In its 11th year, Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) Penn State provided a unique opportunity for student and community entrepreneurs and innovators to network and learn from one another in unique environments on and off campus. GEW featured 56 events — 26 events at University Park and 30 across 11 Commonwealth Campuses — that drew more than 3,000 student and community attendees.
On Wednesday, Nov. 13, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and podcaster Chris Goffard came to University Park and spoke about his work as a Los Angeles Times journalist and his successful true-crime podcast, “Dirty John.” The College of Communications hosted the event and Goffard shared his “10 lessons” of podcasting with the more than 170 attendees.
GEW’s success relies greatly on the faculty and staff at Penn State hosting engaging events. This year Frank Koe, associate professor of engineering entrepreneurship and long-time supporter of GEW Penn State, hosted two events that focused on skills that separate the best entrepreneurial teams and intrapreneurship. The "Intrapreneurship: A Starting Point" event had 110 students attend. Koe was the University delegate at the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Medellin, Colombia.
“GEW is a great event for the growing number of entrepreneurs in our region,” said John Peterson, interim director of the Penn State Small Business Development Center (SBDC), who sponsored the week-long event. “From people running one-person businesses online, to tech companies, to the side hustlers working on the weekend, to those with just the beginning of an idea, GEW provided an opportunity to learn, network and be inspired.”
A sampling of GEW events across the Commonwealth included:
— Penn State Hazleton hosted the Cybersecurity for Small Businesses Conference that helped small businesses learn about the dangers and impact of potential cyberattacks. During the conference, attendees learned how cybersecurity affects entrepreneurship, why small businesses are easy victims of cyberattacks, the impact of small business cyberattacks, and common security risks to small businesses.
— The Schreyer Honors College hosted sustainability-minded entrepreneur Edmund Dimalanta, from the Philippines. Dimalanta spoke about founding his international company, which provides environmentally aware cleaning and waste management service solutions for the private sector.
— Penn State Scranton hosted the regional 17th annual Entrepreneurship Institute Conference. Designed for engaged learners, the conferred explored key business drivers for entrepreneurs, early-stage firms, and established organizations through a mix of keynote presentations, panel discussions, and breakout learning sessions.
— Penn State Berks, led by the Berks LaunchBox, hosted a meetup that addressed the cultural and regulatory challenges of running cross-border companies. The meetup focused on three business types: a family restaurant, a high-tech digital design and manufacturing company, and an engineering services firm.
— Happy Valley LaunchBox powered by PNC Bank hosted a military veteran entrepreneurship panel discussion featuring a panel of military veteran business owners who spoke about how they successfully started their own businesses.
Featured panels, with accompanying video, included:
— At “Passport to Great Food and Brews: Happy Valley AgVentures,” hosted by the Happy Valley Adventure Bureau, local entrepreneurs spoke about their experiences launching a small business in Centre County.
— At “Pop Up Startups: How to Shake up the Typical Storefront,” hosted by Pop Up Ave and Discovery Space, local business owners shared their successes and lessons learned from their own pop-up and food truck ventures.
About the Penn State SBDC
GEW Penn State was sponsored by the Penn State Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in partnership with Invent Penn State. The Penn State SBDC provides entrepreneurs with the education, information, and tools necessary to build successful businesses. Free, confidential consulting services are provided to people looking to start or grow a small business. To learn more, visit www.sbdc.psu.edu.
About Invent Penn State
Invent Penn State is a commonwealth-wide initiative to spur economic development, job creation and student career success. Invent Penn State blends entrepreneurship-focused academic programs, business startup training and incubation, funding for commercialization, and university-community-industry collaborations to facilitate the challenging process of turning research discoveries into valuable products and services that can benefit Pennsylvanians and humankind. Learn more at www.invent.psu.edu.
This article originally appeared on the Penn State website.