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Doherty Center field trip engages students in entrepreneurial thinking

Elon University students interested in entrepreneurship traveled to Durham to learn more about start-up opportunities in the Triangle area. 

Elon students visiting The American Underground in Durham, N.C.

A group of entrepreneurial-minded students traveled to Durham, N.C., to visit The American Underground, the hub of entrepreneurship that is home to over 100 startup companies in the Triangle, and Groundwork Labs. The trip was organized by Scott Kelly, coordinator of LSB centers and instructor in marketing, and Kevin O’Mara, professor of management and executive director of the Doherty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership.

The goals of the trip were to:

·  Expose students to emerging start-up companies 
·  Assure students they have the talent and intelligence to launch a new venture by hearing the experiences of individuals currently starting up their own dreams
·  Build a pipeline for internships & apprenticeships to Groundwork Labs and other startups 
·  Reinforce entrepreneurial processes taught in curriculum
·  Continue the Doherty Center’s commitment to offering a Field Trip Series component to their set of activities
·  Engage students who are interested in Elon’s Entrepreneurship Living Learning Community

“The Doherty Center is actively pursuing opportunities to plug into existing entrepreneurial ecosystems in both the Triad and Triangle regions,” O’Mara said. “This tour enabled the center to further develop personal relationships with leading individuals within the Triangle’s entrepreneurial community.”  

During the trip, students toured the American Underground on Main, had fun sliding down a 30-foot slide, attended a lunch with entrepreneurs and Elon alumnus Devin Kelley ’08, and had a Q&A session with John Austin, executive director of Groundwork Labs.

“There is a feeling of energy and passion that we want the students to feel,” said Kelly. “We want our students to move as quickly as possible from classroom projects to solving big problems in the world. Visiting a place like the Underground helps in that transition.” 

Other field trips the Doherty Center has sponsored this semester include trips to the Duke Challenge and HQ Raleigh.

Alyssa Baxter,
12/2/2013 1:15 PM