On Sept. 29, the Georgetown University Entrepreneurship Initiative, also known as Startup Hoyas, hosted a day-long celebration of entrepreneurship involving students, faculty, and entrepreneurs from the Washington, D.C., area.
Entrepreneurship Day featured two keynote speakers: Patrick McGinnis (F’98), author of The 10% Entrepreneur, and Tom Adams, former chief executive officer of Rosetta Stone.
“I don't think it ever gets any easier to start a company,” said Adams. “Life just gets more difficult. You are at that perfect point right now. If you are uncomfortable not knowing what you are doing, then think of me. I have never known what I am doing, and if you are aware of that and collaborate with people who know about some things, then it will be great.”
Students took the advice from the speakers to heart.
“Tom Adams’ talk was the perfect end to a day that showcased Georgetown University’s appreciation of entrepreneurship,” said Alex Heintze (B’19). “I believe that he is a great example of a Georgetown entrepreneur who puts our Jesuit values into action.”
“Patrick McGinnis was an especially compelling speaker because he makes entrepreneurship something accessible to everyone, not just people with brilliant company ideas or successful venture funds,” added Charlotte Gilliland (C’19). “His ability to engage with people, especially students, regarding the pursuit of more entrepreneurial ventures without risking everything they have worked to achieve, is something I found really inspiring.”
Jeff Reid, founding director of the Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative, said that a core value of Jesuit education is preparing students to discover their passion so they can go out and make the greatest impact in the world.
“Entrepreneurship — whether starting your own company or joining an existing startup — can be an extremely rewarding and powerful way to make a difference, solve problems, and create wealth,” Reid said. “Entrepreneurship Day is a great way for students from across all of Georgetown to learn the many ways they can make entrepreneurship a part of their life — both while here at school and in the years beyond their time on the Hilltop.”
The day began with a lunch provided by Cullen Gilchrist, chief executive officer of Union Kitchen, a local food incubator. Gilchrist attested to the incubator’s mission of building successful food businesses. The company’s accelerator program provides mentorship, capital, and educational opportunities for its entrepreneurs.
Following lunch, breakout sessions provided opportunities for students to have in-depth conversations with entrepreneurs in their field of interest. Topics included social entrepreneurship and internship opportunities at startups.
Students also enjoyed refreshments provided by Compass Coffee as they perused the entrepreneurship information fair. Students had the opportunity to network with the StartupHoyas Entrepreneurs in Residence, past recipients of the Leonsis Family Entrepreneurship Prize, and other students from various entrepreneurship classes and clubs.