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Entrepreneurship Week 2021

SLU knows about innovation and entrepreneurship. As one of the first 25 schools in the world to teach entrepreneurship and create an entrepreneurship center, our campus has embraced innovation and start-up culture for decades.

At SLU entrepreneurship isn't just a “business school thing” - entrepreneurship content is found in over 170 courses across multiple disciplines and majors. The excitement for starting our own businesses, becoming a part of a new venture in a critical role, or supporting & engaging the St. Louis start-up ecosystem unites SLU students, faculty and alums in a unique way.

Join us this year during our first Virtual Entrepreneurship Week to celebrate that bond and network with faculty, students, alums and local start-ups.

Monday, April 12 - Kick-off Panel

6:00-8:00 p.m.

Join us as we kick-off a week of virtual events to introduce students to SLU’s entrepreneurship program, network, learn and engage in entrepreneurship competitions. Dr. Barnali Gupta, Edward Jones Dean of the Chaifetz School of Business, will provide a welcome message, followed by a discussion with a panel of SLU connected entrepreneurship experts.

Panelists include:

  • Jerry Katz - Brockhaus Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship at SLU
  • Khalia Collier - Vice President of Community Relations, St. Louis City FC
  • Austin Smith - Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Mission Control
  • Byron Abrigg - Founder & Chief Customer Officer of Mission Control
  • Sam Coleman - Senior, Finance & Entrepreneurship major & exiting President of SLU”s Entrepreneurship Club

Panel Moderated by Dom Heithus, CSB MACC Class of '21

Register for the Kick-Off Panel

Tuesday, April 13 - Virtual Billicon Valley

6:00-8:00 p.m.

Please join us for networking as a part of the return of Billicon Valley! Billicon Valley is SLU’s showcase Entrepreneurship event, hosted by the Chaifetz Center for Entrepreneurship, in partnership with the student led SLU Entrepreneurs' Club. While this event cannot be held in person his year, as it has in the past, we are excited to continue with a virtual event this semester. Join us via Zoom for informal networking, meet folks from the STL entrepreneurship ecosystem, and learn more about what St. Louis has to offer for supporting startups!

Breakout rooms will be hosted by:
Frank Hopper, Program Director - Capital Innovators
Ali Al Jabry, CEO at Kwema "Building Safer Communities" & Arch Grants Geospatial track winner
Tyler Mathews, Executive Director - Venture Cafe

Register for Virtual Billicon Valley

Wednesday, April 14 - Case Competition

6:00-8:00 p.m.

Hosted by the SLU Entrepreneurship Club, Saint Louis University undergraduate and graduate students are invited to participate in Entrepreneurship Week's 2021 Case Competition. Students can submit their best idea to help mend socioeconomic inequality through a through a revenue neutral or revenue generating venture with a video, slide. deck, infographic or paper.

Submit Your Idea by April 7

Three finalists will be selected from the submissions to pitch their idea live via Zoom on April 14 for a chance to win $6,000 in cash prizes.

Judges include:

  • Dr. Barnali Gupta, Edward Jones Dean at the Chaifetz School of Business
  • Dr. Ben Smyth, Service Leadership Program Manager at the Chaifetz School of Business
  • Dr. Rob Boyle, Assistant Dean at Chaifetz School of Business
  • Matt Menietti, Consultant at MLM, Startup ecosystem builder

*Note: The live event on April 14 is only open to finalists and judges.

Thursday, April 15 - Teen & College Elevator Pitch Contest

6:00-8:00 p.m.

Finalists in the Chaifetz Center for Entrepreneurship's 2021 Teen and College Elevator Pitch Competitions will make live pitches via Zoom to a panel of judges for their chance to win more than $8,000 in cash prizes. Five finalists in the high school/teen contest will make their pitches between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Five college finalists will make their pitches between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Judges include:

  • Dr. Scott Duellman - Interim Dean of Parks College and Alfred V. Dunkin Endowed Professor in Accounting at the Chaifetz School of Business
  • Dr. Jerry Katz, Brockhaus Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship at the Chaifetz School of Business
  • Gideon Kotkowski, Head of Talent at Balto
  • Laura Burkemper, CEO at the Catalyst Center, LLC
  • Dr. Rob Boyle, Assistant Dean at Chaifetz School of Business

This year's finalists were selected from more than 50 submissions. Learn more about how to participate in next year's Chaifetz Center for Entrepreneurship high school or college competitions.

*Note: The live event on April 15 is only open to finalists and judges.

Friday, April 16 - Keynote with Jim Kavanaugh & Fireside Chats

2021 Virtual Entrepreneurship Week 2021 concludes with a keynote address and a series of fireside chats hosted in small groups by St. Louis entrepreneurs.

6:00-7:00 p.m. - Keynote with Jim Kavanaugh

Jim Kavanaugh, (CSB '86), is the CEO and co-founder of World Wide Technology and member of the Saint Louis University Board of Trustees. Following the keynote address, winners of Entrepreneurship Week's case competition and elevator pitch contests will be announced.

Register for the Keynote

7:00-8:00 p.m. - Fireside Chats with St. Louis Entrepreneurs

The final events of 2021 Virtual Entrepreneurship Week, fireside chats will provide an opportunity to get to know leaders in entrepreneurship in a small group setting. These chats will be a chance to ask questions and interact in a less formal setting. Participation is limited to the first 20 registrants for each chat.

5 UX Tips for Tech Founders with Shanae Chapman

Register for the Fireside Chat with Shanae

Women in Entrepreneurship with Jennifer Ehlen

Register for Fireside Chat with Jennifer

The Career Toolkit, Essential Skills for Success That No One taught You with Mark Herschberg

Register for the Fireside Chat with Mark

Overcoming Fear-Based Thinking - From Pitching to Your Big Official Launch with John Launius

Register for the Fireside Chat with John

Think Like a Futurist with Jeremy Nulick

Register for the Fireside Chat with Jeremy

What’s in it for students?

Learn about the entrepreneurship program, meet faculty and current students, connect with alums who have successful businesses in the start-up space and meet with local start-up owners to learn more about their businesses.

What’s in it for businesses?

Connect with SLU’s entrepreneurship community, meet with students from a variety of academic disciplines interested in working for start-ups, promote your business.