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Our mission is to encourage entrepreneurship.
We do this by funding entrepreneurial projects within the Ancell School of Business at Western Connecticut State University.
The goal is to benefit WCSU students and the greater Danbury communityby inspiring entrepreneurial activity.
Read about our past activities
Funds from the Macricostas Entrepreneurial Endowment have been used to support the following activities:
In the Spring of 2014, two students from Dr. Pauline Assenza’s WCSU course MGT405 Small Business Entrepreneurship, Connor Nolan and Nekruz Mamadalizoda, were offered the opportunity to attend Startup Weekend at the Stamford Innovation Center.
Connor Nolan, Dr. Pauline Assenza, Nekruz Manadalizoda at Stamford Startup Weekend, April, 2014
Startup Weekend is a not-for-profit organization based in Seattle, Washington that organizes 54-hour weekend events around the world where individuals are encouraged to pitch ideas for startup companies, form teams around those ideas, and work to develop a working prototype, demo, or presentation by Sunday evening.
At the event, Connor pitched his idea for the “smart wallet”, a wallet that could include a global tracking device so it would never be lost.
Connor pitches his idea for the “smart wallet”
As a result of his initial pitch, Connor was chosen for one of 16 prize slots, moving on to recruit a team of developers and designers who would work over the next two days to create a “demo” of the product for presentation.
Connor and Nekruz pose with Connor’s idea, showing how many initial votes Connor’s “smart wallet” idea received
Connor, Nekruz and other members of the team working over the weekend on the revision of the “smart wallet”, preparing the working prototype.
Although the product idea did not win, the final “FETCH” product received promising feedback, and members of the team ended up creating relationships that could result in other new products being developed in the future.
Connor, Nekruz and the other members of the final development & design team, prior to their Sunday demonstration of the revised product, the “Fetch” wallet.
WHAT DID THEY LEARN?
Both Connor and Nekruz felt the Startup Weekend experience provided them with insight into what it takes to come up with an idea, and form a group to test possibilities.
At the event, they learned how important socializing was to build initial relationships – this was critical to attracting team members who had the needed skills.
Thanks to the support of the Constantine S. Macricostas Entrepreneurial Endowment Fund, they discovered the importance of connections – that no matter how brilliant your idea is, you need people with different skill sets to work on the plan, and form the business, and it’s important to choose your team wisely.
So, if you’ve ever wanted to gain your own first hand experience in the entrepreneurial process, or learn more about how businesses get funded and organized for success, the Ancell Entrepreneurial Experience is for you!
Go to About the Program to participate.