The Vanderbilt Entrepreneurship Conference will take place at the Student Life Center (SLC) on Jan. 10 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The conference will be hosted by the Vanderbilt Center for Entrepreneurship (C4E). Staff from the Wond’ry will help moderate panels and will host an after-party from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The second year of this conference will feature speakers and panelists covering topics such as venture capital, start-ups and entrepreneurial job search tips. Speakers include Brian Fox, founder of Confirmation; Eric Budin, director of Touchdown Ventures; and Liza Graves, co-founder of StyleBluePrint. Tickets are still available as of the release of this article for Vanderbilt undergraduate and graduate students, staff and other faculty. The tickets will require a 25 dollar deposit that will be refunded at check-in of the event. In addition, there is a separate event for undergraduate students with panelists and internships q&a from 10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m., which requires only a student ID. Breakfast and lunch will be provided for attendees of the full conference.
Current Vanderbilt MBA student Colleen Flynn is on the planning board of the conference and hopes that the conference can connect current Vanderbilt students to professionals in the start-up space. She is facilitating this connection with internship coordinators from Launch Tennessee and Nashville Entrepreneurship Center along with panelists from various start-ups and venture capitalist firms.
“Oftentimes, the process for getting experience or getting involved in the start-up space is little bit non-traditional from other industry recruitment processes,” Flynn said.
Flynn thinks that exposure to the start-up space is important for undergraduates, especially while they’re still in school.
“In the world we live in, companies that have started in garages and basements have grown to scale and really impacted our lives. I think being able to see how it’s like on the ground floor and how investors are building up these companies is really ideal.” Flynn said.
For students to get involved in entrepreneurship, some Vanderbilt hotspots that Flynn recommends to students include C4E, the Wond’ry, Owen Venture and Entrepreneurship Club (OVEC) and Vanderbilt Innovation and Entrepreneurship Society (VINES).
Flynn is excited about how quickly the entrepreneurship scene in Nashville is growing and hopeful about the future of entrepreneurship in the Music City.
“There’s a lot of both government support and local interest in this town. Overall, Nashville is growing by leaps and bounds, and it has a largely young population of people who are looking for tech. innovation both for jobs and to implement in their daily lives,” Flynn said.