Dozens of Wright State University students crowded into the atrium of Russ Engineering for the launch of The Entrepreneur Club, a new student organization designed to offer information and resources in business-building, networking and about the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Chris Wallace, executive director for the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Raj Soin College of Business, opened the Sept. 8 event by introducing Wright State President David R. Hopkins and pointing out key supporters at the launch.
“There are many stakeholders from the community here,” Wallace said.
During his address, Hopkins said it was exciting to see so many students embrace their entrepreneurial spirit.
“An entrepreneurial vision is going to make you better at whatever you do,” said Hopkins. “I encourage students from all over campus and from all colleges to become involved in this club.”
The Entrepreneurs Center, an organization that helps entrepreneurs with their startup businesses in the Dayton region, partnered with Wright State to create the club.
“We’ve got a big problem. We just don’t have enough entrepreneurs,” said Scott Koorndyk, president of the center.
Koorndyk told the students they are the future of the region because they will be the ones to take new technologies and ideas to the marketplace. “We need all of you,” he said.
Bruce Langos, a commissioner with the Third Frontier, told the students about how the state supports entrepreneurial endeavors with significant funding.
“I hope to see many of you presenting your company to us in the future,” Langos said.
Hugh Bolton, director of commercialization for Wright State, talked about the increased momentum within the university showcasing innovation. Business 4000, the commercialization course in the Raj Soin College of Business, is working on a project from a Wright State research group.
The event also showcased several entrepreneurs from the area who told the students about their journey.
The club is free and open to any Wright State student. Members will be able to network, hear expert speakers, meet potential mentors, get business-model and commercialization training, learn how to fund a startup business, take part in competitions and network with the region’s executives about potential jobs.
Isaac Knapp, president of the club, said the organization may be even more helpful to students who haven’t taken any business classes than those who have. Knapp, who is working on his master’s degree in English literature, hopes to gain the knowledge to use his degree in an entrepreneurial way.
Knapp said the club will enable members to share ideas with each other and form collaborations and partnerships. He expects there to be a meeting or an event — such as a panel discussion with local entrepreneurs — once every few weeks and that members can be involved as much or as little as they choose.
For more information on The Entrepreneur Club, students are asked to visit the club’s page on Facebook.