EntrepreneurshipWeek to Promote Networking and Innovation

Posted: February 26, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Dave Andrews

EntrepreneurshipWeek USA at Mason officially begins today and will run through Thursday, March 1. Throughout the week, Mason Entrepreneurs will host events centered on student innovation.

The weeklong celebration accentuates the importance and power of being entrepreneurial. EntrepreneurshipWeek helps facilitate the ongoing discussion between the education community and business leaders about the influence of entrepreneurship on the local and national economy.

“This year, we are focusing on the need at Mason to increase student involvement in our entrepreneurial clubs,” says Ian Mooers, coordinator of entrepreneurial and business development. “By doing so, we’ll raise the issue of entrepreneurship among more students.”

The majority of the action will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 28. At 7 p.m. in Student Union Building II, Room 6, all are invited to the “Get in on the Action!” networking event to meet with local entrepreneurs. Skip West, president and CEO of Maxsa Solutions, and Keith Segerson, managing director of the Mason Enterprise Center, will be the keynote speakers.

Attendees of the networking event will hear about starting a business idea, learn about the programs and services from the Mason Enterprise Center and get to meet the Mason Entrepreneurs and members of the Inventors Club. There will also be food and door prizes, including an iPod nano.

Students, alumni and faculty will have a chance to win one of several prizes in the Big Idea and Invention Contest. To enter, participants are asked to provide a description of the idea or invention, in 500 words or less, including:

  • A potential marketplace
  • The “solution” or “fix” it provides
  • The stage of development the idea or invention is in

  • A company tagline

  • The amount of money needed to launch the product or service

“By having this contest and offering these prizes, we are encouraging students to come up with some new ideas and turn them into reality,” says Barnabas Mogan, president of the Students Center for Innovations. “Most of us have ideas, but sometimes we need that extra incentive to make them happen, and this is what the contest does.”

First-place winners in both the idea and invention categories will be awarded a half-day “Strategic Planning Session” with one of two local serial entrepreneurs to help accelerate their idea or invention. Included with the session will be either an inventors workbook or a business plan workbook. Runners-up will have a chance to win $300 cash and additional entrepreneurial workbooks.

The submission deadline is Tuesday, Feb. 27, at noon. Contest entry forms can be found online and should be sent to patriote@gmu.edu. The winners will be announced at the “Get in on the Action!” networking event.

“We would like to build on this year’s program by inviting more partners in the campus community and local community to help us organize an even bigger program next year,” Mooers says. “By inviting the local business community to attend the networking event on the 28th, we hope to include them in future club activities to share their expertise as entrepreneurs.”

Local entrepreneurs and members of the business community are asked to RSVP to Ian Mooers. For more information, visit the Entrepreneurship Week, the Students Center for Innovations and the Mason Entrepreneurs web sites.

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