Lewis & Clark Winterim students learn from Portland’s entrepreneurial community
What happens when you put 22 students from all academic disciplines together for a week with seven speakers, seven mentors and six judges? You get a deep dive into the principles of entrepreneurship, and everyone learns and creates together!
Our Center for Entrepreneurship Winterim 2016 participants were blown away by what they managed to accomplish in five days. Starting from scratch, they learned from local business experts including Abel Navarrete, Columbia Sportswear’s Senior Director of Product Compliance, Michelle Lantow, CFO of New Seasons Markets, and Impact Investing visionary Jed Emerson ’81.
Groups of three students focused on developing innovations in health, environment and consumer products. The intensive week ended with a Friday afternoon pitch challenge during which each group presented their venture to venture investment professionals including Jim Huston, Founder and Managing Director of the Portland Seed Fund, Linda Weston, the Executive Director of Oregon Entrepreneurs Network, Starla Goff from the Paulson Investment Company, serial entrepreneur Steve Hopkins, Cliff Johnson, co-founder and CDO of Vacasa, and entrepreneur and angel investor Justin Curzi.
The pitch projects are not being set aside now that the week is over—several groups have been encouraged to submit their entrepreneurial ideas to the Portland CleanTech Challenge, which focuses on solutions to environmental challenges. Others are planning to submit their ideas to the Social Pitch at Hatch Innovation, a nonprofit focused on helping social entrepreneurs launch businesses. Still others are discussing internships and summer jobs with the mentors, speakers and judges who visited campus during Winterim.
Winterim provides an opportunity for Lewis & Clark students to learn from, work with and present to members of Portland’s vibrant entrepreneurial community. The entrepreneurial volunteers love to visit campus, engage with our students and help them shape their education and envision their futures. And that is what happens when 22 Lewis & Clark undergraduates spend an intensive week with a host of expert volunteers at the Center for Entrepreneurship’s Winterim—it’s the practical application of the liberal arts!