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Entrepreneur Weekend

Highlights Over the Years

Richard Branson, Virgin Group
Virgin founder and billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson told students "The world needs entrepreneurs." READ MORE: The world needs entrepreneurs
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook
Facebook COO and author of Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg, speaks with the Colgate Women in Business before addressing campus. LEARN MORE:Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook
Hamdi Ulukaya, Chobani
Hamdi Ulukaya, Chobani founder and CEO, shared his story with students, alumni, parents, and friends of Colgate in 2013. READ MORE Hamdi Ulukaya, Chobani
Ashton Kutcher, Katalyst
In 2014, Ashton Kutcher advocated for student entrepreneurs to show their grit, continuing to work when most people would quit. READ MORE Ashton Kutcher, Katalyst
Each spring Colgate University celebrates, endorses, and advances the entrepreneurial spirit of its students and alumni with a weekend-long event.
Every year we are joined by real-world entrepreneurs who share their success stories and lessons learned, and evaluate the most promising ventures emerging from the TIA Incubator during a Shark Tank-like pitch competition.

Jump to: 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012

Entrepreneur Weekend 2018

christina weiler pitching at colgate's shark tank

Student ventures receive funding during Entrepreneur Weekend

During the 7th annual Entrepreneur Weekend, more than 250 alumni, parents, students, and friends came to campus to celebrate and advance the entrepreneurial endeavors of Colgate student entrepreneurs.
 
Entrepreneur Weekend is the capstone to the Thought Into Action (TIA) Incubator, a yearlong commitment in which students develop an idea and make it go live with the help of alumni mentors.
 
Students presented their TIA ventures in hopes of gaining further mentorship and financial support from the Colgate network. These ventures included for-profit, not-for-profit, and campus/community initiatives.
 
“Today is a day that can truly transform the trajectory of our students’ lives,” said Wills Hapworth ’07, a co-founder of TIA and the alumni director. “What you see here is how students turned their ideas into reality and, by doing so, begin to transform lives.”
 
That afternoon, during the panel discussion “Liberal Arts and Entrepreneurship,” panelists shared their experiences in entrepreneurship, highlighting the importance of establishing a good plan, being coachable, and working through failures. Panelists included: Bob Gold ’80, CEO and president of Ridgewood Capital; Jon Klein, co-founder of TAPP Media and former president at CNN/US; Jeffrey Sharp ’89, academy award winning filmmaker and president/CEO of Sharp Independent Pictures; and Katie Finnegan ’05, principal and founder at Store No. 8 and vice president at Incubation Walmart. Finnegan was also awarded the Alumni Council’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Alumni panelists highlighted the ways their Colgate education allowed them to be successful entrepreneurs.
 
“The liberal arts teaches you how to think,” said Finnegan, who was a history and religion double major. “It taught me how to dissect a problem and how to learn. I know how to take a situation and break it down into quantifiable parts to understand them.”
 
Sharp reiterated the importance of a Colgate education in fostering passion and entrepreneurial spirit. “Colgate, as a liberal arts institution and in the physical space we occupy,” he said, “offers these nooks and crannies and these places where you can go off to disappear, create, and explore your resources.”
 
Students then had the opportunity to pitch their ventures during a Shark Tank­–style competition for funding and other support from the panelists.
 
ISO Film, a creative content house that specializes in film and video production founded by Lauren Sanderson ’18 and Brandon Doby ’18, earned $1,000 and was given a chance to make a film with Academy Award-winning producer Sharp.
 
Loophole — a rubber ring phone grip and kickstand — and its founder Patrick Crowe ’18 earned $1,000; also, Gold and Finnegan placed orders for more than 2,000 units of branded products.
 
Gipper, an automated athletics communications service for high schools and colleges, earned $3,000, and Finnegan offered San Francisco office space to its founders Matthew Glick ’19, Jack Zamore ’20, Ruchit Shrestha ’20, and Abby Waxler ’19.
 
UCan, a social recycling system for colleges and universities that channels generated funds toward local anti-poverty organizations, earned $4,000 to expand its operations. Finnegan offered to connect UCan’s founder Christina Weiler ’21 with Walmart’s operations team to expand the project in Walmart retail stores.
 
“This money means so much to UCan, not just as an organization, but as a movement,” said Weiler. “Having this money will allow us to increase the quality of life for people across the country and increase recycling rates. The opportunity to involve communities around the country will help us facilitate that.”
 
Colgate’s leadership in liberal arts entrepreneurship was powerfully represented by the Thought Into Action student entrepreneurs who continue to illustrate the strong connection between liberal arts and entrepreneurship.
 
Over the past nine years, more than 500 Colgate entrepreneurs have gone through the TIA Incubator and launched their ventures, guided by more than 140 alumni, parent, and community mentors.
 
“Today’s economy requires people who not only get answers right, but more importantly, ask the right questions,” Michael Sciola, associate vice president of Institutional Advancement and Career Initiatives, said. “The TIA experience allows Colgate students to identify a problem and then create a solution that works. Entrepreneurship and Liberal Arts, together, are powerful partners for future success.”
Portrait of Kate Finnegan
Principal & Founder Store No 8 | VP, Incubation Walmart
Co-founder, Hukkster

About Katie Finnegan '05
Portrait of Bob Gold 
CEO and President at Ridgewood Capital


About Bob Gold '80
Portrait of Jon Klein 
Co-founder, CEO at TAPP Media​
Former president, CNN/US

About Jon Klein
Portrait of Jeffrey Sharp 
President/CEO of Sharp Independent Pictures | Film & TV Producer

About Jeffrey Sharp '89


Previous Weekends

Entrepreneur Weekend 2017

2017 Weekend Recap
Steven Bertoni '02, Forbes magazine tech editor
Forbes magazine tech editor
 
About Steven Bertoni '02
Ram Parimi '05, Vice president, sales at Social Tables
Vice president, sales at Social Tables

About Ram Parimi '05
Samantha Radocchia '11
Co-founder and Chief Product Officer, Chronicled Inc.
About Samantha Radocchia '11
Cliff Sirlin '89, Co-founder, Domino Media Group; Managing director, LaunchCapital LLC
Co-founder, Domino Media Group; Managing director, LaunchCapital LLC
About Cliff Sirlin '89


Entrepreneur Weekend 2016

2016 weekend recap
Steven Bertoni '02, Forbes magazine tech editor
Forbes magazine tech editor
 
About Steven Bertoni '02
Peter Boyce, Venture @ General Catalyst Partners + Rough Draft Ventures
Venture @ General Catalyst Partners + Rough Draft Ventures
About Peter Boyce
Tyler Haney, CEO, Outdoor Voices
CEO, Outdoor Voices

About Tyler Haney
Payal Kadakia, CEO and Co-founder, ClassPass
CEO and Co-founder, ClassPass

About Payal Kadakia
Jon-McNeill, President, Global Sales and Service at Tesla Motors
President, Global Sales and Service at Tesla Motors
About Jon McNeill
Clare MacGoey, Giphy CFO
CFO, Giphy

About Clare MacGoey




Entrepreneur Weekend 2015

2015 weekend recap
Jessica Alba: Founder and CCO, The Honest Company
Founder and CCO, The Honest Co.

About Jessica Alba
Neil Blumenthal: Co-founder and Co-CEO, Warby Parker
Co-founder and Co-CEO, Warby Parker

About Neil Blumenthal
Gregg Coleman: President, BuzzFeed
President, BuzzFeed

About Greg Coleman
MC Hammer, Artist and Entrepreneur
Artist and Entrepreneur

About MC Hammer
Jen Hyman: Co-founder and CEO, Rent the Runway
Co-founder and CEO, Rent the Runway

About Jennifer Hyman
Daniel Rosensweig: Chairman and CEO, Chegg
Chairman and CEO, Chegg

About Daniel Rosensweig P’15’17
David Fialkow, Managing Director, General Catalyst Partners
Managing Director, General Catalyst Partners

About David Fialkow '81




Entrepreneur Weekend 2014

2014 weekend recap
Tony Bates, Executive VP, Microsoft
Executive VP, Microsoft

About Tony Bates
Brian Chesky, Co-founder and CEO, Airbnb
Co-founder and CEO, Airbnb

About Brian Chesky
David Faber, CNBC anchor/producer
CNBC anchor/producer

About David Faber
Ashton Kutcher, Actor/producer, co-founder of Katalyst
Actor/producer, co-founder of Katalyst

About Ashton Kutcher
Daniel Rosensweig P'15 '17, President and CEO, Chegg
President and CEO, Chegg

About Daniel Rosensweig P’15’17
John Donahoe II, President and CEO of eBay
President and CEO, eBay

About John Donahoe




Entrepreneur Weekend 2013

2013 weekend recap
Sheryl Sandberg
COO, Facebook

About Sheryl Sandberg
Hamdi Ulukaya
CEO, Chobani

About Hamdi Ulukaya




Entrepreneur Weekend 2012

Richard Branson
Founder, Virgin Group

About Richard Branson

Support Student Entrepreneurship

To support opportunities and experiences facilitated by Thought Into Action please contribute to the Thought Into Action Fund. All support will be administered according to the guidelines of the fund.

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More Information

Questions about Entrepreneur Weekend? Contact the Office of Special Events for Institutional Advancement at 315-228-7782 or cuspecialevents3@colgate.edu.

Learn more about Colgate's Thought into Action Colgate Entrepreneurs.