UNCW's Entrepreneurship Week: Ideas, Hard Work Welcome

By Jenny Callison, posted Oct 20, 2014
The entrepreneurial journey is being viewed through several different lenses as University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Cameron School of Business holds its sixth annual Entrepreneurship Week Monday through Friday.

“We’re trying to ramp up the entrepreneurship virus at the Cameron School of Business,” said Stephen Harper, a professor of management, who coordinated the week’s events.

Monday at 5 p.m., former Fuzzy Peach founders Wells Struble and Rocco Quaranto relate their path in a talk, “Startup to Exit.”

Other events during the week examine such aspects of entrepreneurship as managing high growth, moving from retail to wholesale and the nuts and bolts of starting a business.
Most of the week’s programs are aimed at – and sometimes limited to – students, but two in particular are open to the public, Harper said.

One is Tuesday evening’s Innovation Concept Pitch Competition, which is sponsored by tekMountain, CastleBranch’s new tech incubator, which put up some prize money, Harper said. A secondary sponsor is Elite Innovations, Wilmington’s new maker space.

“It’s not a business plan competition, it’s an idea competition,” Harper explained. “Most competitions like this are filled with teams of graduate students who are highly coached. These participants are all undergraduates. We put out a call campus wide for ideas. It was open to all majors. We got it down to six presenters. Their idea can be for a product, a service or an application.

“The idea does not have to be radical, but the presenters have to include financial and legal information. It’s a great experience for our students. They learn how to better articulate their ideas and integrate information into their slides and oral presentation.”

The Innovation Concept Pitch Competition takes place from 7 to 9:30 p.m. in Cameron Hall auditorium.

Harper said he was excited also about Thursday’s keynote presentation by Tom Lotrecchiano and Joe Schmidt, serial entrepreneurs, investors and advisors. The program, titled “Entremanureship: What business schools don’t teach you about entrepreneurship,” reflects the men’s emphasis on the hard work and persistence needed to get a successful venture off the ground.

The talk, sponsored by UNCW’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, will take place in the Fisher Center’s Lumina Theater at 4 p.m. Reservations are required.

“Lotrecchiano and Schmidt have spoken at the CIE before, and they are a good tag team. Their presentation is both entertaining and educational,” Harper said.

Click here to see a full schedule of events for Entrepreneurship Week.
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