Campus News

New UGA festival to foster economic development in region

UGA will host a weeklong ­entrepreneurial festival from March 22-29 designed to foster economic development and provide useful advice for those contemplating a plunge into the competitive world of entrepreneurship.

Faculty, students, alumni and the public, in Athens and across the state, are welcome to attend.

The celebration includes lectures, workshops, panel discussions, competitions and networking events that promise to engage, inspire and build the confidence that will help take business ideas from concepts to reality. Events will showcase entrepreneurial efforts by UGA faculty, students and alumni, and provide insights from nationally recognized entrepreneurship experts.

“This week of entrepreneurial activities, which we intend to be an annual event at UGA, is a great way for the university to help address real problems and to foster economic development and job creation,” said David Lee, vice president for research. “This is right in line with our land-grant mission.”

Some of the planned events include workshops led by the Terry College of Business on business leadership and social networking, opportunities for students to learn how to start a business, question-and-answer sessions from local business leaders and UGA faculty, open houses in UGA business centers, networking events for community members and UGA students, faculty and staff, a competition for a scholarship to Singularity University and talks from numerous guests.

UGA has created a website that hosts a calendar of events, resources at the university for burgeoning entrepreneurs, and profiles of speakers, panel members and established business leaders in the area. Entrepreneurial week attendees also can connect with each other through Thinc’s Twitter and Facebook accounts found on the site.

“We hope this spotlight on entrepreneurship will reverberate beyond the week and stimulate more thinking about how to incorporate entrepreneurship, broadly defined as creative problem solving, into many parts of our curriculum,” Lee said. “Wouldn’t it be great if UGA became known as a leader in this regard?”