It is the time of year where students can learn how to turn their dreams into realities. At the annual BYU Entrepreneurship Week, students learn how to do just that.
The BYU Entrepreneurship Week is a five-day long event starting Monday, Oct. 1 through Friday, Oct. 5 and will be held by the Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology. Monday kicks off the events with three experienced entrepreneurs who will tell their stories, showing students that it is possible to be a successful entrepreneur. There will be college and department events happening throughout the week to involve their students specifically.
The Rollins Center will host “The EVENT: Entrepreneur & Venture Ecosystem Networking nighT” allowing students to network with entrepreneur professionals. Not only are their networking opportunities, but students can also attend the “E-Week Panels night” where five popular entrepreneurial topics will be discussed by experts in that field. Entrepreneurship Week ends with a Miller New Venture Challenge Big Idea Competition inviting students to pitch their ideas to investors.
Lauren Olsen, assistant director of the Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology, said that students need to know that the Rollins Center is here to facilitate them in pursuing their dreams.
“The purpose of Entrepreneurship Week is to show that anyone can be an entrepreneur and to expose students to the great resource the Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology can be through our competitions, mentoring and library,” Olsen said. “BYU students should come to learn how they can fulfill their dreams, how to be their own boss and how to turn their great idea into a reality.”
Entrepreneurship Week is not just catered to business majors. Danaan Clarke, the student marketing director for the Rollins Center, is looking forward to the Entrepreneurship Week.
“I’m actually a Latin American studies major, with a minor in business, and I hope to start a lifestyle business that will provide for my family, create some jobs and help boost the local economy,” Clarke said. “I don’t know what it will be or when, but the lessons from entrepreneurship will be priceless.”
Ashley Mecham, a junior majoring in facility and property management, strives to be a valuable asset to society and hopes to give back to the community in the future through entrepreneurship.
“I think BYU students, not only business majors, should attend this event because there are amazing opportunities for networking which is a major factor in being successful early on in your career,” Mecham said. “Most successful entrepreneurs today didn’t graduate in entrepreneurship, which is why I think everyone should attend.”
More than 5,000 students participated in Entrepreneurship Week last year, including Clarke, and more than 500 students competed in the Business Plan Competition, now known as the New Venture Challenge.
“This is the second year the event has happened, and last year was great,” Clarke said. “I remembered Josh James of Domo spoke at the kickoff, the networking night was packed at the Hinckley center and I got a lot of good information that will help me in the future. I’m looking forward to the founder panels event, where I can ask questions to local expert entrepreneurs.”
Jeff Brown, assistant director of the Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology, said that BYU’s entrepreneurship program was recently ranked top 10 in the program and has the tools to help students launch successful businesses.
“While our program has had many success stories in the past, E-Week is only one of our tools to accomplish these successes,” Brown said. “Some of these successes include Omniture which was sold to Adobe for almost $2 billion, 1-800-CONTACTS which was recently acquired by WellPoint for $900 million and more recently Scan, a disruptive, industry leading QR code scanning app, that raised $1.7 million in seed funding from some of the world’s most well-known and respected investment groups.”
The kickoff will not only include success stories of entrepreneurs, but it will be a night filled with pizza for everyone in attendance and free t-shirts to the first 200 in the door. It will take place on Monday, Oct. 1 in room 140 of the JSB auditorium from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.