I just came back from the
Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization's national conference. It was a great opportunity, to learn from some of the best innovators around. Attendees included the founder of redbox, the CEO of priceline.com, Jimmy John Liautaud (owner of Jimmy John's), and numerous other entrepreneurs and innovators that shape the world we live in today.
It is hard to even begin to talk about all the things I learned while I was there. It was also inspiring to see all the hundreds of college students who came from all over the United States (some even from abroad, including Australia!). Beyond learning same great life lessons and insider tips about software marketing, prototyping, international data businesses and business plans (hint: the most successful people said not to write them!), I learned about some great fundraising and recruitment ideas that students at CEO chapters have done in the past, which our club will be trying out as well.
One of the most intriguing things I learned was where we, the members of the Innovators Club, fit into the established profiles of "entrepreneurship" type clubs. I learned that we offer something slightly different, which is a place to develop ideas and work on actual innovative products, patents, and businesses. The CEO organization offers the tools to help students build a foundation to become entrepreneurs in the future, with an emphasis on encouraging students to become entrepreneurs during college. This may be a subtle distinction, but I believe it is an important one, and hopefully as we grow and develop, we will be able to offer something unique to students. It is my belief that when we one day become as developed as the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization, we will be able to complement all the great work that they are doing, and perhaps work with them in the future, as I think that the more that different groups and organizations work together, the more that we can all work to encourage innovation and empowering students to make their ideas a reality.