The weekend kicked off on Friday night at Cotterell Court with a keynote address by Sheryl Sandberg, COO at Facebook and author of the NY Times bestseller, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.
On Saturday morning, over 25 students displayed 16 ventures they have been working on for the past year through Thought Into Action. These ventures included for-profit, not-for-profit, and campus and community enrichment initiatives.
At noon, five students pitched their ideas to the overflow crowd in the Clark room of the Hall of Presidents. This was followed by a special lunch where Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya told his moving story of how an immigrant from Turkey turned his idea for manufacturing yogurt in a depressed area of upstate New York into a multi-million dollar business.
A new feature of Colgate’s annual Entrepreneur Weekend was a speaking series called Little Talks, Big Ideas which featured seven alumni and one current student who have launched successful ventures and provided words of advice from their success and failures as entrepreneurs. A networking reception followed in the Hall of Presidents for students, parents, alumni, staff, and faculty.
Many students reported that they made great connections with alumni and parents and some even walked away with promises of help and/or funding. A highlight of the weekend was during the Little Talks, Big Ideas in the Chapel when David Fialkow ’81 raised over $25,000 ($21,000 committed by him and Mike Ellenbogan ’86) from the audience after an impassioned presentation by Maggie Dunne ’13 on the non-profit corporation she founded, Lakota Children’s Enrichment, Inc. The buzz around the weekend was contagious and we look forward to continuing our work with the students this summer with the ENY Fund and next year through Thought Into Action.
Take a look at the April TIA newsletter for more information on the weekend and some fabulous pictures!