The Alan B. Miller Entrepreneurship Center is excited to announce Entrepreneurship Week: Building A Web-Based Business, taking place the week of February 19th through the 23rd. Some may remember our Entrepreneurship Week in the fall, which consisted of an immersive experience allowing students to rapidly build and execute an idea throughout the weekend, culminating in an opportunity to win cash prizes. For the spring rendition of Entrepreneurship Week, we’ve flipped this model on its head.
We found that the capacity to build and execute ideas can be further expanded with access to even a small amount of funds. As a result, teams in Entrepreneurship Week are each given $100 to help develop a framework of their minimum viable product and test potential solutions. Students who do not have an initial business plan in mind are encouraged to participate, as the early part of the week is dedicated to determining and validating an idea.
The week kicks off on Monday from 7:00-8:30PM in Brinkley with a keynote address from the Founder of the job-finding site Snagajob and the current CEO of the trip-planning app GoHappy, Shawn Boyer. Shawn will present to students about his journey founding a web-based business and impart some sage advice to students embarking on the week’s adventures.
On Tuesday, we will kick off the skills workshops. Lasting from 7:00-8:30PM in the Entrepreneurship Center (Miller 3041), students will hear from Luke Rabin on topics relating to finding the right idea through the “product discovery” question and interview process. Following the session, students will be given time to fully delve into their idea and are asked to complete a deliverable following the session. In this case, students are asked to complete ten product discovery interviews to further examine customer-pain points and test the viability of their proposed solution.
Wednesday begins another valuable skill-building workshop at 7:00 in the Entrepreneurship Center. This time, we will hear from Tim Ryan, the director of Launchpad, a startup incubator in Williamsburg. In this session, students will be given the opportunity to learn firsthand the essential tenets of website development as it relates to building an online business. Following the session, teams will have the opportunity to complete that night’s deliverable and build a website framework for their idea.
Thursday marks the last of the weeks workshops, also beginning at 7:00 in the Entrepreneurship Center. Led by the chief marketing officer of the Mason School of Business, Jeff Rich, students will learn the building blocks of online advertising. Effective online advertising tools such as Google AdWords will be taught to students. First hand experience with AdWord will be gained during the completion of Thursday’s deliverable; running a test Google AdWords campaign for their website.
The week’s activities culminate on Friday, where teams pitch in-front of a panel of experienced business leaders for the chance to win a grand prize of $750 towards their idea. In a six to eight minute presentation, students will share their experiences building their idea throughout the week, including the iterations it has undergone, and present an overview of their minimum viable product (MVP) to the judges.
I speak on behalf of the Events committee in saying that we are incredibly excited to present a jam-packed week of useful events for students. We look forward to seeing students of all majors and years join us in this exciting week of events. To find additional information regarding the week’s schedule and location, visit http://millerec.com/eweek. To participate, RSVP here: https://goo.gl/forms/nOGIlvMVqYyGwDle2.
— Neil Mclean, Events Fellow