Student entrepreneurs will put their creativity and business savvy to the test with some hands-on learning at the inaugural 3 Day Startup challenge.
Cal Poly Pomona’s Student Innovation Idea Lab (iLab) is teaming up with the university’s Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization, Western University of Health Sciences, the city of Pomona and the Pomona Chamber of Commerce for the three-day learn-by-doing workshop Oct. 28-30. The deadline to apply online is Monday, Oct. 17.
Participants will go from pitching their startup ideas to their teammates on Friday to talking to members of the general public who could be potential customers about their ideas and products on Saturday to creating prototypes and pitching to industry professionals and investors on Sunday.
“We want students to learn how to think creatively, to have an entrepreneurial mindset,” says Olukemi Sawyerr, director of the iLab. “We want them to be creative in solving problems no matter what their field of study is.”
Sawyerr says start-up events have been a trend for the past 10 years. The aim with Cal Poly Pomona hosting its inaugural event is to “create an entrepreneurial ecosystem that is thriving” on and around campus. Working with Western University of Health Sciences will bring their medical students together with Cal Poly Pomona’s students, she adds.
Berlyn Gallardo, president of the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization, says that the aim is to draw students from a variety of fields of study. Her campus club often does workshops and other entrepreneurial events that attract non-business students, she adds.
“Anyone with an idea has the potential to create a solution to any potential or existing problem,” she says. “We believe collaboration is key to starting a business.”
Gallardo says a three-day start up challenge has been a goal of the club since its founding, but it didn’t have the right resources. Now, with the support of the iLab, Sawyerr, Western University, and the Pomona civic and business communities, this is the right time for the intensive workshop, she says.
“This is a perfect opportunity for any student with an inkling of interest in starting a business because it will give them the basic skills and experience they need to take their ideas to the next level,” she says