February 9, 2016

'Startup Vikes' gives opportunity to entrepreneurs

For the third year in a row, Cleveland State University will give entrepreneurs an opportunity to learn how to launch a business during Startup Vikes, scheduled for Feb. 19 to 21 in Fenn Tower.

Sponsored in part by the Monte Ahuja College of Business and Washkewicz College of Engineering, among others, Startup Vikes brings together developers, marketers and startup enthusiasts so they can collaborate to share ideas, build products and launch startups.

It is open to Cleveland State students and alumni, as well as the community.

“This is not just a College of Business event,” Heather Schlosser, marketing communication manager for the College of Business, said.

“Entrepreneurship is for anyone," she continued. "You could be a sociology major and have a great idea for a social enterprise or a service-oriented business that you want to turn your degree into.”

Schlosser assures participants that they don’t need to have an idea coming into the event. The three-day event allows for those attending to rapidly test new ideas.

On Friday, participants will pitch ideas for products and services, followed by the formation of teams of three to six people.

Saturday is full of workshops and activities that give the teams an opportunity to make their financial plans, presentations, field plans and designs.

On Sunday night, participants give final presentations in front of a judge’s panel and winners are awarded.

This year, in addition to a cash prize, the first place team will receive time at Cleveland State’s Small Business Development Center, as well as time at FlashStart Labs, a new Cleveland pre-accelerator program.

“It’s a pathway to get that limited liability company in place, get your bank account in place, get your cash infusion and kind of get rolling with your business,” Schlosser explained.

The event also gives companies a chance to look at their business in a different way.

Last year Startup Vikes had 89 participants.

Two student winners from Startup Vikes 2015 are still thriving, according to Schlosser.

Anthony Gasparro, a junior general business major at Cleveland State, kickstarted his business Puppy Match — a puppy concierge service — and Brandyn Armstrong, a part-time junior management major, brought the Studio Stick — a portable music studio — alive at the previous Startup Vikes event.

Students can register at startupvikes.com for $49.


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'Startup Vikes' gives opportunity to entrepreneurs




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