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Marlborough School Student Newspaper
The Student News Site of Marlborough School

The UltraViolet

The Student News Site of Marlborough School

The UltraViolet

Founder of The New Norm Lauren Choi returns to campus

With inspiration from her own personal journey of creating a business startup and a close connection to Marlborough as an alum, Lauren Choi pursued the new Entrepreneurship in Residence Fellow position at Marlborough.

Leading up to her senior year of college in the Whiting School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins in 2019, Choi developed a unique and advanced technology that transforms plastic into a filament for fabric.

After returning to campus for her senior year at Johns Hopkins, Choi witnessed the plethora of Solo cups that were poorly disposed of. This led to her research, where she discovered that billions of non-recyclable plastic party cups were being thrown away all across the country. This sparked her idea to utilize Solo cups as the primary plastic to produce her fabric.

“We specifically transform plastics that aren’t commonly recycled in our existing infrastructure, like Solo cups, and a couple of different types of ocean plastics as well,” Choi said.

She took on this project throughout her senior year by testing, prototyping and finalizing the machinery until it could successfully produce fabric. Afterwards, she founded her business, The New Norm, which not only works to convert plastic into fabric, but also tackles the issue of fabric waste when creating clothing garments by incorporating 3D knitting, as it involves zero textile waste.

While continuing to prototype and test the elements within her own startup, Choi realized she wanted to help others develop, create and establish their own unique business idea.

Thus, Choi began to volunteer with Marlborough’s entrepreneurship opportunities through the Frank and Eileen Accelerator and Incubator programs.

“It was a technology I developed as a student, so I very much had to go through being a founder, graduating from college and figuring out how to run a startup when I had no business experience at all, which is definitely why I want to help out with the program,” Choi said.

Since assuming the role as the Entrepreneur in Residence Fellow for the 2023-2024 school year, Choi has been on campus on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in order to host one-on-one meetings with her students and attend the Incubator and Accelerator gatherings.

Choi works with the Incubator students who have an idea about various problems they want to tackle and helps

 them to develop  effective solutions. On the other hand, by guiding them through the Accelerator’s formative process, Choi assists students who have already formed a business idea, a prototype or established their company.

“So many people gave me great advice along the way, and I’m trying to pay that forward, so for me personally, I am sharing my experience with student founders as much as I can,” Choi said.

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Addison '26
Addison '26, Politics and Media Staff
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