Young Entrepreneurs Academy to Provide Tips for Success

Posted: April 23, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Dave Andrews

What does it take to be an entrepreneur? How do you start a business with little or no money? And how do you effectively market a business within a budget?

These are just a few of the questions that will be addressed at the third annual Young Entrepreneurs Academy to be held Saturday, April 28.

Hosted by the School of Management and the Northern Virginia Technology Council, the academy will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the third floor of the Johnson Center on the Fairfax Campus. Admission is free and open to all aspiring entrepreneurs currently attending high school or college.

The event will feature keynote presentations and workshops from some of the region’s most successful entrepreneurs and business executives. Some of the noteworthy entrepreneurs scheduled to present include:

  • Charlie Mills, CEO of Salera Capital Management
  • John Ross, founding partner of Capital City Brewing Company
  • Brion Sumser, owner of Brion’s Grille

There will also be a panel of three young entrepreneurs — and current Mason students — addressing strategies and tools required to build a successful business. The panel will relate personal accounts from their early business experiences.

“These types of programs geared toward developing ideas into reality are great examples of Mason’s ongoing support of entrepreneurship,” says Ian Mooers, coordinator of entrepreneurial and business development. “Many of these students already have the ideas. We’re just priming the pumps, so to speak, to get them excited enough to eventually build their own businesses.”

New to this year’s academy is a venture fund pitch competition. Attendees will break off into teams and be given 45 minutes to develop a creative three- to four-minute pitch for a sample product. Panelists will judge the pitches and present prizes to the winning teams.

During the afternoon breakout sessions, students may choose two of these presentations to attend:

  • Creating a Service-Oriented Business
  • Introduction to Patents and Intellectual Property
  • Entrepreneurship on the College Campus
  • Financing and Venture Capital
  • Marketing and Public Relations
  • Opportunity Recognition

“Not only is this an opportunity for students to learn skills from the business world, but it will also show them what they can do academically,” says Mooers, who is working closely with faculty and administrators to help organize the event.

For example, during the Entrepreneurship on the College Campus session, Andrew Flagel, dean of admissions at Mason, will discuss the various educational opportunities available to students at Mason who want to pursue entrepreneurship.

Mooers adds, “Here at Mason, students have the choice of taking so many courses and using resources that I don’t think they’re aware of yet.”

Registration is required to attend. The deadline to register is Wednesday, April 25. Registration can be done online at the School of Management web site. For additional information, contact Isaac Thweatt.

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