On Wednesday night, a coalition of student groups and campus departments hosted Launch Bing, an entrepreneurship event designed to inspire students to create and pursue their own ventures.
The event packed the Mandela Room with over 100 listeners, primarily students eager to learn from their peers and to expand their professional networks. It was hosted by the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Partnerships, Harpur Edge and a number of student groups.
The speakers were six student entrepreneurs, each at a different stage in product and project development, with concepts varying from virtual reality companies to Korean-style chicken eateries.
Tremayne Stewart, who graduated in May of 2016 with a degree in computer science, founded the Uriel Group, which has worked on several web projects. His current project, CConnect, is looking to launch in November 2016. The app’s purpose is to centralize communications within University organizations. He talked about knowing from a young age that he wanted to start his own company.
“I always knew I wanted to be my own boss,” Stewart said. “I’ve had a name and a logo for my company picked out since I was five.”
He said that much of the general population’s conception about what an entrepreneur actually does is not entirely correct.
“There’s this fantasy around entrepreneurship where people think, ‘Damn, I’m going to make a million dollars and go on a yacht with Zuckerberg and the Instagram guy,’” Stewart said.
Sung Kim, who graduated BU in 2014 with a degree in business administration, talked about his food service company, Chick-N-Bap.
His inspiration for Chick-N-Bap came after a night out with his friends.
“Me and my friends were kind of schwasted and wanted to know why we couldn’t get food we liked from home,” Kim said.
After a pilot program, his sales continued to impress Sodexo so much that he was eventually offered a permanent spot in the Marketplace.
He said he is inspired as an entrepreneur to introduce a wide range of people to Korean cuisine.
“If we can function as a gateway food for you guys to say that you have tried Korean food and want to go out and try more, that’s my ultimate goal,” Kim said.
Neil Harris, a senior majoring in business administration, founded Creativity+, an organization that is seeking to improve the connection between University resources and BU students’ needs by hosting events and improving school spirit.
When asked about the legacy he wants to leave on campus with this new initiative, Harris said he wants to inspire students to follow their own passions.
“I want future students to be motivated to continue pursuing not my ideas, but their own ideas,” Harris said.
Kenneth McLeod, a bioengineering professor and Binghamton University’s entrepreneur in residence, delivered a keynote address on the changing economic landscape of the country.
He said that employment trends are changing and that big companies are shirking their workforces, leaving a gap that needs to be filled by smaller organizations.
“Economic development is about creating a pipeline for startups,” McLeod said.
Laura Holmes, assistant director at the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Partnerships, said the event was a huge success and that she was proud that it was spearheaded by students.
“Enactus actually approached us and said if you host this event, we can bring 100 students to fill those seats,” Holmes said. “And they did just that.”¶
The next entrepreneurship event on campus will be the Idea Pitch competition, where students pitch their venture proposals for a chance to win $500, on Nov. 17.