Orlando, Florida. The vacation spot for many families. Sunny, warm, and who doesn’t love Mickey Mouse? But what happens when future entrepreneurs invade the happiest place on earth? The 2005 National Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization Conference. Twelve Quinnipiac students from QUEST, Quinnipiac University Entrepreneurial Success Team, packed up their shorts and business attire and went to the conference, from October 27 to the 29.
QUEST’s mission is to give the students and its members a place to go to ask and discuss questions they have within their classes. The main goal for QUEST is to start his or her own business on campus.
Approximately 100 other schools were in attendance from all over the United States and Puerto Rico. There were many local CEO’s as well as a few famous ones. Most of the CEO’s had made their millions and sold their companies.
“We saw the CEO of Cranium, Richard Tait. He was an amazing speaker and had a great presentation along with it with games for us to do. We also saw Steve Wozniak, the creator of the first ever PC, and CEO of Apple. He was absolutely brilliant. He talked about how he would see a video game out somewhere, go home and not only re-create it, but make it a better one,” said Julie Mantz, a senior management major.
Another speaker was Troy Dunn, who started reunion shows on daytime television. Mantz said he gave a captivating speech which included his personal life.
“He told us why he started his company that reunited families all over the country, to ending with a story of his kids and the entrepreneur that is making a medicine to cure Gist, a form a cancer that only 12 people in the world have, the youngest person, being his 8 year old daughter. He has since started working with this doctor entrepreneur that is inventing the cure to his daughter’s illness,” she said, “His speech had the entire audience crying.”
The young entrepreneurs also got the chance to network with organizations from all over the world.
The students that attended the conference feel like they have gained some experience and guidance with their goals in life. “Anything learned at the CEO conference is a personal experience. I learned different aspects of starting a business and how to raise capital. I personally have been to this conference 3 times now and every time I attend I get more information out of it. I learned how other CEO chapters raise money fundraising, how they recruit members and keep them active along with many other things,” Lindsay Franke, the Founder of QUEST and a senior, entrepreneurship and small business management major, said.
Michael Lysenko hopes to one day own his own restaurant. He learned a lot about what he will have to do in the future.
“I learned how to write a marketing and business plan. I learned how to interact with different types of people,” he said.
These conferences give students experience they cannot receive in a classroom. “It takes the aspect of learning about the business world outside of the classroom.the conferences not only introduce you to a large amount of new and interesting people, but they also educate in ways going to class never could,” Franke said.
QUEST has approximately 30 active members. Meetings are Tuesday nights at 6:30pm in BC137. for more information about QUEST, please contact Laura Ogonowski at her university email address.