TACOMA, Wash. – Four Pierce County universities and colleges are creating a groundbreaking network to nurture and train a new generation of local, young entrepreneurs.
The Tacoma College Entrepreneur Network will launch Saturday, Nov. 5 at 10:30 a.m., with “Innovate! Create!,” a competition that will include students from University of Puget Sound; University of Washington Tacoma; Pacific Lutheran University; and The Evergreen State College. The event will take place in University of Puget Sound’s Rasmussen Rotunda in Wheelock Student Center. For students who wish to be involved in the challenge, please see the contact information below.
“Innovate! Create!” will assign participating students from Tacoma’s four-year institutions to teams and ask them to create a new business or nonprofit solution to a problem unveiled at the event. The teams will have three hours to create a solution, build a portfolio for the solution, and develop a pitch. Entrepreneur and investor judges will pick the winning team by considering each solution’s ability to solve the problem, its innovativeness, and the sustainability of the solution. Each member of the winning team will receive an iPad and runner-up teams will receive restaurant gift certificates.
The competition will provide the kick-off for an entrepreneurship collaboration thought to be unique in the country, due to the involvement of several campuses within one community. The network’s mission is to enable Tacoma’s college students to explore an entrepreneurial career path.
Student network members from the four institutions will be able to learn from practicing business leaders, experiment with entrepreneurship, work with mentors, and participate in activities that will build their confidence in their own abilities to turn ideas into practice. It is hoped the college network also will benefit Tacoma and Pierce County by encouraging a local culture of entrepreneurship and creating a community of diverse, young innovators who can help drive long-term economic health.
The network will begin as a coalition of entrepreneurship clubs that will be established in January 2012 at each institution. Both student affairs and career services will be important partners. University of Puget Sound has provided leadership thus far and will continue to convene network activity.
The Tacoma College Entrepreneur Network is supported by Lynnette Claire, a Ph.D.-trained entrepreneurship professor at University of Puget Sound. Claire is launching the effort with the assistance of students from her courses in Applied Research Methods (fall 2010), Entrepreneurship (spring 2011), and Social Entrepreneurship (fall 2011). Faculty and staff on the four campuses will share expertise and coordinate the clubs’ efforts.
The college network has been supported with funding from University of Puget Sound’s Nat S. and Marian W. Rogers Professorship and the Herbert B. Jones Foundation.
For more information about the network visit the Facebook site “Tacoma Entrepreneur Network: College Edition” http://www.facebook.com/groups/152693031421878/#!/groups/152693031421878/
Students: to sign up for Saturday's Enterpreneurship challenge go to the Facebook group "Innovate! Create!" http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=163685597054265 or send an email to Professor Lynnette Claire at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For directions and a map of the campus: www.pugetsound.edu/directions.xml
Photos on page: Top right: Logo for the Tacoma Enterpreneur Network, created by Jenaca Holmes '12 and Shana Tsukiyama '12; Above: School of Business and Leadership students take part in a networking session with local business people.
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