Engineering and other Villanova students gathered at Bartley Hall on Saturday, November 1, to learn about entrepreneurial concepts and skills from those whose enterprising spirit has helped them achieve professional success and personal fulfillment.
Planned by a University-wide committee, the third annual Beyond Ideas: The Art of Entrepreneurship™ offered eleven sessions covering topics from funding startups and protecting ideas to thinking creatively and finding a mentor. Presenters, many of whom were Villanova alumni, shared lessons learned and encouraged audiences to be confident in their abilities.
"Don’t be afraid to take risks," said John Karpowicz ME '78, Director of Engineering and Quality Assurance at Boehringer Laboratories, Inc., who participated in a session for engineering, science, and medical students. "The bigger the risk, the greater the potential for reward."
This kind of advice draws students like Matthew Bochanski BME '06, MTM '08, MME '10, back to Beyond Ideas each year. "Our society builds us up to go to school, go to a company, and move through management. These speakers give us the courage to go off the beaten path."
Students also presented their ideas to and received feedback from a panel of entrepreneurs, and had time to network with the presenters, alumni, faculty, and administrators, including Dr. Gary Gabriele, the Drosdick Endowed Dean of Engineering. "The contacts were amazing and their entrepreneurial spirit inspiring," said Courtney Aquilina EE '11.
Embodying the day’s energy was kickoff and wrap-up speaker Wil Reynolds, founder of the search market firm SEER Interactive. During his impassioned talk, Wil shared the secret of his success: "Be great to yourself. Be great to your coworkers. Be great to your clients. Be great to your community."
Beyond Ideas was sponsored by the Delaware County Keystone Innovation Zone, the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, the College of Engineering, the Villanova School of Business, the Alumni Association, the Career Services Office, the Office of Academic Affairs, and Aurora Imaging Company, LLC.