March 22, 2013

Speed Networking

Wentworth and Emerson students exchange ideas during an Accelerate networking event

Wentworth and Emerson students nervously shuffled into the room, business cards in hand. They hoped to make connections with each other during the Speed Networking event hosted by Accelerate, Wentworth’s innovation and entrepreneurship challenge.

Gathered in Wentworth’s Innovation Space, 23 Wentworth students from 11 Accelerate teams and 13 Emerson students shared ideas and discussed business plans for their startups. The goal of the night was to bring together entrepreneurs from different disciplines and colleges to help one another push forward business ideas.

This was a lot to accomplish in the five minutes students had at each station. But it came with benefits.

“It’s an amazing opportunity for them to see a different angle and a different perspective on their ideas,” said Monique Fuchs, associate vice president of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Tory Lam, a senior architecture major at Wentworth, kept the big picture in mind as he tested out his team’s CareEz product—an inexpensive foldable carrying device to transport chipboard and design materials in urban environments.

“We’re trying to get an understanding of how to better ourselves and work towards our final goal of getting this on the market,” he said.

And Jessica Joseph, a senior marketing communications major at Emerson, was excited to receive feedback on her startup.

“I’m interested in meeting other entrepreneurs,” she said. “Networking is everything and I think this event will help me get my idea out there.”

Monique Fuchs hoped they would help students prepare for Pitchfest on April 9, an event in which the Accelerate students pitch their startup ideas to a panel of judges, including Wentworth alumni, trustees, and other entrepreneurs from the Boston community. The judges decide which teams will receive funding. 

“Every time they do it, they get better at it,” Fuchs said. “They get questions that they haven’t thought about, helping them to recognize holes in their business plans and allowing them to make their ideas stronger.”

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