Charlotte Weiss

Staff Writer

The annual arrival of Global Entrepreneurship Week quickly approaches as students and campus community members prepare to feed their best business ideas to the Shark Tank. For the past four years, the Blackstone Launchpad at Lorain County Community College has been the proud sponsor of the events originally begun by the Kaufman Foundation. Flyers crafted by Dennis Ryan’s graphic design classes are being hung around the campus to publicize the festivities that will be taking place during the weeklong celebration of innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship, and community from Nov. 16-18.

Included  is the attendance of area entrepreneurs such as Melt owner, Matt Fish, and CEO of Cleveland Whiskey, Tom Lix, as speakers in a panel. This will be the kickoff to the week panel held in the Stocker Center Cinema Hall from 10-11am. “We’re hoping the people we bring in for the Monday event might inspire people, even people who have never thought of owning a business,” said Becky Hetrick of Blackstone Launchpad. They hope the speakers will encourage creativity in students and the community as well as give advice during a Q&A session that will take place during the panel.

Continuing events on Tuesday feature an expo with the promise of food, fun, and an exciting time for the whole campus as well as community members. Attendees will be eligible to enter into a raffle to win prizes such as a Fit Bit and an iPad Mini, among other items that local entrepreneurs have donated. Duck Radio will be setting the mood with their characteristic lively music broadcasts and food trucks will also be in attendance, a first for LCCC.

Wednesday carries on the Launchpad tradition of a hosted FEBE 3 (Fostering Entrepreneurial Business Education) event. “We’ve been doing this every week for three years, every Wednesday from 10-11am over in the DEC,” Janice Lapina, Program Manager of Blackstone Launchpad, said. “We have entrepreneurs speak, or we have things like a how-to series. It’s all free, Dunkin’ Donuts has sponsored us for three years. It’s for students, and the community.”

Some of the most energy filled events of the week promise to be the student competitions. The competitions are open to all LCCC students, regardless of major, and serve as a forum to present business ideas to local entrepreneurs to be judged. “The judges will really look at everything and give them some positive feedback and some ideas about how they might be able to move their business forward,” Hetrick said. If that wasn’t incentive enough, the idea pitcher with the highest markings will be awarded a $500 prize, as well as $250 and $150 being awarded respectively to the runners-up.

With the effort being aided by Spitzer and assistance being campus-wide through all departments, Global Entrepreneurship Week guarantees an exciting time for anyone on the LCCC campus. “Anyone can attend. We work very hard to put this on, and I hope people take advantage of the events we have planned,” said Lapina. Whether you are a business student or simply a creative soul with the desire to share ideas among like-minded individuals, be certain to mark the festivities of Global Entrepreneurship Week on your calendar.