Colby is pleased to announce the appointment of Jeremy Barron ’00 as the inaugural director of the Halloran Lab for Entrepreneurship, which will provide students with opportunities and experiences to innovate and explore the process of creating solutions to problems they see in the world. Barron is an expert on business development who cofounded a technology company and built it into an industry leader.
He will begin in his new position at Colby March 31.
“From his experience launching and scaling a successful company to his passion for mentoring other founders, Jeremy Barron has the ideal background and vision to make the Halloran Lab an integral part of the Colby experience,” said President David A. Greene. “His enthusiasm for the work is contagious, and he will inspire our students and others to probe challenges in pursuit of solutions, to take risks, and to gauge when to keep going and when to change course. I’m delighted that he is returning to Colby in this important role.”
Barron, who has served as entrepreneur-in-residence of the Waterville startup incubator Dirigo Labs and taught an experiential Jan Plan course on entrepreneurship, cofounded the speech-technology and video-accessibility company 3Play Media in 2007. He and his team wrote the business plan, secured seed capital of more than $1 million, and then helped design, develop, and innovate 3Play Media’s closed-captioning, transcription, live-captioning, audio-description, and subtitling services. They organically grew the business until a partial sale of the company in 2019, resulting in a return for investors of 15 to 30 times their initial investment.
Prior to helping develop and run 3Play Media as its chief customer officer, Barron worked in leadership positions in the nonprofit sector as a program director for several foundation-based outreach programs and as a senior financial analyst for a middle-market investment bank. He majored in anthropology and biology at Colby and holds an M.B.A. from MIT Sloan School of Management.
“I am most inspired to work with students,” said Barron. “I got tremendous inspiration and value teaching the Jan Plan course, and I am absolutely thrilled with the idea of expanding that work across campus and across the community. It’s incredibly exciting to help build something that will inspire, innovate, and create—and change the world. It may sound like a cliché, but you change the world by starting things and challenging the status quo.”
Colby created the Halloran Lab for Entrepreneurship to provide students with opportunities and experiences for understanding and applying the principles of entrepreneurship. Unique among liberal arts colleges, the lab resulted from a gift from Trustee Emeritus Todd Halloran ’84, who has spent much of his career investing in and working with business leaders and entrepreneurs.
“I am incredibly thankful for his commitment to entrepreneurship and his contribution to the future of innovation at Colby. I am eager to engage with Todd and all the staff, faculty, and students at Colby who are or hope to be connected to this endeavor and to think about ways to make this the best entrepreneurship lab in all liberal arts education,” Barron said. “There is no reason it can’t be.”
Under Barron’s direction, the lab will provide entrepreneurship education and training programs, funding for students to start commercial and social enterprises and initiatives, mentorships, as well as innovation and makerspaces on campus and in downtown Waterville. The lab also will help develop an entrepreneurship ecosystem involving alumni, faculty, staff, and community members, along with partnerships with companies, organizations, and institutions.
As part of his work with the lab, Barron will continue his interactions with entrepreneurs and innovators already working in Waterville, across Maine, and elsewhere. He also plans to connect with a broader set of advisers and mentors, starting with the Colby alumni network. “We have an engaged and committed resource in our alums, and we need to leverage this resource and their expertise and industry-specific knowledge to provide students with the best landscape we can for learning about innovation and entrepreneurship,” he said.
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