

Lilie appearance new and broadcast entrepreneurship courses as able-bodied as a arrangement of co-curricular activities and assets with the ambition of acknowledging the Rice association in ambitious endeavors.

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Hochberg emphasized how Lilie will bolster the important empiric basic of an entrepreneurship apprenticeship that additionally includes business and association partnerships, mentoring and an added curriculum. “Our ambition is for you to apprentice both abilities and mindset,” Hochberg said. “We intend for you to accept opportunities to get hands-on acquaintance alive on your projects, be that a technology startup, a amusing or borough project, addition in the association or some added endeavor — alike aural a ample organization.”

The anniversary was preceded by a “Three-Day Startup” affairs at Lilie, a 72-hour experiential-learning exercise that accomplished ambitious abilities and mindset to Rice acceptance in a hands-on environment, with ascribe from advisers throughout the weekend. The affairs culminated with pitches to a console of experts and the public.

“Having Lilie on campus shows that the university is committed to acknowledging acceptance who accept to accompany less-conventional career paths,” said Ben Herndon Miller, a Will Rice College chief majoring in statistics and a baton of the Rice Entrepreneurship Club. “It is an amazing aboriginal footfall against architecture a ability of entrepreneurship on Rice campus that is already arresting at institutions like Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford. Lilie will accord acceptance the structure, administration and apprenticeship to finer accompany their account and barrage new ventures. I am captivated to see what approaching ancestors will actualize here.”

A active entrepreneurship environment

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Rice has been acclaimed again for its alum entrepreneurship programs, including by the Princeton Review. Last fall, Rice’s Jones Alum Academy of Business earned the No. 3 atom on Princeton Review’s account of the top 25 alum schools in the U.S. for entrepreneurship studies — up from No. 6 in 2015. The academy has landed amid the top 10 spots on the account for eight years running.

Lilie joins a active entrepreneurship ambiance as allotment of Rice’s Entrepreneurship Initiative, including the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, a all-around baton in the commercialization of new articles and technologies, and OwlSpark, the apprentice summer startup accelerator program. At Rice’s Baker Institute for Accessible Policy, the Robert and Janice McNair Foundation afresh adjourned the McNair Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, which focuses on analysis and action issues in the addition space.

Strategic partnerships with the Doerr Institute for New Leaders, the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen and added campus programs will accommodate entrepreneurship into the arrangement of student-focused empiric programs at Rice, said Hochberg.

For added information, go to http://entrepreneurship.rice.edu or chase the Rice Entrepreneurship Initiative via Facebook, .

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