BYU’s top-rated entrepreneurship program will offer innovation opportunities to the campus at-large as Entrepreneurship Week kicks off Sept. 29.
The Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology will host Entrepreneurship Week Sept. 29 through Oct. 3. Known as E-Week, the event will include mentoring panels, networking opportunities and investor connections.
The event kickoff begins Monday, Sept. 29, at 5 p.m. in 140 JSB. The first 200 through the door will receive a free t-shirt, and pizza is provided for all who attend.
According to the Rollins Center website, E-Week is “dedicated to the celebration of the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation across BYU campus.”
Jeff Brown, assistant director of the Rollins Center, said E-Week provides resources to help students launch a business. “E-Week is a chance for us to celebrate entrepreneurship across BYU campus,” Brown said.
BYU’s entrepreneurial undergrad program was recently ranked #4 by Princeton Review, jumping into the top 5 for the first time. The graduate program was ranked #7, which puts both programs in the top 10 for five years in a row.
Brown said many people respond better to the word “innovator” then “entrepreneur.” He said many people who don’t think they can start a business are still innovative.
“I believe that some of the best entrepreneurial ideas are by people who are outside the business school (rather) than inside the business school,” Brown said.
One E-Week event is a competition called the Big Pitch Idea. Students will have 60 seconds to present “rapid-fire pitches” of their best business ideas for the chance to win $1,000. Students will compete for four $250 cash prizes. The audience will choose two of the winners on Thursday, Oct. 2.
Spencer Behrend is the New Venture Challenge team president. The Big Pitch Idea is the first contest in the Miller New Venture Challenge series.
“The Rollins Center is the driving force behind entrepreneurship activities across campus. Putting on the competition series, which awards more than $150,000 dollars in seed capital throughout the year, is one of the most significant (events),” Behrend said.
Students can attend mentoring panels on Friday, Oct. 3, in the Tanner Building. Panel topic titles include “Building the Perfect Team,” “Quick Cash” and “Sell, Sell, Sell.” The panels consist of Rollins Center donors who have experience as entrepreneurs. The Rollins Center invites the donors to come to campus twice a year to speak at Founders Conference. Brown said the Rollins Center is run completely on donations.
A partial schedule for E-Week is below, with full details on the Marriott School website.
E-Week Kickoffin 140 JSB Auditorium, 5-6 p.m.
Entrepreneur and Venture Ecosystem Networking Night at the Hinckley Alumni Center Assembly Hall, 6-8:30 p.m.
Miller NVC Big Pitch Idea in W408 and 410 TNRB, 3-4 p.m.
Investors Dayat Vivint HQ in Provo Riverwoods, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Mentoring Panels in W408 and 410 TNRB, 2-4 p.m.
“While you’re a student, you will never have as many resources as you do right now to launch a business,” Brown said. “To be honest, when you’re young is the best time to take more risks, and risk equals reward, right? There will never be another time in your life that you will be surrounded by more resources enabling you to launch a successful business, and our center is strategically positioned, as a top school, that we can make that happen.”