5 Things Student Entrepreneurs Should Take Advantage of Before They Graduate

The Institute provides help with business plan development, validation opportunities, networking, and much more.

1)The Entrepreneurship Institute. Making an appointment with the Entrepreneurship Institute is a great way to get general advice if you are in the beginning stages of starting your business venture. The Institute allows you to sit down and talk with a seasoned entrepreneur and get feedback on your ideas and a sense of direction to what your next step should be. The Institute provides help with business plan development, validation opportunities, networking, and much more. The Entrepreneurship Institute will start students on the right path and connect them with other professionals to get their ideas to the next level.

2) Networking Opportunities. Successful entrepreneurs, business people, and CEOs are on campus weekly to give lectures or to participate in events. Students have many opportunities to talk with these guests and even have lunch with them. The Entrepreneurship and Executive Lecture Classes provide students two opportunities a week to meet and talk with guest lecturers. Keeping an eye out for lecture and event schedules can give you the opportunity to get advice from professionals, possibly peak the interest of potential investors, or even receive a job offer.

3) Entrepreneurial Competitions & Events. UVU hosts several entrepreneurial events and competitions annually. Some events include; Opportunity Quest, The Utah Innovation Challenge, Social Innovation Challenge, VentureCon, and Speed Mentoring. All of these events give student entrepreneurs real pitching and business planning experience as well as the chance to win thousands of dollars in prize or seed funding money. Events are open to all students in any stage of their business venture. Participating in an entrepreneurial competition not only gives students experience, but is a platform to validate ideas, get valuable feedback, and make connections with possible investors from the beginning. Take advantage of these competitions while you are still in school to get as much feedback as possible for free on your ideas.

4) Seed Funding: Utah Valley University recognizes the growth of entrepreneurship and wants to support student entrepreneurs as much as possible. New seed funding programs such as the Ross Fund, the Zinn Starter Fund, and the Wolverine Fund have recently been introduced in an effort to increase the excitement and progress of entrepreneurship on campus. Student entrepreneurs are awarded money from these funds by participating in certain competitions or enrolling in specific entrepreneurial skill building classes. These funds are only available to students so it is critical for entrepreneurs to obtain as much seed funding to start and grow their business before they graduate. The Big Ideas Challenge program also awards students with innovative ideas $100. Several ideas are selected each month, if your idea is chosen there is a good chance it is worth perusing.

5) The Business Resource Center. The BRC is not limited to just students, however it is still an amazing resource for students to use. Like the Entrepreneurship Institute, the BRC is a resource center for entrepreneurs that will connect them with other professionals who can help entrepreneurs with specific needs as well as give advice on next steps. The BRC is geared to help those who’s business idea is well developed, but still needs some work. Classes and workshops are offered to give entrepreneurs the skills they need to be successful.