Brandeis Innovation

Brandeis Innovation Entrepreneurship Mixer

Brandeis Innovation Entrepreneurship Mixer

On Tuesday, September 19, nearly 60 students from across campus gathered at the Mandel Forum for Brandeis Innovation’s annual Entrepreneurship Mixer. Attendees were eager to learn more about the entrepreneurial ecosystem within the university. The event marked the first of Brandeis Innovation's fall programming, providing opportunities for students to engage with the entrepreneurial community on campus. The Mixer allowed students to learn about resources available for aspiring business owners, and gain insights on launching a successful venture.

The event was opened by Brandeis Innovation's Spark Program Manager, Juan Giraldo, who shared his excitement for the growing interest in entrepreneurship among students at Brandeis. He emphasized the importance of fostering an entrepreneurial mindset in students, regardless of their field of study. Many successful businesses and start-ups have been founded by individuals with diverse backgrounds, proving that entrepreneurship is not limited to a specific area or industry.

The Entrepreneurship Mixer featured updates from Brandeis organizations with an entrepreneurial focus, each sharing their opportunities:

 Brandeis Innovation staff first introduced the many opportunities to learn about startups, gain entrepreneurship skills and potentially win funding to start their own businesses through the Spark program. They also were encouraged to apply to be an NSF I-Corps fellow to join teams led by Brandeis researchers wanting to discover product-market fit of their lab technologies. 

Eyal Cohen, president of the BETA (Brandeis Entrepreneurship and Technology Association) club spoke about the numerous activities planned for members this year including trips to New York and California to visit select startups. 

Ian Roy, Director for Research Technology and Innovation, summarized the opportunities for students to explore 3-d printing at the Maker Lab and AR/VR in the automation lab and described their annual DeisHacks event happening next semester. 

Finally, Mar Manolioudaki, a representative from the Asper Center for Entrepreneurship at the Brandeis International Business School spoke about their Pitch Summit happening next semester open to all university students.

The program concluded with Spark winner Sam Aronson, who demonstrated his prototype guitar made from an invasive tree species. He spoke about his journey starting with winning the Heller Startup Challenge last year, going on to Spark, and now being at the early stages of starting a company based around his love of music and social impact idea of removing invasive species to make guitars, thereby reducing the need to use commercial lumber. He even played a few tunes for the audience to enjoy! 

The Spark program is a key component of Brandeis Innovation's Virtual Incubator. Its focus is supporting startups and other innovation initiatives growing from non-bench research. Each spring, students, faculty and staff with ideas for new businesses, social enterprises or creative projects can pitch their ideas to a panel of judges for a chance to win up to $5,000 in seed funding at SparkTank, Brandeis' innovation pitch competition. Additionally, the Virtual Incubator also offers mentorship and resources for participants to develop their ideas into successful businesses. This allows students to apply their academic knowledge and skills in a practical way, while also fostering an entrepreneurial ecosystem on campus.

The Entrepreneurship Mixer is just one example of the many events and opportunities available to students interested in entrepreneurship at Brandeis. Through these programs, students can gain valuable skills and experiences that will benefit them in any career path they choose. Whether it's through attending workshops, participating in hackathons, or applying for funding, Brandeis provides a supportive environment for innovation and entrepreneurship to thrive.

The mixer concluded with attendees enjoying snacks, networking, and looking forward to participating in the multitude of opportunities within the Brandeis entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Join the Spark Program

Whether you have a business idea, scientific discovery, or creative project, there are resources and programs available to help you turn your ideas into reality. Join the vibrant entrepreneurial community at Brandeis and see where your journey takes you! Our next event, Pitch for Pizza, on Wednesday, October 18, will give you the opportunity to practice your entrepreneurial pitching skills, network with fellow students, and enjoy some refreshments. 

Register Now