Conversation Starters Experts Roundtable on Youth Entrepreneurship this Thursday, August 1st at the Coworking Rochester (72 Cascade Dr.) at 5:30 PM. Roundtable experts include academics, entrepreneurs and non-profit directors. Each expert will have the opportunity to speak on their specific area of expertise and general topic of Youth Entrepreneurship. The discussion will be guided by Conversation Starters Director of Digital Media Max Kamin-Cross.
"We are very excited to see so many experts come out to discuss this issue," Conversation Starters Executive Director Aaron Cohen said of the roundtable, "In our resurgent economy, we believe entrepreneurship will play a crucial role. We’re constantly looking for new ways to bring people together to solve problems and this program has the potential to do that in a big way."
Roundtable participants include the following experts (full biographies attached separately):
Mark Wilson - Professor of Entrepreneurship at University of Rochester's Simon School of Business. Wilson Founded Initiatives Consulting LLC in 1997 to help turn ideas into companies. On Thursday, Wilson will discuss the challenges and opportunities youth entrepreneurs face as they move from idea to implementation.
Alex Zapesochny - President and Co-Founder of iCardiac Technologies. Zapesochny learned about entrepreneurship first had when he and his partners founded iCardiac, a company that has commercialized technologies from the University of Rochester and from Pfizer for most precisely identifying new medicines that may potentially have lethal cardiac side effects. On Thursday, Zapesochny will discuss the unique innovations and fresh ideas that young entrepreneurs bring to the table.
Jan McDonald - Executive director of Rochester Roots. Rochester Roots creates urban school and community garden-based educational programs for youth and adults. These programs focus on growing, preparing and enjoying high quality, safe, affordable healthy food. On Thursday, McDonald will discuss the role that the community can play in fostering youth entrepreneurship.
Kaelyn Rich - Community Organizer for New York Civil Liberties Union will discuss the unique support that disadvantaged youth need to achieve their goals.
Sara Turnbull and Stephen Lester - Co-owners of Chicory Farm. With degrees in sustainable textile production and sustainable agriculture from Sterling College under their belts, these entrepreneurs started their farm together just two years ago. On Thursday, Chicory Farm's co-owners will give an early analysis of their first couple years of operation.
Irene Kannyo - Staff member of BizKid$. BizKid$ is reversing the brain drain out of Rochester by promoting growth in academics, life skills, self-sufficiency, community leadership, goal orientation, and Rochester knowledge in youth ages 10-18. Kannyo will discuss the steps her organization takes to teach youth about starting their own business.
Following previous roundtables, many of Conversation Starters' featured organizations found ways to collaborate to improve their communities. Participants in the Rochester event look forward to the opportunity to learn from each other and build shared successes.
Online and in hometowns across the nation, Conversation Starters seeks to extend and enhance each community's capabilities. Virtual Roundtables share new ideas with experts from around the country, continue the conversation beyond the event, and create real value through follow-up programming. Conversation Starters brings together organizations to build relationships and find solutions to real problems on a variety of topics. These steps lead to national collaboration. Conversation Starters just concluded a 99 County Tour of Iowa, featuring the first Aronia Berry farm in the United States. Conversation Starters' previous programming also includes Art Extension, the '21st Century Barn Raising', and Youth Entrepreneurship.