Thursday, July 20-21, 2017
ENI held a contest this summer to send one entrepreneurial student to the Disruptive Innovative Summit held in Atlanta at Suntrust Park. The event was sponsored by Usher’s New Look, and over 300 students between the ages of 17 and 24 came together to discuss how they could positively change the world through creativity and innovation.
Lexie Newhouse, a Georgia State sophomore Interdisciplinary Studies major with a concentration in Media Entrepreneurship and Honors student, was named the winner of the Disruptivator Contest for her creative word poem submission. The contest asked applicants to respond to ” Here’s Why I Should Win Free Tickets” in 50 words or less. Check out her contest submission, photos from the event, and read her reflections on the event below:
By: Lexie Newhouse
From July 20th to the 21st, the Disruptive Innovation Summit invaded Atlanta at the new SunTrust Stadium. Through the support of Usher’s New Look, GE, and several other sponsors, this conference tailored for millennials demonstrated the importance of applying entrepreneurial thinking to successfully attack social injustice and make a difference in the community. Students from Atlanta, New York, Detroit, and even Milwaukee gathered for this innovative conference. The summit featured a variety of keynote speakers, panelists, networking sessions, talent showcases, and a Spark Tank Competition.
Of the five Spark Conversations, the panel moderated by Russel Stokes, the CEO of GE Power and SVP, was my favorite! It featured Jewel Burks (Founder of PartPic), William Kawkwamba (Windmill Inventor and Engineer), and Chris Gray (Founder of Scholly). Speaking on the topic of technology, the panelists offered insight about developing your own company. Several of the students attending the conference, including myself, were seeking advice as to how to bring your business blueprints to life. On average, it takes $60,000 to develop an app. Especially for students, it can be difficult to raise these funds while battling college expenses. The panelists then revealed several solutions to avoid these issues. With Georgia State University and Georgia Tech being located within miles of each other, they explained that the tech powerhouse is located here in the heart of Atlanta. Recruiting computer science students to develop your apps could save thousands of dollars while remaining local. Not only is Atlanta the tech capital of the state, it is also the entrepreneurial hub. Even without a physical model or product, Burks explained that you can pitch your ideas to various entrepreneurship competitions to raise funds and seek guidance. Throughout their discussion, they emphasized the importance of the financial and legal aspects of creating your own company.
From developing the ideas to pitching them, the Disruptive Innovation Summit then hosted a Spark Tank Competition where three students shared their potential businesses to win $5,000 to help establish their company. One student pitched a device that signals “emergency use” for personal vehicles, thus allowing vehicles to move aside. Another student pitched a service that provides Drivers Ed, resume assistance, and job search help to disadvantaged communities. The final student, also the winner of the competition, pitched an app that connected adopted children to their ancestry, businesses, and social communities composed of other adopted children experiencing similar struggles and successes.
Between the panelists and competition, I now feel more confident in my abilities to bring my business blueprints to life, especially in response to social injustice. The energy throughout the summit was shared between speakers and students alike. It ultimately revealed the power of entrepreneurial thinking to incite change, mobilize future generations, and make the world a better place.”