by Jesse Reichenstein, member of the Class of 2016 and president of Spark Entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurship (n) en·tre·pre·neur·ship: A word most of us have probably heard but are still kind of unclear on what it means.
As a part of the Spark Entrepreneurs student community, that’s what we try to clear up on campus. We get a lot of students saying, “Oh… I’m not interested in starting my own company, so I don’t think this club will help me.” But entrepreneurship means so much more than that.
Entrepreneurship isn’t an action—it’s a problem-solving mindset. It’s about creativity and leadership. Don’t you think tons of jobs right now could use creativity and leadership?
Back in January, the rest of the executive board of the entrepreneurs club and I met. We decided that one of the problems was that there wasn’t an accessible way for undergraduates to go to conferences and get hands-on experience and exposure to what entrepreneurship really is. So, we set out to make that event.
On April 11, we hosted the Greater Rochester Entrepreneurship Conference. The conference brought together over 70 people, including students from schools all over Western New York, to inspire action with an entrepreneurial mindset.
We were really excited to have Dave Delaus, the CIO of Wegmans, deliver the opening keynote. If you haven’t heard of Wegmans, you sure will all the time when you come to Rochester! Did you know 90% of Rochesterians are in a Wegmans at least once a week? Anyways, back to Dave. He ended his keynote by asking the students to pretend they were the CIO for a day, and help Wegmans develop new ways to communicate with employees and their customers.
We also had CEO of Partners + Napier, Sharon Napier, deliver a keynote after lunch. You’re probably familiar with their work if you watched the super bowl last year. And she definitely brought the same energy to the conference that she brings to her clients.
At the end of the day, after many more speakers, workshops, and pitches, the impact we saw on the students was amazing.
If you want to get involved or learn more about what we do, feel free to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.