GWU Entrepreneurship Week 2019


October 1 – 5

What good is an idea if it remains an idea?  Try.  Experiment.  Iterate.  Fail.  Try again.  
Change the world.

– Simon Sinek 

Imagine an event that bridges every corner of the university in order to solve real world problems and create positive change. GW is fortunate to have a wide variety of opportunities and programs related to entrepreneurship that foster collaboration and innovation, but we envision one central event, an annual GW Entrepreneurship Week, that will focus on people, connections, and ideas in one space, for the university and the community. 

GW Entrepreneurship Week

We want to create a week in October that is essentially the “destination event” for established entrepreneurs and those interested in entrepreneurship for the region. GW’s has established itself as a leader in this regard, and we want to build upon this reputation. This week will increase awareness, opportunities, education, and funding for members of the GW community while driving entrepreneurial behaviors and creating measurable results. We intend to stimulate engagement and collaboration during this week in an environment that promotes a diversity of thought and perspective and provides networking opportunities as well as idea generation for interested participants.  This week will also stimulate excitement about the Global Entrepreneurship Week that occurs annually in November. 

By building upon the popularity of existing programs and events, and potentially working with the Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence, ICSB, GW Global Entrepreneurship & Research Conference, GWU Entrepreneurship Week would provide an opportunity for those interested parties from many disciplines, both throughout GWU and within the local and regional community, to come together in time and space; for a much anticipated and comprehensive experience which does not yet exist. As participants gather for these events, GW Entrepreneurship Week will provide the spark between participants and will be meaningful for the community and beyond.

The Event

Given the wide range of resources that may be available, we can imagine an event possibly including but not limited to, keynote speakers, moderated panel discussions, mentoring and networking events, competitions, and workshops, and honors/awards. We envision a robust social media component to drive awareness and education, possibly with the help of student, faculty, and community influencers. Our event will be directed by the current interests of our audience, and appeal to a wide range of participants from each school within the university, and from the public and private sectors. Because we happen to reside in the epicenter of policy creation in a city that also struggles with significant economic and social challenges, GW’s Entrepreneurship Week would be positioned to act as an incubator for dialogue and positive impact. 

The First Year

Goals for the first GW Entrepreneurship Week will be modest but with a broad topic variety. We will focus on helping participants understand the entrepreneurial landscape of GW and the region, but also intend to promote lasting connections and build bridges between university silos and further collaborate with the surrounding community. Once awareness and interest is achieved, we plan to refine our efforts and eventually scale the event for future growth.

Project Summary

GW strives to create an environment where entrepreneurship flourishes. In order to focus these efforts, a week long annual event has been conceived and is proposed for October 2019. It will serve as a touchpoint and destination for all who are interested in entrepreneurial activities, and provide training, collaboration, and inspiration for those who may not yet see themselves as entrepreneurs. By offering a wide variety of events, GW’s Annual Entrepreneurship Week will serve to create a space that would combine the numerous sectors of the university and community, increasing the reach and scope of entrepreneurship at all levels. Not only is this event well-aligned with the strategy and values of GWU, but it also enables GW to further position themselves as a beacon for innovative ideas and attract those who possess a passion for creating value for their industries, their communities, and the world. 

Over time, this week’s impact on the culture of the institution, as well as the degree to which interdisciplinary alliances may be formed, should not be underestimated. Using entrepreneurship as a bridge, our plan is to bring our entire GW family together with the community for synergy and advancement. By encouraging GW’s seven values of integrity, collaboration, respect, excellence, openness, diversity, and courage, to flourish in this new space, meaningful and exciting entrepreneurial activities will be sure to follow.

TEAM

GW Entrepreneurship Week Chair: 

Dr. Ayman El Tarabishy
Email: ayman@ gwu.edu

GW Entrepreneurship School of Business Lead: 

Dr. George Solomon
Email: gsolomon@gwu.edu

STUDENT TEAM

Alexandra Curatolo
acuratolo@gwu.edu

Jessica Lazerov
jlazerov@gwu.edu

Brandi Cook
brandi.cook@gwu.edu