One of the most exciting things about the Cameron School of Business is that it offers so many events and activities that demonstrate our commitment to providing an exceptional educational experience for our students. One of them is Entrepreneurship Week, which is coordinated by Stephen C. Harper, Ph.D., the Progress Energy/Betty Cameron Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship.
UNCW’s Entrepreneurship Week is scheduled this year for Nov. 2-6. This weeklong series of events includes numerous speakers; The Innovation Concept Pitch Competition; seminars on starting a business as well as the lean startup approach; the Entrepreneurship Case Competition; the Entrepreneurs’ Roundtable luncheon; and a film series profiling Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos and Howard Schultz. Chris Heivly will be the keynote speaker. Heivly was a co-founder of MapQuest, which was acquired by AOL. He is currently co-manager of the Startup Factory.
Entrepreneurship Week events are open to all UNCW students. Some of the events require advance registration. The keynote speaker (to be determined) session on Thursday afternoon, Nov. 5, may be open to the public. The Beck Foundation will be the master sponsor for Entrepreneurship Week again this year.
The Innovation Concept Pitch Competition was re-established last year. It provides students with the opportunity to profile an innovative product, service or business model. Unlike business plan competitions that are held on numerous campuses including UNCW (in the spring each year) and include a fairly rigorous set of financials, the Innovation Concept Pitch Competition focuses on the relative merit of the innovative concept. tekMountain at Castle Branch is the master sponsor for the Innovation Concept Pitch Competition. tekMountain will provide prize money to the top three students. Elite Innovations is a supporting sponsor. It will provide the top students with the opportunity to use its makerspace facility, which focuses on prototype and new product development.
The Entrepreneurship Case Competition challenges teams of students to analyze an entrepreneurial case and to provide their analysis and recommendations to a panel of entrepreneurs who are the judges. Most of the judges in recent years have been UNCW graduates who have become very successful entrepreneurs. Each team is given two hours to analyze the case prepared for the competition and to prepare a PowerPoint presentation to the judges. Each student on the winning team receives a monetary prize and other forms of recognition.
As Harper noted, “The various events are designed to let UNCW students get a better idea about the challenges associated with starting and growing a business. Particular attention is directed to how entrepreneurs can identify and capitalize on market opportunities, the role innovation plays in developing competitive advantages, and that any time someone does something that is innovative or entrepreneurial there are risks that can be mitigated with some foresight and resourcefulness.”
In addition to his role at UNCW, Harper is the author of eight books on entrepreneurship and leadership including his latest book, Here’s to the Crazy Entrepreneurs: Is Entrepreneurism a Mental Disorder? He served on the faculty at Arizona State University where he earned his doctorate, and as a visiting professor at Duke University in its executive MBA program.
Robert T. Burrus, Jr., Ph.D., is the dean of the Cameron School of Business at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, named in June 2015. Burrus joined the UNCW faculty in 1998. Prior to his current position, Burrus was interim dean, associate dean of undergraduate studies and the chair of the department of economics and finance. Burrus earned a Ph.D. and a master’s degree in economics from the University of Virginia and a bachelor’s degree in mathematical economics from Wake Forest University. The Cameron School of Business has approximately 60 full-time faculty members and 20 administrative and staff members. The AACSB-accredited business school currently enrolls approximately 2,000 undergraduate students in three degree programs and 200 graduate students in four degree programs. The school also houses the prestigious Cameron Executive Network, a group of more than 200 retired and practicing executives that provide one-on-one mentoring for Cameron students. To learn more about the Cameron School of Business, please visithttp://csb.uncw.edu/. Questions and comments can be sent to [email protected].
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