During the first week of August, the University of Akron hosted the eighth annual Entrepreneurship Immersion Week. The competition is sponsored by the Entrepreneurship Education Consortium. The EEC is a group of entrepreneurship directors from 11 universities across Northeast Ohio.
Every year, the EEC hosts the event with the goal of educating entrepreneurship students through a variety of lectures, guest speakers and a group project for each team.
Representatives from John Carroll University have attended the immersion week since EEC first started in 2007. While JCU has placed every year, this was the first year a team came home with the gold. JCU was represented by seniors Rachel Distler, Carolyn Kriebel, Matthew Sokol and junior Angelica Bucci.
The students experienced a week filled with lectures on everything from team building to venture capitalists. The goal of the week was for each team of students to create some product or service and present the idea to a panel of six judges.
After brainstorming and perfecting their presentation, the JCU students came up with the winning idea of creating a pair of underwear with a second inner lining marketed towards young girls on their period. The group named the product “Confidence,” and based their presentation on the goal of empowering young females.
“In my opinion, our presentation was flawless,” said Distler. “The judges were impressed with our professionalism while talking about a taboo topic, and announced our win as ‘the most courageous team in the room.’”
Not only were the students awarded with a check of $2,500 to divvy up amongst themselves, but they also left the competition with a product that could prove to be successful in the future.
Bucci said that the team plans on meeting soon to decide what to do with their product.
Every year, five new students are selected to compete at the immersion week. Therefore, this year’s team is not eligible to compete next year. However, they can mentor future JCU teams.
Bucci encourages aspiring entrepreneurs to get involved with the program. “I learned a ton about working on a team and what it means to be an entrepreneur. While I can’t compete at the event again, I would highly recommend it to anyone with an entrepreneurship minor.”