On Friday, January 27, Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business hosted Entrepreneurship Day, featuring speeches, panel discussions, and a Rocket Pitch competition. The event was organized by the Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative, the MBA Entrepreneurship Club, and Hoya Challenge.
The keynote speech was given by Larry Robertson, an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at the McDonough School of Business and founder of Lighthouse Consulting, which specializes in advising entrepreneurs and investors. Robertson also authored A Deliberate Pause: Entrepreneurship and its Moment in Human Progress, a widely acclaimed book on the subject.
Robertson emphasized in this speech, “How to Take the Entrepreneurial Leap,” that there is no formula, or ‘how to’ for success in entrepreneurship. Instead, he offered three lessons.
First, entrepreneurs always ask why. This question led to Robertson’s second lesson: Focus on the “why” rather than the “how” or “what.” His third lesson is to relearn how to look – to see things that others might miss in order to gain an entrepreneurial edge.
Robertson’s speech was followed by a five-person panel on “The Excitement of Entrepreneurship,” moderated by Ema Kamara, vice president of the MBA Entrepreneurship Club. Panelists included Dan Berger, CEO of Social Tables; Heather Gilchrist, managing director of RAK Tech Fund; Michael Goldstein, founder of Endeavor DC; Fahad Hassan, CEO of Always Prepped; and Brandon Partidge, CEO of Skyland Foods.
The “Beyond the Founder: the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem” panel was moderated by Jeff Reid, director of the Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative. Panelists included Melissa Bradley, CEO of Tides Foundation; Catherine Cook, co-founder of myYearbook; Matt Myers, vice president of partner development at Personal.com; James Patterson, entrepreneur in residence at Capital One Bank; Meghan Roman, founder of Stonerose Advisors; and Tony Surak, CEO of Social Spring and co-founder of startuphire.com.
Entrepreneurship Day concluded with the Rocket Pitch competition, where 17 teams of aspiring entrepreneurs pitched their business ideas in under two minutes to a panel of judges. Prism, a low cost solution to help NGOs and governments protect Third World countries from counterfeit drugs, earned the top prize. Ubicard, a location transmitting card with the appearance of a credit card, received the people’s choice award.
- George D'Angelo