The Towson University Center for Student Diversity and Center for Professional Studies (CPS) partnered to create and deliver a weekend-long Entrepreneurship Boot Camp. The event was held March 14th – 16th at the Towson University Marriot.
The program was open to all TU students; with preference given to women and students of color. During the application process students were asked to describe their entrepreneurial ambition. All of the attendees arrived at the boot camp with either an idea, or a business they had already started. Their business concepts ranged from henna design, health services, fashion design, and project management services.
What Did They Learn?
Working with Jess Gartner, founder of Allovue, CPS developed a curriculum that included interactive modules and sessions on topics ranging from problem definition to financial projections. Attendees did not spend the weekend passively listening, they hit the ground running doing actual market research, developing budgets, and planning for the future. All the hard work resulted in an 8-minute pitch to investors. On the final morning of the boot camp, attendees made their pitch based on the work they had done throughout the weekend.
In addition to the experience and expertise Jess Gartner brought to the event, attendees learned from several guest speakers. Keynote speaker Kelly Keenan Trumpbour, founder at See Jane Invest, shared with attendees how she entered the world of Entrepreneurship, and how she works to help women entrepreneurs. Peter Davis, a brand performance expert, energized participants by pushing them to develop a 30-second pitch. Finally, Loleta Robinson, M.D., M.B.A, president and CEO at Sanusek, rounded out the weekend providing her personal entrepreneur insights and experiences.
At the end of the weekend, participants received a six month membership to the TowsonGlobal Business Incubator, as a means to say informed about opportunities related to entrepreneurship and stay connected to a network of entrepreneurs.
CPS videographer Mikey Mullens created this video that really captured the outcome and impact of the weekend. To end, I think this comment from a student evaluation, really sums up the success of the event:
“Overall, I loved the program. I think it’s very valuable to TU students who are serious about starting a business. I appreciated that the students who were selected took it very seriously and tried to soak up as much as possible to get started on their business. I think that setting up a platform for all of us to connect would be great because it would help to know that we can go to others who are on the same path and bounce ideas, frustrations and support from one another. Also, I am very grateful that the TU Incubator has given us 6 months of membership and full access with a mentor. That is extremely valuable and it should help us get much further along as long as we take advantage of it. Thanks again!”