Slate of events geared toward helping startups, spur innovation
MURFREESBORO — MTSU students and the wider community have an opportunity to be exposed to a number of entrepreneurial ideas and strategies Nov. 14-18 during the university’s Global Entrepreneurship Week activities.
The keynote address will be given by serial entrepreneur Mark Cleveland, who will speak at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, in the State Farm Room S102 in the Business and Aerospace Building. It is free and open to the public.
Cleveland is co-founder and CEO of Hytch, a social enterprise and technology company “on a mission to reduce traffic in Middle Tennessee by bringing the digital age to carpooling.” Hytch’s ride-sharing app matches friends, neighbors and co-workers with a common trip so they can cut costs and share their commute.
In recent years, Cleveland has been named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Nashville Chamber of Commerce. He is developing a boutique hotel in downtown Nashville, and owns an online retailer of radio-controlled drones and airplanes, an athletic compression sock company and commercial music and marketing services company.
Earlier Thursday from 11:20 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. in the State Farm Room, Nashville entrepreneur Phil Gibbs will give a public presentation entitled “Your First Job: Secret Agent for Disruption and Exponential Growth.” Gibbs is a corporate consultant and a founder of The Disruption Lab, an innovation lab for corporations looking to try new business strategies.
Throughout Global Entrepreneurship Week, free lectures, workshops and panel discussions will be held, all aimed at providing students and aspiring entrepreneurs with useful information on special topics ranging from apparel manufacturing to unmanned aerial systems and on general topics ranging from franchise startups to disruptive innovation.
Among the workshops geared toward the general public is “Show Me (how to get) The Money,” set from 3 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, at the Tennessee Small Business Development Center of MTSU, located inside the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce, 3050 Medical Center Parkway. The speaker will be Leroy Cunningham, small business specialist at TSBDC.
Seating will be limited and registration requested for some events throughout the week. For the full list of events, including dates, times and locations, visit http://mtsu.edu/wrightchair/gew.php.
“We’re excited about this year’s slate of events, which again are geared toward helping aspiring entrepreneurs — whether students, alumni or community members — take the necessary steps toward bringing their business ideas into reality,” said Bill McDowell, holder of the Pam Wright Chair of Entrepreneurship in the Jones College of Business.
McDowell will be hosting workshops to teach MTSU students how to win the university’s business plan competition and also overseeing Wednesday’s entrepreneurship fair for area high school students. The invitation-only fair will feature participating students making elevator pitches and creating trade show displays to be judged by a panel of experts.
The week’s events are being sponsored by the Pam Wright Chair of Entrepreneurship and is being held in conjunction with the annual Global Entrepreneurship Week, an international celebration of innovators and job creators held each November.
Off-campus visitors attending the event should obtain a special one-day permit from MTSU’s Office of Parking and Transportation at http://www.mtsu.edu/parking/visit.php. A searchable campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.
For more information on the event, contact the Pam Wright Chair of Entrepreneurship at 615-898-2785 or email Stacy.Aaron@mtsu.edu. To learn more about MTSU entrepreneurship program, visit http://www.mtsu.edu/programs/entrepreneurship/.