Get ready for Global Entrepreneurship Week

Amazing-style races, seminars, IdeaBounce all part of entrepreneurial week at WUSTL

Ready, set … innovate! That’s the theme for Global Entrepreneurship Week Nov. 15-20, a global initiative to promote entrepreneurship among young people.

“Entrepreneurship is happening year-round at Washington University,” says Ken Harrington, managing director of the Skandalaris Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. “Students from every school on campus take entrepreneurship courses and participate in Skandalaris co-curricular programs.

“Our free seminars and business plan competitions have helped many student and community entrepreneurs develop their skills and launch their ventures in both the nonprofit and commercial sectors.”

Harrington says it’s exciting to see the connections between WUSTL students and the community.

“We are excited about the growth of the entrepreneurial culture on campus and the innovation environment,” he says.

The week gets off to an early start at Washington University with the annual Social Change IdeaBounce at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 11, in May Auditorium, Simon Hall.

At this event, students and community entrepreneurs with ideas for social change are given two minutes to present ideas to a panel of judges. Winners will be eligible to enter the annual YouthBridge Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation Competition that awards $150,000 in seed money. For more information, visit

Other events this week:

Amazing race

Four teams of WUSTL students are taking part in the fourth annual Race to Entrepreneurship Saturday, Nov. 13, sponsored by the St. Louis Region Entrepreneurship Educators.

The “Amazing Race”-style competition challenges two-person teams to find and photograph checkpoints related to innovation in St. Louis.

Teams are given clues and must navigate the city on foot or by public transit. The race is free, but pre-registration is required. First-place prize is an iPad for each team member. For more information and to register, visit

Coffee with an expert

A popular program offered by the Skandalaris Center takes place at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 17. “Coffee with the experts” introduces start-up entrepreneurs to experienced entrepreneurs, investors and service providers for one-on-one conversations.

Entrepreneurs can troubleshoot specific challenges, prepare for an IdeaBounce by getting feedback before bouncing an idea publicly, or review feedback from an IdeaBounce and determine next steps.

Barbara Levin, director of Professional Development Programs at the Brown School, Clifford Holekamp, Olin Business School senior lecturer in entrepreneurship, and Pete Peters, executive director, Innovate Venture Mentoring Service, will be the experts on hand Wednesday, Nov. 17.

Participants are required to make an appointment and have an idea posted on IdeaBounce. Contact the Skandalaris Center at (314) 935-9134 or to schedule an appointment.

Olin Cup semifinals

Semifinalists in the annual Olin Cup business plan competition will face the judges behind closed doors in a private session Thursday, Nov. 18. That’s when elevator pitch competition takes place that requires delivering a concise and compelling description of their venture in two minutes.

Finalists will be announced at the public event at 6 p.m. that evening in May Auditorium, Simon Hall.

Audience members may evaluate the pitches using the same criteria as the judges and pick their own winners. The audience member coming closest to the judges’ score will win $250. To learn more about the ideas in this year’s competition and for a chance to win $250, register for the Elevator Pitch Competition at

Seminar series

An all-star lineup is scheduled for the Skandalaris Seminar beginning at 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19, in Simon Hall. “The Business Plan and Telling Your Story” is the topic of the day and part of this year’s series on developing entrepreneurial skills, perspectives and relationships.

Presenters in the first session include Sandra Marks and Arthur Porter from Marks and Associates, an entrepreneurial development firm.

Panelists for the 2:30 p.m. session are Lucy Hannegan, Twice Blessed Resale Shop (winner of the 2010 YouthBridgeSEIC); Steve Finkelstein, Experience-on-Demand; and Lynette Watson, St Charles Small Business Development Center.

The non-credit Skandalaris Seminar Series is offered in the fall and repeated in the spring. The three-hour agenda includes 90 minutes of skills training, followed by a 90-minute panel discussion from experienced and start-up entrepreneurs providing their perspectives on how they developed their own entrepreneurial skills and implemented their ventures.

The event is open to student and community entrepreneurs, and registration is required at

Global Entrepreneurship Week, founded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and Enterprise UK, is supporting tens of thousands of activities in dozens of countries designed to encourage youth to generate new ideas, seek better ways of doing things and turn their ideas into reality.

For more information, visit and follow @unleashingideas on Twitter.