Summer Catalyst: Week 8
Resilience plays an important role in the entrepreneurial journey. Being able to bounce back from challenges, learn from mistakes, and pivot in new directions are essential for progress and growth. During Week 8, the Summer Catalyst entrepreneurs learned more about the importance of resilience while engaging in Lunch & Learn sessions, Coffee Meetups, Creative Consultations, Hot Seat sessions, and Office Hours with experts.
Let’s dive right in:
During Team Updates, Summer Catalyst ventures asked questions about incorporating their companies, connecting with business partners, engaging in customer discovery, and improving their websites. The entrepreneurs also attended legal office hours with Patrick Connolly, an attorney who advises startups on early-stage business matters, venture financing, and commercial transactions.
On Tuesday, Dan Edlebeck MBA’21 was in the Hot Seat pitching Exidio, a company that builds open-sourced, distributed VPN applications for enterprises and individuals. To learn more about Exidio and Dan’s entrepreneurial journey, check out this Summer Catalyst Startup Profile that I wrote.
Afterwards, Executive Director Debi Kleiman hosted a meeting on How to Handle Investor Q&A. Debi shared ways to prepare for and handle the Q&A session that typically follows a pitch to investors. I also led another session of Creative Consultations to advise the entrepreneurs on creative topics including website design, social media, written content, visuals, and more.
On Wednesday, the Summer Catalyst teams engaged in an inspiring Lunch & Learn session on Resilience, Pivoting, and Bouncing Back with Diane Hessan. Diane discussed her own entrepreneurial journey while sharing words of wisdom and key lessons learned. Here are some of the highlights: when faced with challenges, stay strong, learn from mistakes, and explore new possibilities. Stay open to the possibility of pivoting into a different direction, and recognize that it’s okay to not have it all figured out. Tough times build your character; it’s true in life and in business.
Later in the day, I hosted a brainstorming session. During this unique session, Summer Catalyst entrepreneurs and Blank Center team members reflected on the virtual experience, discussed feedback, and brainstormed creative ways to bring programming and events online in the upcoming academic year.
Alex Wu ‘21 was in the Hot Seat pitching CNF/Rhino Industries, a company that develops carbon negative composite materials used to replace carbon positive materials. Afterwards, Alex entered a rebuild session with peers and mentors to discuss ways to improve his pitch.
Summer Catalyst Director, Bob Stringer hosted a Coffee Meetup with Liz Powers, Co-Founder and Chief Happiness Spreader of ArtLifting, a company that connects socially conscious businesses with talented artists that are impacted by homelessness or disabilities. Teams learned about her venture, asked questions, and gained valuable insights.
What’s in store for next week?
Week 9 is the home stretch of Summer Catalyst. The entrepreneurs will attend Team Updates, Hot Seat, Creative Consultations, and a Lunch and Learn session on Startup Culture with Bob Stringer. They will also participate in rehearsals and finalize their pitches in preparation for the Summer Catalyst Showcase on August 6th. To join the event, register here and watch the teams pitch on Facebook Live!