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Global Entrepreneurship Week 2013 in review

Exciting new ven­tures, pow­erful advice for young inno­va­tors, and the down-​​low on Northeastern’s range of resources for entre­pre­neurs were all on dis­play last week during Global Entre­pre­neur­ship Week.


By: news@Northeastern

November 25, 2013

Alexander Sebelen, left, DMSB'14, a fifth-year marketing and entrepreneurship major, speaks with Alyssa Drury, CAMD'14, a marketing coordinator at Localytics, a mobile app analytics and marketing company, last week at the Fall 2013 Startup and Entrepreneurship Fair, where students could make connections with growing regional enterprises and learn more about being part of an entrepreneurial venture


Exciting new ven­tures, pow­erful advice for young inno­va­tors, and the down-​​low on Northeastern’s range of resources for entre­pre­neurs were all on dis­play last week during Global Entre­pre­neur­ship Week.

“Global Entre­pre­neur­ship Week was a resounding suc­cess in bringing together our stu­dents, alumni, fac­ulty, and friends who are inter­ested and invested in the entre­pre­neurial ecosystem here at North­eastern,” said fac­ulty member Dan Gre­gory, co-​​director of the North­eastern Uni­ver­sity Center for Entre­pre­neur­ship Edu­ca­tion. “I am con­fi­dent that the dis­cus­sions and excite­ment of this week will con­tinue to grow and thrive here on campus and beyond.”

“We’re excited to take what we learned from this year’s events to build a bigger and better Global Entre­pre­neur­ship Week in 2014.”

Tim Spittle, DMSB'12, lending analysis associate at nonprofit social investment fund Root Capital, speaks about student-faculty partnerships for entrepreneurship.

Global Entre­pre­neur­ship Week is the world’s largest cel­e­bra­tion of inno­va­tors and entre­pre­neurs. More than 130 coun­tries par­tic­i­pate in the annual series, which is spon­sored by the Kauffman Foun­da­tion. At North­eastern, each day of Entre­pre­neur­ship Week had a theme based on mile­stones in the ven­ture process: Monday’s theme was Edu­cate, Tuesday’s was Incu­bate, and Wednesday’s was Launch.

“This week will shine a bright light on the entre­pre­neur­ship and inno­va­tion ecosystem we’ve put together here,” said Richard D’Amore, BA’76, co-​​founder and gen­eral partner of North Bridge Ven­ture Part­ners, at a kickoff recep­tion Monday night. Last year, a record $60 mil­lion gift from D’Amore and fellow alumnus Alan McKim, MBA’88, named the D’Amore-McKim School of Busi­ness.

Richard D'Amore, second from right, DMSB'76, co-founder and partner at North Bridge Venture Partners, spoke with third-year international business students at the Global Entrepreneurship Week kickoff reception.

In his keynote address, D’Amore noted that entre­pre­neur­ship is a clichéd term nowa­days. But it’s also one that he said describes per­fectly Northeastern’s surging momentum in areas such as use-​​inspired research, global lead­er­ship in expe­ri­en­tial edu­ca­tion, and cre­ating an entre­pre­neurial ecosystem across the university.

“What does it mean?” he asked. “My def­i­n­i­tion is inno­va­tion that cap­i­tal­izes on change to create value. To me, that’s the def­i­n­i­tion of how North­eastern has driven its progress.”

Throughout the week, atten­dees learned about student-​​led efforts such as the ven­ture accel­er­ator IDEA and the North­eastern Entre­pre­neurs Club, along with exam­ples of how stu­dents and fac­ulty have part­nered with star­tups. They were intro­duced to other resources and pro­grams such as the Center for Research Inno­va­tion and the Health Sci­ences Entre­pre­neurs pro­gram, and they caught a glimpse of exciting new and growing star­tups devel­oped by stu­dents and alumni at Demo Day and NEXPO.

Marc Meyer, the Robert J. Shillman Pro­fessor of Entre­pre­neur­ship, a Matthews Dis­tin­guished Uni­ver­sity Pro­fessor, and founder of Northeastern’s Entre­pre­neur­ship and Inno­va­tion Group, offered a call to action: for fac­ulty, alumni, industry leaders, and even stu­dents to seek out ways to get involved in these pro­grams and initiatives.

Mean­while, a range of pow­erful and infor­ma­tive panel dis­cus­sions throughout the week offered advice and tips for entre­pre­neurs young and old on a range of topics. They included intel­lec­tual prop­erty strate­gies for young star­tups, how to get early-​​stage funding, and careers in entre­pre­neur­ship. Stu­dents and fac­ulty also led panels to out­line the range of ser­vices and

Ajay Subramanian, center, ME'15, and Abate De Mey, right, E'14, spoke with Rip Van Wafels co-founder Marco De Leon at the Fall 2013 Startup and Entrepreneurship Fair.

resources avail­able at North­eastern for bud­ding entrepreneurs.

One such event on Wednesday high­lighted a crit­ical com­po­nent to entre­pre­neurial suc­cess: men­toring. In wel­come remarks, Terry Fulmer, dean of the Bouvé Col­lege of Health Sci­ences, noted that 1,500 people have par­tic­i­pated in the Health Sci­ences Entre­pre­neurs pro­gram since it was founded in 2006 by Joseph Fleming, PAH ’70, MS ’71. The pro­gram focuses on edu­cating stu­dents, alumni, and fac­ulty to give them the knowl­edge and tools to build suc­cessful companies.

Keynote speaker Bradley Waugh, pres­i­dent and CEO of Tun­stall Amer­icas, explained how his suc­cessful career as an entre­pre­neur and exec­u­tive in indus­tries ranging from health­care to finan­cial ser­vices and infor­ma­tion tech­nology wouldn’t be pos­sible without the sup­port of his mentors—starting with his parents.

He called finding a mentor “the smartest move in busi­ness” and stressed the impor­tance of keeping a stocked rolodex to con­tinue building rela­tion­ships and a net­work of people from whom to seek advice and bounce ideas.

“A mentor is going to be an indi­vidual who can help you in dif­ferent areas,” he said. “Make sure you pick up the phone and speak to them and listen to them. But they’re not there to make you rich or be suc­cessful. Only you have the respon­si­bility to make your­self successful.”

Students gather around as Ian Carlson showcases "Dash," an electric motor kit for longboard skateboards, at the Husky Startup Challenge Demo Day, where Carlson won the $2,000 first prize.

Felipe Gaviria, right, AMD'13, a rep for custom instrument company Moniker Guitars, speaks with Luke Kashdan, DMSB'14, at NEXPO in the Cabot Field House.