Friday, March 30, 2012

Hatching Student Businesses Across the Globe

I've just come across a really neat program providing mentoring and business incubation for researchers and budding entrepreneurs in Russia (called StartUp Life).  Then, I found out that the program was started by Aalto University Center for Entrepreneurship....the very same university to which I've applied for a Masters Programme (hopefully starting Fall 2012!). 

THEN, I realized what an INCREDIBLE place their Center has for student entrepreneurs.  It's called Aalto Venture Garage and has to be one of the coolest student centers I've seen!  How come I didn't see this when I toured the campus last spring?

What an inspiration for Belmont's Hatchery!  Our beloved Dr. Jeff Cornwall has been such a great advocate for establishing space on campus and providing top-notch advice and resources to us student entrepreneurs -- from bringing in guest speakers, to offering Quickbooks workshops, to hosting round table lunches with expert entrepreneurs, to partnering with a local law firm to provide us free legal advice, to continuously growing our networks. I've taken advantage of many of these resources throughout my four years in the program, and the most valuable to me has definitely been the Hatchery space.

I (and several of my peers) work in the Hatchery on a daily basis. Located in our main student center - right next to the gym - it's a convenient, semi-private space that really fosters community among entrepreneurship students.  Whether I'm researching a new venture opportunity, working on my thesis, or writing a completely non-entrepreneurial speech for an unrelated course, I know that I will be able to both socialize and be productive when I'm working in the Hatchery.  There's just something about the entrepreneurship kids...they're a special breed: bright, motivated (selectively), creative, and - like me - don't fit into systems very well. Everyone's kind of doing their own thing; finding their own path.  It's great to be in a supportive environment to garner and offer support to people who understand you.  The Hatchery is such an asset to our entrepreneurship program!

I would love to spend a few years in the Aalto Venture Garage and then come back to Belmont with some new, creative ideas to continuously improve our Hatchery space!


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