Young Entrepreneurs to Explore Business Opportunities

Posted: April 7, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Tara Laskowski

Graduate and undergraduate students and high school seniors are invited to learn from successful entrepreneurs from throughout the greater Washington region during the Young Entrepreneurs Academy on Saturday, April 8.

The academy will include interactive sessions and networking opportunities in business start-up, contracting, financing, franchising, idea development, legal issues, opportunities for women entrepreneurs, service firms and technology firms.

Skip West, president of MAXSA Innovations, will be the keynote speaker. Prior to heading MAXSA, West was co-founder and president of DesignTech International, a leading manufacturer of remote starters, automotive safety accessories and wireless home automation products.

West is on the boards of the Consumer Electronics Association, Electronics Industries Alliance and the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association, and is involved with charities focused on improving literacy, education and health care in Africa. Last fall, West co-taught a course on entrepreneurship at Mason, From Geeks to Gazillionaires: Turning Ideas into Successful Companies.

“We hope this event will help students find answers to some of the questions about starting their own business and introduce students to successful area entrepreneurs,” says Erika Spalding, a marketing student at Mason and member of the Mason Entrepreneurs student club, which helped organize the academy.

The day will feature a young entrepreneurs’ panel and several breakout sessions on various topics moderated by George Mason professors and business professionals in the community. The academy will take place in the Student Union Building II Ballroom on the Fairfax Campus. More information and registration information can be found at the web site.

The event is sponsored by the Mason Entrepreneurs, the School of Management and the Lovey Hammel Fund for Excellence in Entrepreneurship. Hammel, BS Marketing ’88, recently gave a $50,000 gift to support entrepreneurship at SOM, and this will be the first event to be funded.

Hammel, a native Virginian, is co-founder and current president of Employment Enterprises Inc., a staffing and human resources company headquartered in Prince William County. Her company was named to Working Woman magazine’s 2000 list of the 500 largest women-owned companies in the United States. She is a past chair of the George Mason University Foundation Board and was named a Mason Alumna of the Year.

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