Entrepreneurship is becoming a way of life at the University of Virginia. Four members of the entrepreneurial ecosystem describe how.

by Kyle Bye

Entrepreneurship is increasingly becoming a fundamental force at the University of Virginia. Students are placed within an environment that fosters innovation and permits students to follow their respective entrepreneurial aspirations. They are provided with the resources necessary to develop their ideas, and funneled through a series of channels that help bring these ideas into fruition. In this video, we are brought through this funnel as we learn about the growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at UVA from several individuals who are responsible for helping create it.

First we hear from Kyle Bye, the President of the Entrepreneurship Group at McIntire (EGM), a student-run organization that aims to provide students with a general understanding and appreciation of entrepreneurship. Kyle explains how this club helps students pursue entrepreneurship as a career path through experienced speakers, job opportunities, and a supportive community.

Next, we hear from student Joseph Linzon, who is the Founder and CEO of PowerSole, a shoe that creates electricity with each step its user takes. Having won the Galant Challenge, and coming runner up in the UVA E-Cup, Joseph provides us with a first hand account of the specific resources and opportunities provided by UVA to help financially facilitate and support the student’s entrepreneurial endeavors.

Nik Philipsen, third year Systems Engineering student, pitches a concept at the annual EGM Elevator Pitch Competition.

We then hear from Brendan Richardson, a McIntire School of Commerce professor who serves as the co-director of McIntire’s Galant Center for Entrepreneurship. Through the Galant Center, McIntire will develop innovative curricula, engage in significant research, and execute meaningful events that are essential in building the entrepreneurial leaders of tomorrow. Through Center-sponsored activities, students are exposed to new venture leaders who share both their successes and obstacles in entrepreneurial ventures.

Finally, Spencer Ingram presents Hack.Cville, an entrepreneurship start­up lab created by alumni and students to help accelerate UVA’s best entrepreneurs and fire them out of the aforementioned entrepreneurship funnel. Together they “hack” entrepreneurship by connecting student founders with a network of professionals and practical resources. This is truly where rubber meets road.

Fourth year student and Hack.Cville team member, Whit Hunter, concludes by presenting how the resources and mentorship at Hack.Cville have propelled his idea to the next level. Whit is the Founder of RestoreUVa.com, an online auction raising money for Rotunda restoration.

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