Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) at Penn State has come to an end, but it was another great year for students and community members to engage with experience entrepreneurs, business owners and executives from around the world. This year Penn State celebrated a decade of supporting the entrepreneurial spirit at Penn State, across the Commonwealth Campuses and in the surrounding communities.
Tanya Wright was the keynote speaker for GEW. Wright is best known for her roles as Crystal Burset in the Netflix original series “Orange is the New Black” and Deputy Kenya Jones on HBO’s “True Blood.” Wright also appeared in CBS’s “The Good Wife” and “Madam Secretary.” What many don’t know is that she is also founder of HAIRiette, a hair care line for people of all ethnicities that she launched with help from Lehigh Valley LaunchBox.
Find a sampling of this year’s GEW events across the Commonwealth below:
Penn State University Libraries held a full-day seminar to celebrate their 40-year partnership with the US Patent and Trademark Office.
Penn State Altoona was host to the “Toona Tank” where students competed in a game show-type event to sell a random/whacky idea or product to win prizes.
Penn State Beaver hosted their Lion’s Den pitch competition for the third year. The competition challenges students to come up with an idea that benefits fellow students and can be implemented by spring. The winners received sponsorship and funds to implement their ideas.
Penn State Dubois celebrated GEW by hosting livestream watch parties and inviting local business leaders to speak about entrepreneurial opportunities in the region.
Penn State New Kensington hosted workshops, a coffee talk and more at the Corner LaunchBox.
The Langan LaunchBox sponsored GEW on Penn State Berks campus, which featured an international perspective on approaching health improvement and a panel discussion on entrepreneurs working with virtual and augmented reality.
Penn State University Park hosted music industry expert Steven Wasser, former owner and CEO of Powell Flutes, to discuss real-world examples of art marketing.
Links to video of the panels and speakers
Actor (Orange is the New Black and True Blood), entrepreneur and Lehigh Valley LaunchBox microgrant recipient, Tanya Wright was the GEW keynote speaker. Wright spoke about her journey from TV to the entrepreneurship with WPSU’s Carolyn Donaldson.
Penn State College of Engineering’s associate professor of engineering entrepreneurship, Frank Koe, reviews key elements of entrepreneurship that should be part of any prospective entrepreneur’s toolbox.
Penn State Schreyer Honors College graduate (2015) and House of Fofanah founder, Abu Fofanah and how to start your own digital consulting firm and win clients.
Lucy Danziger, Harvard graduate (1982), former editor-in-chief of Self Magazine and founder of social shopping platform Hintd, talking about the power of the individual to influence their network, grow a small app or brand into a large one, and value where you spend your time, clicks, money and connections.
Will Ferguson, Schreyer Honors College graduate (2017) and Paul Girgis, College of Health and Human Development graduate (2015), who both work in organization fitness at RXBAR in Chicago, lead a design thinking workshop that allows attendees to envision and create an actionable path to their future.
Shawn Caric, Smeal College of Business (1987) and Dunkin’ Brands Franchising Manager, Bruce Herold, College of Health and Human Development (1995) and Chic-fil-A at Happy Valley owner, and Elizabeth King, College of the Liberal Arts (1979) and retired vice president of human resources solutions and services for Starbucks Coproration, discuss their different paths to entrepreneurship.
The empowering women in tech panel provided a more interactive session for the audience as questions, comments and opinions were openly welcomed. The panel featured Charlene Dipaola, Hip Shake Fitness founder and CEO, Kelsie McElroy, Penn State Computer Science Major and Google Intern, Sophia Beyda, Penn State sophomore Computer Science major, and Jacqueline Tran , Penn State senior, Computer Science and Mathematics major.