Exposing students to entrepreneurship creates a 1+1=3 scenario, according to Sam Zell, co-benefactor of the Samuel Zell and Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies. That powerful multiplier effect came into play at two networking sessions ─ Lunch and Learn and Mingle ‘n’ Match ─ which preceded and followed 2013 Entrepalooza: Accelerate You. The annual symposium, held this year on Sept. 20, is presented by the Institute and the student-led Entrepreneur and Venture Club at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.
Over roast beef and brie sandwiches and kettle chips at Lunch and Learn, nearly 100 U-M students from business, engineering and other disciplines met with experienced entrepreneurs and venture capitalists informally to discuss topics related to starting and growing businesses in different industries. At the conclusion of the symposium, the Institute, Ann Arbor SPARK and the Center for Entrepreneurship at the College of Engineering hosted Mingle ‘n’ Match to foster entrepreneurial synergy between Michigan students and community members. During the post-event gathering, entrepreneurial-minded students interested in finding team members for start-up ventures were invited to present one-minute pitches.
Students came to the two events with different expectations. Here are a few of their comments:
“I am looking for a U-M student with an engineering background to help me develop a personal security service for women using a mobile phone application.” ─ Takuhiro Nakamura, MBA ’14
“I’m excited to listen to the speakers and learn anything I can about how to start my own finance company in the future.” ─ Jaz Singh, BBA ’15
“I would like to establish a genuine mentorship relationship with an alumnus or alumna who would provide honest advice on how to build entrepreneurial ideas, what direction a company should take and how to make tough decisions,” ─ Katie Aretz, MBA ’14
“I’m going into marketing and I want to create my own agency to guide companies in utilizing social media. I’d like to learn about different obstacles and how successful entrepreneurs overcame them.” ─ Marla Goven, BBA ’15
“I’m here because I want to meet people and develop teams to pursue new ventures related to sustainability, particularly in everyday consumption.” ─ Brian Rassel, Erb ’16
“I have a couple of ideas but lack the framework for developing them into viable businesses. I want to learn how to move them forward.” ─ Rob Guenaga, WeekendMBA ’15
For more information on programs, biographies and more, check out the Entrepalooza page.