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Start something

Thinc. Week to bring speakers, competitions, performances to campus April 13-17

Thinc. at UGA, an initiative that encourages entrepreneurship, will host the second annual “Thinc. Week” April 13-17 on the university’s Athens campus. The action-packed week of signature events featuring speakers, competitions and performances is open to all students, faculty and staff, and the public.

Make the world better
Entrepreneurship doesn’t always mean starting a for-profit business. Some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs got their start because they wanted to help people in their community.

Thinc. Week kicks off on April 13 with the Give-Back-Hack, an intensive 24-hour challenge in which teams of students use their creativity and expertise to address an important community problem, such as eldercare, hunger or mental illness.

On April 14, students will present their solutions following a 4:30 p.m. talk in Room 101 of the Miller Learning Center from Yusuf Randera-Rees, who will travel to UGA from South Africa to discuss the Awethu Project. Randera-Rees left a high-paying Wall Street job to start this initiative, which helps provide young entrepreneurs from under-resourced backgrounds with the skills and knowledge to lead South Africa to prosperity.

Thinc. Week also will feature a public talk by David Butler, vice president of innovation and entrepreneurship at The Coca-Cola Co. on April 15 at 12:30 p.m. in the Tate Theatre. Butler will talk about innovation and how Coke is building an entrepreneurial culture and capability-advancing the startup to scaleup movement.

On April 16, some of UGA’s most innovative women will come together for “She Started It: UGA Women Innovating.” The mix of students, alumni and faculty will discuss the unique challenges and opportunities facing female entrepreneurs in the modern workplace and what they’ve learned during their personal journeys. The event will be held in the Tate Student Center Reception Hall at 10:30 a.m.

Better business
No discussion of entrepreneurship would be complete without business, and there are plenty of opportunities for everyone-from seasoned veterans to complete newcomers-to learn new tips and tricks from the pros.

Scott Gerber, a self-taught entrepreneur, will present “Never Get a ‘Real’ Job” on April 15. His goal is to teach unemployed and underemployed aspiring small business owners, students and recent college graduates how to quit their 9-to-5 jobs, become their own bosses and achieve financial independence. The talk will be at 4 p.m. in Room 102 of the Miller Learning Center.

On April 16, a panel of successful local entrepreneurs will share stories and lessons learned during “Starting Points.” The discussion will be held at 6 p.m. in Room 101 of the Miller Learning Center.

“Extreme Networking” will be offered at 5 p.m. April 17 on the North Quad for those who would like to learn how to sell their idea to a busy investor or potential partners in a few minutes time.

Amy Flurry will give a 1 p.m. public talk that same day to educate entrepreneurs on how to refine their message, engage media and create relationships with editors and bloggers. The talk will be held in the Tate Student Center Reception Hall.

Game on
Two competitions will challenge UGA’s innovators and entrepreneurs. The 2014 Thinc. Prize for Innovation challenges students to collaborate, innovate and problem solve by building a Rube Goldberg-like machine to “start something.” Cash prizes will be awarded after a demonstration of the machines on April 14 at 6 p.m. The event will be in Room 102 of the Miller Learning Center.

Finals for the annual UGA Next Top Entrepreneur competition will be held April 16 at 8 p.m. in the Miller Learning Center. Student competitors pitching their business plans have a chance to acquire the capital they need to launch their business.

Business and the arts
Thinc. Week also will include a number of events to help young artists hone their business acumen.

A panel of local arts and culture business owners will share experiences, best practices and advocate for the best ways to support local arts entrepreneurs in the future as part of the inaugural Local Arts and Business Summit on April 17 at 11:30 a.m. in the Tate Student Center Reception Hall.

Later that day, a group of classically trained musicians will give a free concert called ROC: Teaching Entrepreneurship to Musicians and Artistry to Business, which melds the traditions of classical music with creativity and entrepreneurship. That event will be held at 3:30 p.m. in the Chapel.