By: Wills Hapworth
Executive Director at Thought into Action Entrepreneurship Institute at Colgate University
On April 10th we will celebrate our fourth annual Entrepreneurs Weekend at Colgate University. We have been uniquely fortunate to attract world-class entrepreneurs to campus such as Hamdi Ulukaya (Chobani), Richard Branson (Virgin), Brian Chesky (AirBnb) and many others.
We are infinitely grateful to the key members of our Colgate Community that have convinced these entrepreneurs to share their time.
If there is one thing I’ve learned from these individuals over the years, it’s how small and unassuming their beginnings were. They speak so humbly and sincerely about how things really got started; painting the walls and renting blow-up mattresses. It is sometimes difficult to keep in mind the ‘how to start’ part, with all the sensationalism surrounding entrepreneurship, startups, money and power.
Fortunately for me I have constant reminders. Every day I work with a brilliant team who’s first inclination is always; “yes”, “let’s try it”, “start small and build”. We operate in an environment at Colgate with leadership that is willing to take chances and innovate at the risk of an already exemplary reputation. We are blessed with the most devoted group of entrepreneurial alumni and parents who give of their most valuable resource, their time; because they know first hand the impact great mentorship can have on the trajectory of a student entrepreneur’s life. And most importantly our student entrepreneurs remind me every day of how hard it actually is to create something from nothing: they are the foundation of all this and without them, the energy and commitment would not exist. I dream about a day in the near future when they, too, will deservingly take the stage with great entrepreneurs like the ones that will inspire us at our upcoming event.
I invite you to learn more about the flavor of entrepreneurship that we’ve built from the ground up at Colgate for the past 6 years. We know what we do is unique and compelling, and the best way to get a true feel is by joining us on the 10th to celebrate entrepreneurship of all shapes and sizes in our growing Upstate entrepreneurship ecosystem.