When Julia Haber — a recent graduate of Syracuse University and the founder of branding company WAYV — approached Entrepreneurship at Cornell’s Director Zachary J. Shulman, ’87 J.D. ’90 with a proposal for an entrepreneurship pop-up event on campus, Shulman gladly agreed.
After months of planning and organizing, the pop-up, co-hosted by WAYV, Shopify and Entrepreneurship at Cornell will finally make its debut on the Arts Quad on Sept. 24-25, running from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Entrepreneurship at Cornell — a university-wide initiative that discovers and cultivates the “entrepreneurial spirit” among those hailing from all corners of Cornell — is currently overseen by the deans of Cornell’s 12 participating schools.
The immersive pop-up event will be housed in a 40-foot trailer on the Quad, where students will learn about six successful independent companies that use the tools provided by Shopify to run their businesses — Think Board, Pipcorn, Final Straw, Bombas, Zandra Beauty and HexComix.
Aside from exploring and asking questions about start-up stories and business models, students will also have the opportunity to discover what kind of entrepreneurs they embody through a Buzzfeed-style quiz.
“Each of the six companies is either purpose, profit or passion-driven. Bomba is a sock company. It’s more purpose-driven because for every pair of socks you buy, it also donates a pair to homeless people,” said Andrea Anaya ’22, one of the student ambassadors for the pop-up experience.
“FinalStraw is more passion-driven because the company is into sustainability and would like to eliminate single-use plastics,” she added.
By teaching participants the various facets of starting and operating a business and the array of resources are available to them as entrepreneurs, the two-day experience hopes to inspire students to turn ideas into realities.
“Through the pop-up, students will know that creating a business in today’s world, with all the software possible, is quite doable,” Shulman said.
According to Anaya, if this event is well received, WAYV may be able to bring more companies to campus in the future. Students will then have access to a greater variety of content and experiences — whether in the form of an exhibition, a show or an additional style.
“It’s also important to see WAYV’s broader purpose beyond this pop-up shop. It wants to open up more lines of communication … and solidify college students’ opportunities to various brands and companies,” Kelly Kim ’22, another student ambassador said.