“Global Entre­pre­neur­ship Week was a resounding suc­cess in bringing together our stu­dents, alumni, fac­ulty, and friends who are inter­ested and invested in the entre­pre­neurial ecosystem here at North­eastern,” said fac­ulty member Dan Gre­gory, co-​​director of the North­eastern Uni­ver­sity Center for Entre­pre­neur­ship Edu­ca­tion. “I am con­fi­dent that the dis­cus­sions and excite­ment of this week will con­tinue to grow and thrive here on campus and beyond.”

“We're excited to take what we learned from this year's events to build a bigger and better Global Entre­pre­neur­ship Week in 2014.”

Global Entre­pre­neur­ship Week is the world's largest cel­e­bra­tion of inno­va­tors and entre­pre­neurs. More than 130 coun­tries par­tic­i­pate in the annual series, which is spon­sored by the Kauffman Foun­da­tion. At North­eastern, each day of Entre­pre­neur­ship Week had a theme based on mile­stones in the ven­ture process: Monday's theme was Edu­cate, Tuesday's was Incu­bate, and Wednesday's was Launch. 

“This week will shine a bright light on the entre­pre­neur­ship and inno­va­tion ecosystem we've put together here,” said Richard D'Amore, BA'76, co-​​founder and gen­eral partner of North Bridge Ven­ture Part­ners, at a kickoff recep­tion Monday night. Last year, a record $60 mil­lion gift from D'Amore and fellow alumnus Alan McKim, MBA'88, named the D'Amore-McKim School of Busi­ness.

In his keynote address, D'Amore noted that entre­pre­neur­ship is a clichéd term nowa­days. But it's also one that he said describes per­fectly Northeastern's surging momentum in areas such as use-​​inspired research, global lead­er­ship in expe­ri­en­tial edu­ca­tion, and cre­ating an entre­pre­neurial ecosystem across the university.

“What does it mean?” he asked. “My def­i­n­i­tion is inno­va­tion that cap­i­tal­izes on change to create value. To me, that's the def­i­n­i­tion of how North­eastern has driven its progress.”

Throughout the week, atten­dees learned about student-​​led efforts such as the ven­ture accel­er­ator IDEA and the North­eastern Entre­pre­neurs Club, along with exam­ples of how stu­dents and fac­ulty have part­nered with star­tups. They were intro­duced to other resources and pro­grams such as the Center for Research Inno­va­tion and the Health Sci­ences Entre­pre­neurs pro­gram, and they caught a glimpse of exciting new and growing star­tups devel­oped by stu­dents and alumni at Demo Day and NEXPO.

Marc Meyer, the Robert J. Shillman Pro­fessor of Entre­pre­neur­ship, a Matthews Dis­tin­guished Uni­ver­sity Pro­fessor, and founder of Northeastern's Entre­pre­neur­ship and Inno­va­tion Group, offered a call to action: for fac­ulty, alumni, industry leaders, and even stu­dents to seek out ways to get involved in these pro­grams and initiatives.

Mean­while, a range of pow­erful and infor­ma­tive panel dis­cus­sions throughout the week offered advice and tips for entre­pre­neurs young and old on a range of topics. They included intel­lec­tual prop­erty strate­gies for young star­tups, how to get early-​​stage funding, and careers in entre­pre­neur­ship. Stu­dents and fac­ulty also led panels to out­line the range of ser­vices and resources avail­able at North­eastern for bud­ding entrepreneurs.

One such event on Wednesday high­lighted a crit­ical com­po­nent to entre­pre­neurial suc­cess: men­toring. In wel­come remarks, Terry Fulmer, dean of the Bouvé Col­lege of Health Sci­ences, noted that 1,500 people have par­tic­i­pated in the Health Sci­ences Entre­pre­neurs pro­gram since it was founded in 2006 by Joseph Fleming, PAH '70, MS '71. The pro­gram focuses on edu­cating stu­dents, alumni, and fac­ulty to give them the knowl­edge and tools to build suc­cessful companies.

Keynote speaker Bradley Waugh, pres­i­dent and CEO of Tun­stall Amer­icas, explained how his suc­cessful career as an entre­pre­neur and exec­u­tive in indus­tries ranging from health­care to finan­cial ser­vices and infor­ma­tion tech­nology wouldn't be pos­sible without the sup­port of his mentors—starting with his parents.

He called finding a mentor “the smartest move in busi­ness” and stressed the impor­tance of keeping a stocked rolodex to con­tinue building rela­tion­ships and a net­work of people from whom to seek advice and bounce ideas.

“A mentor is going to be an indi­vidual who can help you in dif­ferent areas,” he said. “Make sure you pick up the phone and speak to them and listen to them. But they're not there to make you rich or be suc­cessful. Only you have the respon­si­bility to make your­self successful.”