Inaugural Entrepreneur Week Promotes Student Business Success at Endicott College
Beverly, MA – Endicott College celebrated the dedication of the newly constructed Colin and Erika Angle Center for Entrepreneurship by hosting the first ever Entrepreneur Week from Monday, October 7th to Thursday, October 10th. Students and alumni gathered for events that included workshops, mentorship programs, panel discussions, a pitch contest, and more. An exciting culture of entrepreneurship is permeating the Endicott campus and these events gave students the chance to celebrate their unique business ideas.
The highlight event was a pitch contest, Pitch It To Win It, which started with eight businesses competing to win a $500.00 grant donated by The Salem News and Wayside Trailers. The final five contestants included two freshmen, one sophomore, an MBA student, and an alumnus. The winner was Sophomore International Business Student, Caleb MacDonald (New Hartford, CT), who will use the grant funds to help launch his website Voldea.com, which helps link volunteers with community service opportunities.
After registering on Voldea.com, users can post pictures, a description, and an address for the project they want to start. Additionally, they can join projects created by other users and subscribe to a community update that informs them of events in the area. In essence, the site is an intermediary that bridges the gap between non-profit needs and volunteers trying to improve their town or city. MacDonald will continue to work with the Center to develop his idea.
Aside from the pitch contest, the Center offered various workshops throughout the week. Adam Rosen, Graduate Assistant, and other student members of the FUEL program hosted a workshop to help generate ideas and explain the FUEL process. Entrepreneurship Center Director Brenda J. Smith taught a workshop on developing a business plan. Tom Grant from Thing Magic taught a workshop on how to receive funding from a Venture Capitalist. Bob Mitchell, CFO at Beverly Cooperative Bank, taught a workshop on how to prepare your business to receive funding. Finally, speaking coach Tom Kennedy taught a workshop on how to pitch your business.
“The student participation at this event exceeded my expectations and shows just how relevant the Angle Center of Entrepreneurship is to Endicott’s campus. Over 600 students and faculty members participated in events, which is exceptional,” says Smith. Rosen was also thrilled about the week. He went on to say, “Our whole team worked extremely hard to create a positive buzz around the Center for Entrepreneurship. Brenda did a great job of allowing us [the students] to take control, while providing valuable feedback and resources when necessary. With her leadership, coupled with our teams hard work, it proved to be a very positive week and a major step forward to accomplishing our hefty goals for the Center.”
The Center also hosted a panel discussion featuring entrepreneurs spanning multiple generations. The panel members were Todd Meleney, an Endicott alumni and current Director of Sales at Surf Right Project, and Cliff Roth, former attorney for various MLB teams and General Council of the Maritime Administration.
Pitch It To Win It Contest Winners
(from left to right) Thomas DeCoste, Caleb MacDonald, Michael Garitty, Jerome MacLeod