The spring semester is coming to a close, and USC NOBE decided to go out with a bang last Wednesday night, as we co-hosted a large peer-peer networking event with USC E-CLUB and USC EVMA. Startup Equinox was a huge success! Attendance was wonderful, and around 30 student innovators got a chance to pitch their ideas to fellow students and aspiring entrepreneurs. Ideas discussed included various social media management platforms, new ways to advertise just around campus, a mobile app devoted to personal style advice/suggestions, a website for finding a weekend pet sitter, and even physical devices such as a bike lock encompassing the entire bike instead of one part of it. Kriztina ‘Z’ Holly, Vice Provost of Innovation for USC and Executive Director of the Stevens Institute for Innovation, gave a fascinating keynote speech highlighting her own path as an innovator and entrepreneur, while encouraging others to find their own paths to success.
'Z' Holly Keynote
Both Holly and IML professor Jerry Cohen (one of the organizers of the event) repeatedly stressed the importance of following through on one’s ideas. They both expressed the similar sentiment that while most ideas are not unique, what is unique is the way in which their creators pursue turning those ideas into reality. After the keynote and idea pitches, students were given a chance to network with one another. Fine arts, business, and technical students were all given different colored wristbands so as to be easily distinguishable in the crowd. The goal was for those students with ideas/preexisting businesses or companies to be able to easily find the help they needed to take their idea or business to the next level. During their pitches, many students expressed needs for developers, designers, or marketing help etc. During the networking portion of the event, students that fit the needs of their peers were given a chance to introduce themselves and form new relationships, and perhaps even fresh ideas.
MBA student and EVMA president Matt Lucido pitches his idea, "Stampede," to the audience
Overall, the event was a great success, bringing together a diverse group of students from a wide array of academic and personal backgrounds in the spirit of entrepreneurialism, thereby spurring inspiration. NOBE greatly looks forward to hosting this event again next year, and to making it even bigger and better than before.
While this was our last networking event for the year, we have an info session with LinkedIn, the ongoing NOBE national stock market game, and the final general meeting for the year in April.