CUSummit Q&A: What Did Students Think?

Cornell Entrepreneurship Summit is an unbelievable opportunity for students to step out of the classroom. While many attend the Summit to explore the entrepreneurial world, students are also exposed to a wide range of topics and given a chance to speak one-on-one with entrepreneurial professionals with more experience and expertise. Although Cornell’s campus is rife with opportunities for students to connect, students with diverse backgrounds are also able to get to know each other in a different context and on a deeper level at the Summit.

Students at the third annual Cornell Entrepreneurship Summit. Pictured: Roshni Mehta '15, Jake Miller '15, Nicolette St. Lawrence '15, Aileen Chang '15

Students at the third annual Cornell Entrepreneurship Summit. Pictured: Roshni Mehta ’15, Jake Miller ’15, Nicolette St. Lawrence ’15, Aileen Chang ’15

Comments from current and prospective Cornell students:

What was your purpose for attending the Summit?

After hearing about last year’s summit, I knew this was an event that I could not miss. As a newcomer to world of startups, I also took this opportunity to dive into my new industry, and share experiences with other passionate creative people. – Jake Miller, Hotel Administration, ’15

I attended the event to network and ask questions about entrepreneurship. As a potential perspective student, I wanted to experience the entrepreneurial atmosphere and learn from the talented entrepreneurs at the venue. – Bridgette Wilkerson, high school senior, prospective Cornell student

I wanted to find student entrepreneurs so I could share their stories on E@D. With the amount of people attending from various fields and stages in their lives, I wanted to speak with as many people as I could so I could learn about how they ended up where they are today. Everyone has a different story, and I love learning more about it! – Aileen Chang, Business and Environmental Science, Real Estate Minor, ’15 

How did you feel about this year’s Entrepreneurship Summit? 

This was the first time I attended CES – I didn’t realize how many people would be present – both undergrads and alums. I was pleasantly surprised at the mixture of attendees. At the same time, there was a very diverse set of speakers, all of whom highlighted different aspects of entrepreneurship. It provided us with a very holistic insight about what it means to be an entrepreneur. – Roshni Mehta, Economics and Anthropology, Business Minor ’15

I truly enjoyed this year’s summit. The composition of speakers and their respective topics reached so many different interests and approaches to entrepreneurship; there was something for everyone to connect to. – Jake Miller, Hotel Administration, ’15

I thought the event was absolutely incredible! This was my first conference, but I feel it really set the bar high. The atmosphere was electric and the event was filled with like-minded determined entrepreneurs. – Bridgette Wilkerson, high school senior, prospective Cornell student

Since I had the opportunity to attend the Entrepreneurship Summit last year, I knew this one was going to be just as exciting! I loved how diverse everyone’s backgrounds were. This year’s topics ranged from science and manufacturing to retail–it’s hard to leave without learning something! I always come out of the event inspired. – Aileen Chang, Business and Environmental Science, Real Estate Minor, ’15 

What was your favorite speaker/take-away?  

I thoroughly enjoyed the presentation on Women entrepreneurs and the final speaker, the CEO of Chobani. Both speeches were outstanding – while one was extremely motivating in changing the stereotypical image of men being pioneers of innovation, the other provided a very philosophical approach of attaining success. I felt inspired at the end of that segment. – Roshni Mehta, Economics and Anthropology, Business Minor ’15

Favorite speaker was VFA’s Andrew Yang. Such a comfortable presenter who interlaced his points with great humor. As far as take-away’s, Healy Cypher’s presentation reminded me how crazy the retail experience will change in near future. – Jake Miller, Hotel Administration, ’15 

My favorite speaker was definitely Andrew Yang, the CEO of Venture for America. His presentation was wonderful and I could tell that he was passionate about entrepreneurship and the great things that his participants are doing. A quote he said really stuck with me, “Ask for forgiveness, not permission.” That is the kind of attitude that I want to have as an upcoming entrepreneur! – Bridgette Wilkerson, high school senior, prospective Cornell student

My favorite speaker was definitely Hamdi Ulukaya, CEO of Chobani. I was absolutely captivated by his talk, as it delved into the fundamental spirit of entrepreneurship. His advice is applicable to anyone who wants to be or already is an entrepreneur. At the end of Hamdi Ulukaya’s talk, I felt more reassured and calm about who I am and where I’m headed. The following are take-aways that will stick with me for a long time:

  • Be the person who can see the details and the person who can dream. That in-between is the best mindset you can have.
  • Find a place you can always recharge.
  • Trust yourself. Be confident. Be calm. You’re an entrepreneur before you even begin.
  • You’re not a drop in an ocean. You’re an ocean in a drop. Encompass the characteristics of the ocean.

– Aileen Chang, Business and Environmental Science, Real Estate Minor, ’15