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Entrepreneur club host first Qstart fair
An idea can be the beginning of a successful company, or it can change the world. That’s the idea the Entrepreneurship Club wanted to showcase at its first Q-Start fair, as students and alumni presented their businesses and startups in the Carl Hansen Student Center Piazza on Friday.
Patrons, including President John Lahey and Executive Vice President and Provost Mark Thompson, filled the piazza with inquisitive gazes and smiles as each business representative shook their hands and explained their ideas.
Entrepreneurship is not exclusive to the business school, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship & Strategy Dale Jasinski said.
“Anybody’s got what I call brain farts,” Jasinski said. “It doesn’t have to be profit-seeking, you can be ‘I just want to impact the world.’ That’s what we love, is people who want to do something as opposed to the normal wind in the mill stuff.”
Sophomore entrepreneurship major Julia Salvia was one of the 14 businesses showcased at Q-Start. Salvia is a freelance makeup artist and started Beauty by Julia in high school. She does makeup from special effects, to weddings, to fashion shows.
Salvia had three models at her table with painted bullet holes, a zombie mask and glued on daisies. Formal season is the busiest time for Beauty by Julia, Salvia said.
“My professor thinks all of this is crazy but a lot of people like this,” Salvia said. “I’m showing what I can do instead of just having a table with information.”
Entrepreneurship Club President Joe Ugalde, a senior entrepreneurship major, ran this fair along with Vice President John Leonelli, a senior entrepreneurship major, and other executive board members.
“The goal of this event really is to be a networking event,” Ugalde said. “To introduce the companies to the rest of the QU community. As well as some of the organizations that might be able to benefit from working with an entrepreneur.”
Thompson announced the university has plans for a dedicated space for the Entrepreneurship Club, but can’t disclose its planned location.
“I can’t tell you precisely where it’ll be, but it will be somewhere,” Thompson said. “And I can tell you that it will be an efficient space for you to do things you want to do.”
Thompson said he “wouldn’t pick out a favorite company,” but was impressed by the showcases.
“They’re very innovative ideas,” Thompson said. “It’s just extraordinary to me what people come up with and just take that little seed and see that grow.”
Other businesses included MusicVault, DejaYou, Kricket, Checkmate, Rate & Rent, Cronk, Give Kindness QU, Hautlet, QU Pride, Pisces, Guy’s Soap, Früt and Upcycle. The fair also had a presence from the Tippy Toes Foundation, QU South Africa, Enactus and AMA.
The fair was such a great success that the club sees it potentially happening again next semester, Ugalde said.
“I think people were just most shocked that all these students had these ideas, and that these groups of kids working on projects like this existed,” Leonelli said.
2012 alumna Dayna Kasprzycki showcased her jewelry-making business Upcycle, where she uses recycled items to create vintage-styled accessories.
“I felt very prepared from everything that I learned here,” Kasprzycki said. “But no matter how much you ever learn, doing it in real life is 10 times scarier.”
Kasprzycki was mostly influenced by her professors Dave Tomczyk and Jasinski.
“Those two professors were my biggest help,” Kasprzycki said. “Especially my senior year, they were pretty much my only two professors for all of my classes. They were huge mentors for me.”
Senior finance major Michael Lasco liked the fair’s setup.
“You can see all the different businesses that students are creating,” Lesco said. “There’s like an aspect to every single business opportunity that’s out there, so it touches every area of business.”