Entrepreneurship and Innovations Committee
Do you know where the word “entrepreneur” came from? The term was a French word for “adventurer.” It was popularized by a relatively unknown, French economist by the name of Jean-Baptiste Say. He defined an entrepreneur as someone that shifts “economic resources out of an area of lower and into an area of higher productivity and greater yield.” Intrigued by this approach to hitherto unfilled gap in Adam Smith’s free-market theory, Thomas Jefferson engaged Say for advice on the United States’ “geometrically” growing demands. In fact, Jefferson even pursued Say to come teach in the US. While we can only ponder whether Say would have been one of the first Professors of the University, we can be sure that Jefferson thought the man and his theories necessary for the future generations of Americans.
And Jefferson would be very happy to see the children of his University pursuing the life of an entrepreneur.
In the recent years at the University, there has been a surge of entrepreneurial spirit amongst the students across all disciplines. Fueled by stories of Facebook, Twitter, and Google, students have started taking their academics and extracurricular activities to new levels of innovation and implementation. Student groups, such as the EMG, E* Society, and SEED just to name a few, have risen organically to become hubs for entrepreneurial development and networking.
To support this surge and integrate the many efforts around Grounds, Student Council recently formed the Entrepreneurship and Innovations Committee. Our mission is to facilitate the development of student entrepreneurial ecosystem at the University. With support from the Jefferson Trust and in collaboration with the many entrepreneurship-related student and school groups around Grounds, we will achieve our mission, and just maybe, Jefferson’s wish of his students.
THE “HOW” PART:
Our approach is simple: Collaboration. Access. Mentorship.
Our plans are awesome:
+ Virginia Innovations, Ventures, and Entrepreneurship Fair – A forum where student-run and school-run, e-related organizations can come together, pitch to current and incoming students about their respective niche, and network across. Best pitch gets a $500 co-sponsored event! Join us at Alumni Hall on October 1st, 5:30-8:30 PM!
+ Integrated Resources for Aspiring entrepreneurs (IRA) Initiative – 1. Integrated calendar of events and activities of the all the e-related clubs/orgs. 2. An area where any user can upload a video of a speaker that they bring in or a workshop they hold. We plan to work with the different organizations, use StudCo’s HD camera (and possibly buy a new one), record speakers as they present to students here, and post the talks online TED-style.
+ Jefferson Entrepreneurship Mentors and Teams (JEM and JET) Program – Follow-through with students after they win prizes. With the use of some grant money from Jefferson Trust, we have some microfund grants and a team of mentors that will guide selected teams through the school year.
+ Future of Virginia Entrepreneurship (FOVE) Conference – An introspective conference where we highlight the integration of initiatives across Grounds, especially to stakeholder groups, such as the Jefferson Trust Board, UVA Wise, PVCC, and Regional Alumni Clubs, that do not otherwise get such a peek in to the entrepreneurial ecosystem here.
So get ready, wahoos. It is going to be an awesome year.
Visit uvastart.com for more information on EIC.