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So … you think you may be an entrepreneur?!

Posted: August 26, 2015

Get involved with the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program at the College of Agricultural Sciences and find out! This fall, there are many options to develop your inner entrepreneur.
E&I Coordinator Mark Gagnon (left) and E&I Director Dan Azzara (right) are ready to help students and faculty explore entrepreneurship this fall.

E&I Coordinator Mark Gagnon (left) and E&I Director Dan Azzara (right) are ready to help students and faculty explore entrepreneurship this fall.

The Entrepreneurship and Innovation ("E&I") program at the College of Agricultural Sciences sparks, nurtures and encourages entrepreneurs and innovators in the agricultural sciences.

Entrepreneurs are people who see problems and solve them. They create new businesses, new ways to do things, new products and new services. They take risks -- often very big risks.

They are people who work for themselves -- like family farmers -- and people who start their own businesses, but they especially are people who start totally new kinds of businesses or social enterprises and innovate.

Entrepreneurs create transformative change and make us rethink things.

This fall, there are many options to explore your inner entrepreneur:

  • Join us for the Harbaugh Entrepreneurship Forum, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 6 p.m., 262 Willard Building, to meet entrepreneurs and hear their stories.
  • Check out Ag Springboard and how to win $7,500 to launch your idea in the annual E&I student business pitch competition. Info sessions will be held Tuesday, Sept. 1 at 4:30 in 6 Armsby and Thursday, Sept. 17 at 4:30 in 6 Armsby. Teams are forming this semester for the spring competition.
  • You'll find us at Ag Career Day, at the Bryce Jordan Center, Tuesday, Oct. 20.
  • Plan to attend a Global Entrepreneurship Week event at Penn State, Nov. 15 - 20
  • Connect with E&I Director Dan Azzara or E&I Coordinator Mark Gagnon by e-mail or by stopping at 6 Armsby. Our program provides one-on-one mentoring.

"We have developed an exciting list of E&I activities for the fall," says Azzara, also the Alan R. Warehime Professor of Agribusiness. "Take advantage of these opportunities and work with other entrepreneurs. If you want to learn more, stop by Room 6 Armsby Building and we will be glad to discuss what's right for you this semester."

The world needs entrepreneurs and innovators in the agricultural sciences to help solve big problems: How will we feed a rising global population of more 7 billion people and still have clean water and healthy soil?

Byproducts, energy, ecosystems, sustainability, food, community development, wildlife management, forestry -- these are all areas of agricultural sciences with plenty of problems to solve.

The E&I Program encourages students and faculty to pitch new ideas and think of themselves as potential entrepreneurs. Take a first step. We can help you with the next ones.

Getting involved is a great way to show your Penn State pride, as President Barron's Invent Penn State initiative is committed to help Penn State lead innovation and economic development

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep tabs on events, and the latest with student and faculty start-up companies -- and find out what entrepreneurship means for you!