Carl H. Lindner College of BusinessCarl H. Lindner College of BusinessUniversity of Cincinnati

Carl H. Lindner College of Business

March Update- UC Center for Entrepreneurship & Commercialization Partners with Northwestern Mutual for Annual Igniting Future Entrepreneurs

Monday, December 19, 2016 6:30 PM
UC CEC Partners with Northwestern Mutual for another Successful Event

On Wednesday, March 9th, The Center for Entrepreneurship & Commercialization (CEC), in collaboration with Northwestern Mutual, hosted their annual Igniting Future Entrepreneurs (IFE). The purpose of IFE is to connect UC students with some of Cincinnati’s most successful entrepreneurs for a discussion around the journey of building a business. This event creates opportunities for strategic networking among attendees and panelists, lingering questions to be answered, and valuable advice to be exchanged.

This year’s panelists included: Matt Vorst, CEO of Physi and former CTO of The Dotloop Company; Jackie Purcell, Managing Director at Northwestern Mutual; Lacy Starling, Founder and President of Legion Logistics; Tony Alexander, General Manager at The Brandery; and Thomas Dalziel, Executive Director of UC’s CEC. Each one of the IFE panelists have successfully built a business and have demonstrated knowledge and expertise as an entrepreneur. The moderator for IFE was Ben Beshear, Managing Director and Wealth Management Advisor at Northwestern Mutual.

Discussion began with background on panelists experiences in building businesses. Many different anecdotal themes emerged including: external motivators, corporate fallout, and family business legacies; although hard work, commitment, and resilience were consistent among panelist’s stories. Tony Alexander, General Manager of The Brandery explained the power of doing your research and coming prepared to meetings with mentors. A bit of advice he offered was, “If the answer can be found on Google, ask a different question.” This, and other practical tips, resonated with students in the audience.

Beshear explored gender equality and stereotypes in startups with Lacy Starling, Founder and President of Legion Logistics. Starling added, “Fortunately, I’ve never experienced feeling inferior in the male-dominated industry of freight management. Technically, all industries are male-dominated, especially when you consider that only 20% of Fortune 500 companies are led by women. My advice is that if you don’t acknowledge gender differences as an obstacle, they won’t be.” With female entrepreneurs on the rise, this was a relevant perspective for women to succeed in competitive markets.

Northwestern Mutual and UC CEC welcomed students from a wide variety of UC student organizations, colleges, and majors. Although student attendees offered an array of skillsets, each were entrepreneurial-minded and exuded passion and commitment to their future. This year IFE almost doubled its number of attendees for the event and we look forward to continuing to grow!