Northwood Florida‘s Damien Kelly recently experienced one of those ‘ahaa’ moments when he participated as part of team Northwood University (NU) Florida as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week’s (GEW) Start-Up West Palm Beach, a three-day ‘incubator’ designed to bring ideas to life through mentorship and assistance from industry leaders and volunteers.
As a team member whose goal was to assist a local inventor in bringing their mobile device application to life, he received reinforcement that a recent business investment he’d made with family members for the automotive dealership back home in Canada was the right one. “As we were supporting this person and researching ways in which their invention could be of meaning and value to the consumer, I could see that the recent technology we’ve introduced at the dealership was an ideal tool to assist our customers,” said Kelly, who along with his father designed an application that would assist customers with the total experience of buying, servicing, and maintaining a car through convenient scheduling reminders and fun promotional incentives. “I was so excited to see the value placed on such tools, that I called my dad the very first night of the completion,” smiled Kelly, a Northwood Florida graduate student.
In addition to participation in Start-Up weekend, Northwood Florida recently celebrated GEW by participating in and hosting a variety of events designed to inspire and educate entrepreneurs and business leaders.
Led by Georgia Abbott, Northwood’s director of the Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity & Enterprise (ABDCCE), the week was inaugurated by participating in West Palm Beach’s Startup Weekend, a global, grassroots movement of entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures.
Northwood University DeVos Graduate School of Management faculty members Dr. Cathy Bush and Mark Bush, undergraduate adjunct professor George Stamas and students participated along with Abbott as judges, coaches and team participants in the intense, program in which entrepreneurs pitched their ideas in hopes of being chosen as one of the top ventures to receive professional coaching along with assistance from volunteer group members.
Serving as a meaningful reminder of the power of strategic vision, creativity, market validation, a strong work ethic, and a sound business model, the event also provides young entrepreneurs the opportunity to officially launch their companies, and to connect with potential partners, venture capitalists and angel investors.
Northwood University Florida on-campus events then followed at an entrepreneurial roundtable luncheon led by Stamas which featured Freddie Laker, a successful software industrialist, and with classroom presentations from Kristy First, a successful former student who advanced to the top 8% of Wal-Mart's "Get on the Shelf" multi-stage contest’s original 4,000 contenders.
“Global Entrepreneurship Week provides a great way for NU to celebrate the entrepreneurial accomplishments of the institution. We offer great support to young collegiate entrepreneurs with relevant programming, events and exposures to successful entrepreneurs to foster their education. With 34% of Northwood University alumni owning all or part of their businesses, we are truly an entrepreneurial university,” said Abbott.
During one week each November, thousands of events and competitions around the world inspire millions to engage in entrepreneurial activity while connecting them to potential collaborators, mentors and even investors. In five years, Global Entrepreneurship Week has expanded to 139 countries—building and strengthening entrepreneurial ecosystems around the world. Powered by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and sponsored by Dell, the initiative is supported by dozens of world leaders and a network of roughly 10,000 partner organizations.
“2013 Start-Up Weekend and Entrepreneurial Week are premier global occurrences with the goal of initiating small business development. Headed by our local entrepreneurs, Nick Mohnacky and Chris Callahan, I am proud to announce our partnership in Startup Weekend and Entrepreneurial Week,” said West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio.
Northwood University is committed to the most personal attention to prepare students for success in their careers and in their communities; it promotes critical thinking skills, personal effectiveness, and the importance of ethics, individual freedom and responsibility.
Private, nonprofit, and accredited, Northwood University specializes in managerial and entrepreneurial education at three full-service, residential campuses located in southern Florida, mid-Michigan and northern Texas. Adult Degree Programs are available in seven states with many course delivery options including online. The DeVos Graduate School offers accelerated, evening and weekend programming in Michigan, Texas and Florida. The Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity and Enterprise provides system-wide expertise in family enterprise, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and new business development. International education is offered through study abroad and in Program Centers in China (Changchun and Wuxi), Malaysia and Sri Lanka.