CELEBRATE | October 9, 2018

Universities Celebrate GEW Fostering Community Entrepreneurship Innovation

Photo Credit: Flickr

Over the past few years, the United States has seen an increase in entrepreneurial activity -- with colleges and universities taking a lead in fostering innovation and entrepreneurial awareness. Students across the country are being exposed to courses, competitions and spaces where they can strengthen their entrepreneurial muscles and re-envision their future  in the workforce. This November, universities around the country are utilizing Global Entrepreneurship Week as a tool to promote and inspire entrepreneurship across disciplines on their campuses. Here’s a sneak peak of what you can expect from some of the collegiate celebrations during GEW. You can find a full list of events on our website and add your own at genglobal.org/united-states.

Washington University | St. Louis, Missouri
GEW is a chance to help students, faculty, staff and alumni connect to potential opportunities across disciplines. In November, WashU is launching their diversity and inclusion initiative that kicks off with the HER Summit: Helping Entrepreneurs Rise, which is an event focused on community-building and empowerment among female entrepreneurs. Additionally, WashU plans to host a technology early-stage capital panel breakfast; the second annual Creator’s Gallery, which brings people together from all fields to celebrate interdisciplinary creativity and innovation. Over the course of the year, WashU’s Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship will be partnering with a variety of innovation- and entrepreneurship-focused student organizations, university departments, and a number of alumni from across the country.

University of Maryland
The University of Maryland is planning to engage more of its students during GEW 2018, and work to activate the campus’ collective resources -- cross-promoting the activities and events across disciplines. One new initiative is Innov8MD, which aims to connect student entrepreneurs from eight universities across the state for an inter-collegiate entrepreneurship and mentorship expo, involving a fireside chat, a resource room and much more. Organizations across campus and the surrounding area, such as UM Ventures, Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, Mtech, Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Do Good Institute, Small Business Development Center, and others, are mobilizing this GEW to raise awareness and foster the entrepreneurial spirit in the community.

NC State University | Raleigh, North Carolina
NC State University’s GEW celebrations will begin with a new signature event -- the Global Entrepreneurship Week Kickoff -- which is an evening celebration for students, faculty/staff and community mentors who have played a vital role in the entrepreneurship community. During the week, the university hopes to create more collision spaces for entrepreneurs, investors, students and educators from NC State to meet and connect. All the events are a joint collaboration from multiple organizations, including the Business Sustainability Collaborative, Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation out of the Institute for Nonprofits, the Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs, the Entrepreneurship Garage, the Albright Entrepreneurs Village and other NC State entrepreneurship programs.

Babson College | Wellesley, Massachusetts
The flagship event of GEW at Babson College will be the annual Rocket Pitch competition, along with the induction of an entrepreneur into Babson’s Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs. The university hopes to raise general awareness of GEW among all community members. Participating organizations include Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship, Babson’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership, the Lewis Institute and Babson alumni.

University of Pittsburgh + Carnegie Mellon University | Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
In Pittsburgh, Global Entrepreneurship Week celebrations are organized by both the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon. This year, the focus is on the East End, where the universities are located. The week will start with a reception called Steel City Startups, featuring talks by startups from Pitt and CMU, and follows with a competition between students and a “Good Neighbors” talk on social innovation. The final event is the Startup Job Fair, which offers a look at internships and jobs available at the region’s startups.

University of Oklahoma
Global Entrepreneurship Week aligns with the university’s mission to ensure the enduring global competitiveness of Oklahoma and the nation through entrepreneurship. Organizers on campus are excited to bring together the entrepreneurial community by hosting an Entrepreneurship EXPO, where entrepreneurs from the University of Oklahoma and the community will set up booths to showcase their ventures to potential customers and investors. The EXPO is a campus- and community-wide entrepreneurship initiative to build an ecosystem that enables and encourages the launching of successful ventures. The Tom Love Division of Entrepreneurship and Economic Development and Tom Love Innovation Hub have partnered to organize the event.

Harding University | Searcy, Arkansas
This year will be the university's first GEW event. Harding University hopes to continue to foster an emerging startup mindset on the campus – aiming to stimulate the local economy by encouraging local innovators to be prepared to take on risk and create value for not only their immediate community, but also the larger surrounding areas. Harding’s GEW celebrations will have stakeholders from across campus and disciplines – whether that’s the graphic design and communications departments or the Waldron Center for Entrepreneurship and Family Business – the university is supporting this movement by continuing to raise awareness and encourage involvement.

If your university is interested in hosting a GEW event, please head to www.genglobal.org/united-states or reach out Yuval at Yuval@genglobal.org for more information. You can also download the information toolkit for colleges and universities. If you are hosting a GEW event in your community, please reach out and let us know by tagging your tweets with @GEWUSA and using #GEW2018.

Yuval Yarden is Director of Startup Huddle at Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN). She is also the host of the newly launched show, The Keystone… About the author