Global Entrepreneurship Week is coming to Penn State. From November 17-22, students and community members will have the opportunity to take part in workshops, attend speeches by successful entrepreneurs and participate in interactive networking events.
Global Entrepreneurship Week strives to encourage individual potential, build networking opportunities for students and local businesses and spark creativity. Students will be connected to six continents and over 130 countries to explore global entrepreneurship. This initiative is also the world’s largest celebration of job creators and business start-ups.
A full list of activities can be found at www.geweekatpennstate.com. Each student will have a passport that they must bring to each event to account for their attendance.
“The passport will have places for stickers for subsequent events,” Linda Feltman, senior business consultant at Penn State Small Business Development Center, says. “At the end of the week they may submit their passport for a drawing of gift cards.”
One event during Global Entrepreneurship Week is the first cross-College PSU mHealth Challenge. The College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) and the Department of Biobehavioral Health (BBH) in the College of Health and Human Development are pairing students to create a mobile app that is focused around health. The students will pitch their ideas to judges on Nov.19, 2013. Selected winners will win gift card values based of their place ranking.
One contributor is Dr. Meg Small, assistant director for Innovations and Social Change and research associate for the Prevention Research Center. Small is a successful entrepreneur and founder of Live It. Live It was created after finding that frequent student-parent communication would lead to students living healthier lifestyles. Live It was also created to help focus on experiences and not products through the form of care packages and Live It gift cards. Small sees her start-up expanding to other universities while continuing to grow and fundraise.
Small collaborated with Dr. Lee Erickson on the mHealth Challenge because she wants her students to have the opportunity to participate in activities that are relevant to their major in an out-of-class setting.
Kathleen Warner is a dynamite example of a successful college student turned entrepreneur. Warner, a senior double majoring in theater and advertising, is completely submerging herself into the world of start-ups.
“While working on my own site, I also started helping a group of students market a mobile app called OneSchool, which provided easy access to maps, course schedules, directories, bus routes, news, student groups and more,” Warner says. “I returned to Penn State in the spring semester of my sophomore year and began teaching the programming classes at Innoblue…my goal was to help students learn technical skills and to see more startups come out of Penn State.”
Warner says that students should take advantage of their time in college and to expand college education outside of the classroom. She also recommends that more women become involved in technology so the working environment becomes balanced.
Nicole Kelner, a junior majoring in advertising, is another successful college entrepreneur, she created a Smart Purse that combines technology and fashion.
“Last month, I traveled to San Francisco all expenses paid to receive an award for Women Empowerment from Alibaba.com,” Kelner says. “It was the most inspiring and life-changing experience I have ever had.”
Kelner is a supporter of GE Week and says students should definitely get involved. “I spoke on a panel for GE Week last year and it was awesome to be able to connect with like-minded students and local entrepreneurs. I still keep in touch with the people that I connected with last year so it has absolutely helped me become a better entrepreneur.”
According to unleashingideas.org, Penn State is number two in the nation as Global Entrepreneurship Week partners. With a whole week of activity and networking, there is surely something for everyone and every interest.
Image courtesy of GEW