As the week after Ureka Challenge 2021 comes to a close, the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program and Teresa Quinn, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program Manager would like to recognize the funding winners as well as everyone involved that went above and beyond to make the Ureka Challenge 2021 event happen. Shout-outs and thank-yous to all, including the participants, judges, MCs, behind-the-scenes students, staff, and faculty, to make this a great day!
Congratulations to the funding winners! Read here for the list of Ureka Challenge 2021 winners and awards.
Samantha Goodman ’11, Swing Issues Media, wanted to give back to her beloved alma mater Clark University. Reminiscing about her Clark friends and their excitement for entrepreneurship, she figured that would be a great place to start! Her father, Michael Goodman, being a serial entrepreneur, was on board. After Samantha perused over the Ureka Challenge 2020 website, the duo reached out to Teresa Quinn for more information. Samantha and her father were so impressed with the student ventures they decided this was the place and gave a generous funding donation, as well as further mentoring for the students of Ureka.
Live streaming – the new normal
With COVID-19 as an issue, adjustments were made. Judges and three participants had to participate remotely. Therefore, the situation made it a necessity to look at live streaming so all that wanted to be a part of Ureka could. With the first Ureka live stream a success, live streaming will be added to future finals for friends and family all over the world to watch the Ureka final event. A big shout-out goes to Jack Rogerson ’23, CSC major, and Rockstar Technical Wizard and Live Streaming Guru as he made sure the day went off without a technical hitch.
Dilasha Shrestha ’22, CSC major, recently joined the E&I student team as the Technical Manager and was immediately met with a daunting task – managing the E&I website, particularly the Ureka page, and the Ureka crowdfunding event. Dilasha got in there without hesitation and designed beautiful new pages for the entire website, making it easy to navigate. On Ureka finals day, she had the live stream link ready to go – bravo!
Shout out to Jens Peterson, for successfully navigating the mock crowdfunding event, scoring first place and $1500 for What We Leave: A Caretakers Guide to an Ill Planet!
Judges and Awards
This year’s Ureka judging panel was literally all over the world – from Worcester to El Salvador, with judges also in New York City and Pennsylvania, judging from the comfort of their home! The judging panel was also representing class years from an up-and-coming 2021 MBA graduate, Trevor Tarnowski ’20 to Debra Harrsch class of 1980, and a bit of everything in between – Adi Tibrewal MBA ’05, Vicky Marino ’08, Keith Miller ’88, Nathalya Castro Argueta ’18, MBA ’19! Not to forget our dedicated and entrepreneurship-supporting faculty, Ulysses Youngblood.
Keeping it Real
Several Clarkies jumped in to help throughout the Ureka process. Clark’s Allie Schilling, Director of Campus Life for Student Leadership and Programming, one of Ureka’s top supporters, arranged everything from the Ureka Welcome Dinner location, to scheduling practice, to making sure the video equipment was safe overnight.
Alex Dursin ’23 and Alec Tarnowski ’23 were the MCs this year. Alex kept it rolling with the judges and Alec with the participants, helping everyone stay on time while having some extra fun. Also, Sonny Sieminski ’23 helped the Ureka participants on March 17th set up for their Clark Collective popup; Fiona Scharff ’23 wrote up the award checks; Rachel Quinn ’23 helped the in-person participants log in to speak with the judges; and Philip Tran ’22 was the official Ureka photographer!
Pitch practice can be almost as nerve-wracking as the actual final presentation. Most of the time, the practice is the first time anyone but themselves or friends have heard their pitch. This year Kelly Kochis, Associate Director of Stevenish Career Management Center, and pitch advisor to Ureka participants helped give feedback to remote participants prepping their pitch!
Ureka mentor, ENT260 TA, pitch advisor, Clark graduate student, and former Ureka participant Anika Wohllebenen helped as a trusted confidant to the participants and was always ready to give some insight and advice.
Big shout out to Clark Marketing, Angela Bazydlo, Media Relations Manager, and Meredith Galena, SOM Communications Specialist, for snapping pictures and writing stories supporting the participants and the Ureka Challenge 2021.
The Ureka Challenge participants stayed up-to-date with their learning and their ventures over the intersession this past winter by enrolling in ENT260 Student Run Ventures. Alumni, faculty, and other supportive folks were guest speakers and helped the students with lessons in marketing, video production, web design, and many other important areas. Thank you to Debra Ann Harrsch ’80, President and CEO of Brandwidth Solutions; Mark Aiello, Mark Aiello Films; Lawrence Norman, ’94, MBA ‘95; Social Innovation and Active Citizenship – Samantha Goodman, ‘11, Swing Issues Media, and Michael Goodman, Ureka Funding Donor; Joelle Berbano, Wix.com, Academic Partnership Manager NYC; Nancy Burgess, Burgess Consulting; Robin Overweg, accounting professor University of Alaska; Steven Kennedy, Senior Staff Attorney for Hartford, adjunct professor at Clark.
We cannot forget to thank our insightful mentors! Each participant chose their own mentor based on an area they felt they needed the most help – from marketing to business basics. Mentors included current Clark students, established business owners, entrepreneurs, Clark’s SBDC staff, college professors, high school teachers, parents, and content experts. Thank you so much for your dedication to the participants!
Next Year is Already on Our Mind
The Ureka Challenge Committee is already looking to next’s year big event with some exciting twists…a new name for one! The committee of Teresa Quinn, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program Manager, Dr. John Dobson, Professor of Practice, Jennifer Plante, Associate Dean of Academic Services, Julie Bolduc, Director of Career Operations and On-Campus Student Employment, Laurie Cormier, University Advancement, Crysta Spitzfaden, ’19 alumni, Jillian Skulsky, ’21, student, cannot wait for next year’s awesome bunch of Clarkie entrepreneurs!
Extra Shout Out to All Ureka Challenge 2021 Participants!
Well done, Ureka Challenge 2021 participants – Martina Villanueva, Ethan Lutz, Maseeng Masitha, Maria Masood, Julia Dantzler, Lucy Barrett, Gari De Ramos, Jens Peterson, Victoria Pastor, Madeline Steigman, Charisma Nguyen-Lai, Melanie Adams, Justin Zay, Da’Vyana Williams, Tsanta Rakotoarisoa, Wuzhenjun Xue, and Jacqueline Ricketts-Hagan.
Thank you to Dean Alan Eisner, School of Management, and Andrea Aiello, Associate Dean for their continued support.