Student startups

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Eric Johnson and Gregory Spears prepare to present at Carbone Family Auditorium in a bid to win over 1k in startup funding. Photo by James McClendon

New course creates entrepreneurs through competition

James McClendon, Editor-in-Chief

On Wednesday, members of the Utica College Entrepreneurial Media class ended the fall semester by presenting their media company ideas. The event was held in the Carbone Family Auditorium.

UC Assistant Professor of Journalism Brett Orzechowski developed this course because he believed that it would allow students to learn skills from multiple disciplines.

“People think it’s like Shark Tank with learning outcomes,” Orzechowski said. “But it’s more than that. It’s really an all-encompassing experience.”

The class was divided into four groups, which developed their business plans throughout the semester.

The four companies, LIVELIVE, MeAgent, SucSeed and T.W.A.G.E., pitched their ideas to a panel of four judges. The judges were UC Professor of Finance Zhaodan Huang, Quadsimia Project / Social Media Manager Kandi Humpf, ThINCubator Executive Director Ryan Miller and MPW Creative Director Geoff Storm.

Junior Nathan Bridge recommended this course to all majors because it gives you a lot of real world application and hands on experience.

“When I started the class, it seemed really intense and I had doubts about it,” Bridge said. “But I ended up forming a really good team and I had a really good experience. It’s not like any class I have taken before.”

Orzechowski wanted his students to finish the semester with a sense of pride and confidence.

“They built a business in a semester,” Orzechowski said. “That is a big deal and people look at that favorably in terms of hiring.”

Junior Becky Vennero explained how much of herself she put into this course and how it has affected her.

“It’s more of an experience than a class,” Vennero said. “I feel that you have to put so much time and effort into things that are not even graded. You have to really bust your butt.”

Orzechowski wanted his students to leave this class with the essential skills needed to be successful in any industry.

“I want them to get the most out of a class like this,” Orzechowski said. “Not only the hard skills but the essential skills to succeed professionally.”

At the end of the night, SuSeed was chosen as the winner by the panel of judges. Those in attendance, along with any live streaming audience members, also voted them as the people’s choice.

The future of this course at UC is dependent on student interest. For more information contact Professor Brett Ozechowski at bjorzech@utica.edu.


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