Entrepreneurship Resource Center Opens

10/21/2010

Tales of success and failure, creative approaches to old corporate structures and conversations among students and professors were all part of the Entrepreneurship Orientation held recently to introduce students to the Sawyer Business School’s innovative program and new Entrepreneurship Resource Center.

“We invited alumni to talk about their experiences with startups,” said Professor George Moker. “Their insight is so helpful and a real complement to the academic side of the work our students do.”

Professor Suzyn Ornstein said one of the strengths of Suffolk’s program is the active engagement of alumni, who serve as advisors and often employers for current students. The speakers at the orientation included some of the program’s most recent grads, including Mark Grignon, BSBA ’09, who talked about his company Ideologie Organic Clothing; and Roman Wunderlich BSBA '10, who talked about both his unsuccessful start-up called College Sumo and his more successful one called Sumo Skinny. “Roman’s story was particularly appealing,” said Ornstein, because in his first startup, he did everything according to the rules and failed, and then did it again and succeeded.”
It’s important the students see failure, both Ornstein and Moker agreed. “Six out of seven startups fail or terminate,” said Moker. “By seeing what happened, students can help improve their own chances for success.”

Part of what makes Suffolk’s Entrepreneurship major different is the balance between the classroom and the business world. “The students majoring in Entrepreneurship have a capstone project in which they go out and work as a consultant to a startup,” said Moker. “We connect them with students from the law school and the MBA program, so that they get a broader perspective and help each other.”

The orientation also provided a range of experiences, from Jill Starret BSBA '10, who gave her perspective as an employee at Card Star -- a company founded by Andy Miller (MGES ‘99 and last year's winner of the SBS alumni service award), to Bill Galatis, BS ’75 who talked about his experience changing the business model at Dunkin Donuts and provided career and life advice.

The orientation also marked the opening day of the Entrepreneurship Resource Center, located on the fourth floor of the Sawyer Business School, which includes six computers equipped with software for business plans, three-D imaging capabilities to assist in product development, business plan development, and brainstorming and legal kits, as well as a place where the school’s alumni New Venture Advisors can meet with current students to guide future ventures to the launch phase.

“The Resource Center is a wonderful place where we can bring students, faculty, resources, and alumni expertise e together in one place,” said Moker.

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