TecBridge’s 2015 Entrepreneurship Institute was held this past weekend on October 16th & 17th, and was conducted in Marywood University’s newly built Entrepreneurial Launch Pad. This year, Helen Barosky, Manager of Financial Services at Prudential, was appointed to chair the Institute Committee. About seventy students from various regional colleges and universities, in addition to the newly invited High School students and early stage entrepreneurs, participated in this two day course. Participants ultimately learned about how to build a business plan, raise capital, and run a successful company.
This year’s program was sponsored by Berkshire Hathaway Guard Insurance Companies, the Institute’s newest sponsor, and also by Predictable Property LLC, the company of entrepreneurs Ted and Alex Brunelle, who were the winners of the 1st Annual Business Plan Competition. Tiffany Cross Luciani, Managing Director of TecBridge discussed the importance of these gracious sponsors and says, “Both these sponsors allow TecBridge to continue facilitating the Institute’s world class learning experience for all attendees.” The entirety of the program was led by Jeffery Babin, from the Wharton School of Business. On the first day, Babin guided the students in opening their minds to the process of brainstorming. Throughout the Institute, students participated in various exercises and activities that helped them to develop their ideas. The goal of one exercises was to teach attendees techniques of group decision making. By the end, participants of the Institute understood how working in groups can make for stronger, more stable business ideas. In addition attendees heard and interacted with successful regional entrepreneurs, such as Pat Sandone of Net Driven, Alex Brunelle, of Nearbid.com, Mike Averto of Otreva & ChannelApe, and Maria Conigliaro Traino of Inspired Design Studio. These speakers eloquently shared their own stories of starting a company, the challenges, but also the rewards of becoming an entrepreneur. On the second day, attendees were familiarized with topics including market research, position statements, customer relations and identifying stakeholders that allows one to deliver a value proposition.
The participants of the 2015 Entrepreneurship Institute are currently in preparation for the presentation and judging portion of the program. This third and final segment of the Institute will be held on October 31st at Wilkes University and supported by the Allan P. Kirby Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship. Attendees will “pitch” their business ideas to a panel of judges, consisting of business leaders from our region! Cash prizes are awarded to the top 3 presentations.
The Entrepreneurship Institute is a feeder program for our signature event, the Business Plan Competition which will take place in the Spring of 2016.