April 01, 2011
More than 100 participants from schools like Bradley University in Illinois, Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania and Texas State University attended the conference.
For the second year, UT Entrepreneurs is hosting a three-day conference
on the ins and outs of owning a business and forging a path as a young
The difference this year is that the
2011 Southeast Entrepreneurship Conference
April 1-3 on the 9th floor of the Vaughn Center, is the official
regional conference of the national Collegiate Entrepreneurs’
“For any students interested in starting
their own business, this conference gives them concentrated information,
support and inspiration,” said Jake Filloramo ’12, an entrepreneurship
major and president of UT Entrepreneurs.
More than 20
entrepreneurs from across the U.S. will speak to participants from
schools like Bradley University in Illinois, Susquehanna University in
Pennsylvania and Texas State University. Only a third of the 100
registered participants are from UT.
“While they’ll come with new
ideas, the biggest thing students will take away from the conference
will be the connections they make,” said Professor Rebecca White, the
James W. Walter Distinguished Chair of Entrepreneurship and director of
the Entrepreneurship Center.
“These are students from various
schools coming to network and meet each other, expanding beyond their
campuses,” White said. “That’s when the learning is exponential.”
students have signed up for the conference’s business pitch
competition, which comes with a $1,000 prize for first place. Nick
Chmura ’12, who placed eight for his pitch at the November
Collegiate Entrepreneur Organization (CEO)
national conference, is among the participants.
Miller ’12, an MBA student with an entrepreneurship concentration, is a
speaker at this year's conference and owner of Delta Real Estate
Portfolio. He came to a roadblock last year when researching external
events for UT Entrepreneurs. So he created one, drawing 50 students,
including a group of 10 from South Dakota, to the first UT
Working off that experience, Miller
said they’ve included a community outreach component that involves a
city-wide business pitch competition, American Idol style, with the
audience voting on the best pitch. Beta Alpha Psi and UT Diplomats are
volunteering to help with logistics throughout the weekend and the Self
Employment in the Arts organization has partnered with the conference.
have a handful of artists speaking about building business skills to
succeed as an artist,” said Miller. The slate of speakers includes
Dmitri and Anna Shelest, entrepreneurs who own the artists’ management
agency DVS Worldwide and concert pianists who not only will be
presenting during the conference, but will be performing Friday evening.
said they received a grant from the Coleman Foundation and are hoping
to generate funds to grow the UT organization and future conferences.
The work of organizing a conference like this comes with challenges but
falls in line with these students’ strengths.
conference is not unlike starting a business,” said White. “It’s
unbelievable the work they have done, and it’s all been with their own
Jamie Pilarczyk, Web Writer
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