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‘Idea Launch Pad’ invites students to share innovative concepts

Do you have an innovative concept that you think could make you the next Mark Zuckerburg? A student entrepreneurs group and the Doherty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership wants to help get it going, and on Tuesday, the inaugural “Idea Launch Pad” will take place in the Koury Business Center for Elon University students of all majors.

Hosted by the Doherty Center and by the Student Entrepreneurial Enterprise Development organization, better known as SEED, Idea Launch Pad invites students to share their concepts in a public forum. No business plan is needed and no data analysis required, at least not right away. Just ideas.

The event will be help Sept. 28 at 4:15 p.m. in Room 211 of the Koury Business Center.

“Any student from all areas of study at Elon can participate. Students with an idea for a venture can present the concept for review. Those without a concept are encouraged to attend with the opportunity to join a team with an interest in one of the presented ideas,” said Gary Palin, a senior lecturer of entrepreneurship and executive director of the Doherty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. “It’s a blend of speed dating and incubation.”

What happens next? Palin and Elon junior Brian Serow, the current president of SEED, encourage students get together afterward to collaborate on some of the ideas put forward. Teams will then work with entrepreneurship professors in the weeks ahead to determine if the ventures are feasible.

Teams with viable ideas will have the opportunity to be paired with mentors with professional experience in successful entrepreneurial projects, Palin said. As the mentors and students work together, should the ideas be strong enough, “angel” investors will be brought into the discussions for funding a start-up enterprise.Best-case scenario? Students graduate Elon with equity in a business that they helped start. Nor should students fret if their concepts falter.

Even if a student’s idea ends up not working out, they’ll still learn a lot,” Serow said. “This is for anything, including social entrepreneurship or charities. It’s across the board.”

While the Idea Launch Pad event is open for any student of any major to attend, because of time limitations, sponsors plan to cap the number of ideas to be presented. Students who wish to pitch their idea to a crowd must register in advance by emailing Serow at bserow@elon.edu.

Eric Townsend,
9/28/2010 8:27 AM