Got an IDEA?

Many Northeastern students and alumni do, and on Wednesday night many of these ideas were showcased throughout the ground floor of the Curry Student Center at the second Northeastern Entrepreneurship Expo (NEXPO).

Held by the Inter-Disciplinary Entrepreneurship Accelerator group at Northeastern (IDEA), NEXPO is a celebration of the entrepreneurial groups, students and organizations in the Northeastern and Boston communities. Student ventures working with IDEA had the opportunity to feature and show their businesses on the expo floor, and the event was a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to meet and network with one another.

Though I will covering this event to a much further degree in a short video news segment later on in the semester, I wanted to share two entrepreneurial ventures I thought were particularly interesting for the typical college student. is the idea of Sean A. Castro, who is a founding partner of Rummagers Group, a new web and mobile umbrealla company. The website is an online gaming portal, consisting of classic arcade and developed flash games. Castro said the idea for this particular website came about from always playing games online while in classes, so why not make a business out of it?

Castro also showcased DrinkTV, which is a website in the works that will eventually feature drinking game guidelines for a variety of TV shows.

“Like for Jersey Shore, you would have to drink every time you see an Ed Hardy t-shirt,” Castro said.

Another website I thought was particularly interesting, and have been following for quite some time, is Created by Northeastern student Tyler Smith, the website allows individuals to view daily deals at various bars and restaurants around the Boston area. Smith also showed me a website he is working on that will allow individuals (mainly college students) to tell their friends where they plan to go that particular night.

Though the website seems much like FourSquare, Smith made sure to draw a line of distinction between the two, citing that FourSquare allows you to check-in somewhere when you’re there, while his new website will allow people to check-in before they go, allowing the site to connect friends with each other’s plans for the evening. Smith said he hopes the website, which has yet to be named, will be live within the next two months.

Many other entrepreneurial ventures at NEXPO were phenomenal, and I’m very excited to share them with you via my video segment, however, these two ideas are geared mainly to the college student and immediately struck my interest. Perhaps the college student market has many more opportunities for entrepreneurial ventures to be explored!


Obama Gives a Shout-Out to Entrepreneurs in SOTU

Entrepreneurs got a big “thumbs up” from President Obama during the State of the Union address on Tuesday night, motivating entrepreneurs and small business owners to continue turning their ideas into successful companies. Those in need of a recap online can refer to this article from the Entrepreneur Daily Dose that breaks down what Obama had to say regarding entrepreneurialism.

Among Obama’s discussion about investment in biomedical research and clean energy technology, as well as defending the health care law, most viewers were most interested in what he had to say about economic recovery. To address the failing economy, Obama recalled the 1950s “space race” which created millions of jobs through new spending in research and education, citing it the “Sputnik moment” of our generation.

Also while addressing the issue of the struggling economy, Obama emphasized the role small-businesses and entrepreneurs aiming to create businesses could potentially have on the economy. ‘Small businesses can do big things‘ seemed to be the theme of the night.

“In America, innovation doesn’t just change our lives. It is how we make our living.”

Referring to the success of small-business owners (as many entrepreneurs are) as an important “measuring stick” that will help get the economy out of its slump, he went on to stress the opportunities Americans have, and the potential for Americans to turn their ideas into profitable businesses (that can, in turn, help jump-start the economy).

“We measure the progress by the success of our people. By the jobs they can find and the quality of life those jobs offer. By the prospects of a small business owner who dreams of turning a good idea into a thriving enterprise. By the opportunities for a better life that we pass on to our children.

He then went on to motivate Americans who have big ideas even more, stating that America has more inventors and entrepreneurs who are creating successful companies, gaining grants and being awarded patents than any other country. And that, is why it is a great time to be an entrepreneur — even the president thinks so!

Photo credit to Robert Couse-Baker

Entrepreneurial Resources on the Web

While many young entrepreneurs may be limited to the amount of resources they have due to financial restrictions, there is always the saving grace of the Internet to help them pursue their dreams. The Internet is home to infinite amounts of websites devoted to the success of entrepreneurs, including websites that share business strategies and marketing tips as well as websites detailing what other entrepreneurs are doing with their independent businesses.

Some sites even allow the entrepreneurs themselves to divvy out and take in each other’s advice by establishing forums where people can log in and interact, creating a network or community of aspiring entrepreneurs that want to help each other succeed. By clicking through several websites I have listed below, I hope to provide readers with up-to-date news about people who are creating their own careers, and the strategies, applications and Internet capabilities that allow them to do so.

Want entrepreneurial tips and news surrounding new techniques and strategies that can make your comp any flourish? Visit Entrepreneur Daily Dose, an informative website that features successful entrepreneurs and persuades them to share some of their business strategies and ideas. The writers also spotlight up-and-coming techniques and applications available to entrepreneurs through the Internet, such as “using QR code to promote your business” — if you know what that means.

The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation‘s website profiles the nation’s top young entrepreneurs and shares their success stories with the world. Hey, if it worked for them, it could work for you too, right? It also shares some “scary” stories from entrepreneurs, aiming to help readers avoid certain new-business mishaps.

Under30CEO is another website that encompasses both insight from entrepreneurs themselves and “how-to” tips from experts that aid others throughout the entire process of starting and maintaining their business. The website incorporates information about new inexpensive applications and tools that can be useful for companies, and their article titled “Permission to Make Mistakes Usually Leads to Fewer of Them” makes us want to browse it right away.

If you’re interested in how “Gen-Y” does business, check out Unstrapp’d. The website is a breeding ground for new insight into social media, and shares with readers the “brutal facts and real life stories from experts and peers right there with them in the trenches”. Unstrapp’d reveals facts, opinions and figures about productivity, time management, college business, internet marketing, social media, branding, and bootstrapping. Unsure of what “bootstrapping” is? Check out the website.

The last website I chose to feature embraces both blogging and entrepreneurship, cleverly titled Blogtrepeneur. Founded by three men in their early 20s, the site recognizes the relationship between online  businesses and blogging and features interviews from those who have had success with the two. Featuring an article about Scott Gerber’s book, “Never Get a Real Job” the site help explains the surge of young entrepreneurs hoping to make it big in their new business.