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Penn State Startup Week Set To Connect Students With Entrepreneurs

Interested in starting your own business? Have a cool idea but can’t seem to figure out where to begin?

Penn State Startup Week starts Monday, April 1 and extends through Friday, April 5. In its third year as a university-wide initiative, the weeklong event will connect Penn State students with a variety of resources and alumni that will help to inspire innovation in all fields.

Startup Week first started in 2012 through the College of Information Sciences and Technology. The college created the event to celebrate a $400,000 gift from IST grad David Rusenko, the largest gift from a graduate in the college’s history.

The event was known as “IST Startup Week” until 2017, when the entire university recognized jumped on board and rebranded it as “Penn State Startup Week.”

This year’s Startup Week will include presentations from startup founders, an entrepreneurial resource fair, and pitch competitions where teams can compete for project support and prizes.

The first three nights of the week will include keynote panels led by successful innovators, many of whom are Penn State alumni and are at different stages in their respective careers.

Each panel will be held from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in 110 Business Building and will be followed by a reception that will give students the chance to network with the panelists and other successful entrepreneurs in attendance.

Monday night’s panel is entitled “Someday is Today: Getting Started in Entrepreneurship.” Panelists in the early stages of their careers will discuss tips and lessons learned from getting their starts in various fields.

Tuesday’s panel is entitled “The Entrepreneur’s Journey: Learning from Successes and Setbacks,” followed by the final panel on Wednesday night called “Innovation Happens Everywhere: Intrapreneurship in Established Organizations.”

The week will also include a “3-Day Mini-Challenge” that will task participants with testing and presenting a solution for a common campus sustainability issue. Many of the competitions that will be held include awards such as seed funding, access to resources, and experiential prizes.

The competitions will culminate on Thursday night, April 4, when all of the winning teams will gather at Pegula Ice Arena for an invitation-only reception with startup week speakers, President Eric Barron, and other university administrators.

A complete list of speakers and a schedule of the events can be found on the Startup Week’s website. Most of the week’s events can also be viewed via live stream.

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About the Author

Will Pegler

Will is a senior majoring in digital and print journalism and is an associate editor for Onward State. He is from Darien, Connecticut and is a lifelong Penn State football fan. He loves a good 80's comedy movie, Peaky Blinders, The Office, and the New York Yankees and Giants. You can catch some of his ridiculous sports takes on his Twitter @gritdude and yell at him on his email [email protected]

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