Entrepreneurial Week is time to ‘Thinc.’ big

UGA will host Entrepreneurial Week March 22-29 to foster economic development in the region and provide inspiration and advice to those contemplating a plunge into the competitive and exciting world of entrepreneurship.

The weeklong celebration of entrepreneurship is part of Thinc. at UGA, a new initiative that brings together entrepreneurship experts from industry and academia with faculty, alumni, students and members of the local community in Athens and across the state. Throughout Entrepreneurial Week, lectures, workshops, panel discussions, competitions and networking events promise to engage, inspire and build the confidence that will help take business ideas from concept to reality.

“UGA has a number of programs, some quite well established, that encourage and reward entrepreneurship,” said David Lee, vice president for research. “We want to give them the visibility they deserve both on and off campus. Our goals are to draw attention to these efforts and to fill in the gaps with additional programs that will more broadly engage the community.”

“Our research universities and particularly the land-grants should be at the tip of the spear when it comes to promoting economic development and finding solutions to societal problems,” Lee said. “Encouraging entrepreneurship across campus, from the arts to the social and natural sciences, is an important part of fulfilling this mission and one that deserves greater focus.”

Numerous events also are planned to showcase existing entrepreneurial efforts led by UGA faculty and alumni, who will provide useful lessons based on real-world experiences.

Some of the highlights of Entrepreneurial Week are:

  • Student Entrepreneurs Panel and Fair; March 25; panel from 11 a.m.-noon and fair from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Tate Theatre for the panel, Tate Concourse for the fair. Six UGA students who have started businesses ranging from a modeling agency to an online market for selling handmade items will discuss how they are turning their ideas into profits. Find out why decided to become entrepreneurs, how they balance business and studies, and what they have learned along the path to entrepreneurship.
  • Social Entrepreneurship with Judith Pickens; March 26; 10:30 a.m.-noon; Dogwood Hall, Georgia Center for Continuing Education. Judith Pickens, former vice president of training and youth development services at the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, will discuss the social entrepreneurial role of nonprofit youth development organizations. What does it take to drive social innovation and transformation in difficult, underserved communities? What is it that fuels the passion, tenacity and meaningful contributions of social entrepreneurs to have impact, take risks and be change-makers? Participants will learn the driving values that propel youth workers to relentlessly pursue the improvement of the quality of life for those most vulnerable and in need.
  • Social Entrepreneurship “Thinc. Tank”: Roundtable Lunch with Local Entrepreneurs; March 26; noon- 1 p.m.; Dogwood Hall, Georgia Center for Continuing Education. UGA students and faculty are invited to join local social entrepreneurs for a roundtable lunch on entrepreneurial efforts that create sustainable solutions to societal problems. Students and faculty will learn from the experiences of the roundtable entrepreneurs and be able to contribute ideas on how to take social entrepreneurship efforts one step further. The lunch will be divided into three sessions of 20 minutes each, enabling participants to meet at least three entrepreneurs.
  • Breakthrough Technologies Changing the World; March 28; 9-10:30 a.m.; Special Collections Libraries Auditorium 271. Singularity University uses accelerating technologies to address humanity’s hardest problems. The people who make SU are educators spreading global impact and who inspire and inform the community of change agents to create new futures. Salim Ismail, SU’s founding executive director and now its global ambassador, is a sought-after speaker, strategist and entrepreneur. As part of Thinc. at UGA, Ismail will discuss breakthrough technologies that are having an impact on how the world operates.

For more information on Thinc. at UGA and a full listing of events, please see http://thinc.uga.edu.