Entrepreneurs Support Startup Collaborations at Manhattan

By, Nicole Fitzsimmons & Isaiah Rosario, News Editor & Staff Writer

Manhattan College is launching a new program for entrepreneurs on campus titled “Entrepreneurs@MC” where students can collaborate on new business ideas and gain entrepreneurial skills that will help them in the future.

Made possible by Mike Kelly ‘80, managing partner of Yellow Thread Ventures as well as a member of the O’Malley School of Business advisory board, Entrepreneurs@MC can be the newest outlet for the various students on campus who are eager to invest in themselves.

“I think there’s a ton of students on campus who have an entrepreneurial way of thinking or a self-starter mindset,” said Caroline Voigt, president of the Entrepreneurship Club. “And also, people have connections with local family businesses that they run, or things that they started with friends or a special hobby. All of that, you can push given the right resources which is great that Manhattan can provide with this.”

Entrepreneurs@MC will allow students with new business ideas to engage in startup workshops, connect with mentors to speak about their ideas, work in teams and compete for funding in the college’s Innovation Challenge. Open to any major on campus, the program is looking to establish an entrepreneurial force on campus for all students.

“The purpose of Entrepreneurs@MC is to really give all students on campus an opportunity to learn about internship entrepreneurship to potentially start their own business, to connect with alumni entrepreneur mentors who can be helpful, and to be part of a student network of other students who want to work in entrepreneurship,” said Donald Gibson, Ph.D., dean of the O’Malley School of Business. “So, I really see this as a benefit for the whole college.”

Winston Peters ‘02, professor of marketing and management at Manhattan, who is also the founding partner of the NYC-based consultancy, MyÜberLife Consulting Group, will be leading the program and is excited to see how the program will enable students to figure out their passions on all sides of the business industry.

“Looking at what the program can offer to students is understanding that students can fall into three buckets,” Peters said. “One, students who want to be entrepreneurs themselves, to the second bucket meeting students who just want to learn more about entrepreneurship. Three, students who want to have a startup experience who don’t want to actually be a founder, but actually just want to work for a startup. I think we can offer all three, and understanding that having these entrepreneurial skills can translate into your professional career, whether you start your own business or work in a corporate environment.”

Students involved in the program are also encouraged to compete for startup funding by participating in Manhattan College’s Innovation Challenge. The final competition for the Innovation Challenge would take place on March 29, 2022. The final price would be $10,000 which would go straight to the startup for your business.

“What I look for is a concise, well thought out idea. Not just a cool idea, but understanding the financial budgetary constraints as well, making sure that I’m just taking understand that they have done their research, understanding their who their customer is, what problem they are solving, what value that they’re adding to the market as well as [what] will be their financial expenditures that they need to actually operate your business and how are they going to market their business as well,” Peters said.

Workshops for the Innovation Challenge began in September. October’s workshop is going to be focused on developing your business idea, November’s workshop is focused on marketing your business, and lastly, the December workshop is focused on budgeting and finance.

“By the time students get to March, they’re really prepared to present their business to real judges who will determine the win[ner],” Gibson said.

The program plans to pair with Fordham University in the Battle of the Bronx in a shark tank-like competition to promote further engagement with the goals of the program.

“I’m just excited to welcome anyone who, who has ideas and wants to work on a potential business, you can be at any stage in the process,” Gibson said. “The great part about it is we have faculty and professional mentors who can help you along. And so I think this is a great opportunity.”

For any students with interest in joining Entrepreneurs@MC, registration is officially open on https:// manhattan.edu/academics/ schools-and-departments/ school-of-business/Innovation-Challenge/index.php.