The University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union and the Graduate Students’ Association are hosting Campus Entrepreneurs, an event which gives students from all fields the opportunity to develop skills invaluable to their professional careers.
Campus Entrepreneurs will be held in Louis’ Pub on Sept. 26 at 2 p.m. and will focus on connecting like-minded students and empowering them to develop their business ideas and strengths together and pursue their ventures as a team.
Raj Nayak, a portfolio manager at Innovation Enterprise, a division of the Office of the Vice-President of Research at the U of S that fosters entrepreneurial culture, believes that the university could be an excellent resource and motivator for students with entrepreneurial interests, which is why they are working with the USSU and the GSA on Campus Entrepreneurs and additional events in the future.
“We have several students who are thinking of entrepreneurship but not necessarily venturing out in that direction. This was recognized by the community, and together, we came up with a plan to provide an informal platform to bring these entrepreneurs together,” Nayak said, in an email to the Sheaf.
Nayak explains that, no matter one’s field of study or skillset, this event will be accessible and beneficial, as it will connect students with people who complement their strengths and with mentors who can help turn entrepreneurial dreams into action.
David D’Eon, president of the USSU, explains that the need for this event is not only appealing to future tycoons, as there are many ambitious students engaged through the not-for-profit sector.
“We tend to think of entrepreneurship as business-minded people, but it can be so much more than that. There are great community organizations run by students, social-justice entrepreneurs and many green initiatives that we don’t see in this light as often,” D’Eon said, in an email to the Sheaf.
This event is one of several others that will be hosted throughout the year, focusing on different aspects of entrepreneurship. Nayak also explains that these events are meant to assist students in developing a cohesive and robust knowledge for later in their careers.
“The amount of business or technological knowledge is irrelevant at this event. If you have an idea and the passion, you will find the knowledge required to get it to market. This event is just one of those tools to find the resources to turn your idea into a solution for a market,” Nayak said.
Upon registration, students will clarify whether they prefer to be a “founder” or a “co-founder.” A founder is someone who has a business idea to pitch and will prepare a presentation of several minutes for the event in advance. Co-founders will connect with founders to support their ideas and use their unique skills to build a team.
Faculty and mentors will be in attendance, as they will advise the teams throughout the year regarding how to launch the student-led ideas. Teams will compete against one another for funding to create product prototypes.
Nayak explains that, if students have an appetite for risk and excitement, entrepreneurship may be right for them.
“Some students may not be aware of the excitement associated with entrepreneurship… The best part about entrepreneurship is, in almost all cases, [that] you are working towards something you believe in,” Nayak said. “I’ve never known an entrepreneur who has come out the other side regretting the experience.”
Graphic: Lesia Karalash / Graphics Editor