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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

OPINION: Men’s Basketball just won’t back down
Abigail Taylor, Contributing writer • February 27, 2024

Terrier StartUp Challenge

Terrier+StartUp+Challenge

By: James Barkley, staff writer

Ever wondered what it could be like to turn one of your very own ideas into reality? Think about it, a chance to take an idea you thought of yourself and create a future out of it. This is the life of an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs have the opportunity to mold their own career path and use their ideas to have an impact on the world around them.

The Space at Wofford provides many opportunities to help students prepare for their future. Whether it is through career advice, finding internships, or just helping a student figure out their career path, the Space has the resources to help make the process a little bit easier. As a way to encourage entrepreneurs to pursue their ideas, Wofford’s entrepreneur program, Launch, sponsors an event called the Terrier StarUp Challenge each year to spotlight any business ideas students may have.

The Terrier StartUp Challenge gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to see if their idea has what it takes to sustain as a legitimate business. Student entrepreneurs put their ideas to the test against other aspiring entrepreneurs and are voted on by a panel of judges. If voted the best business idea, the winner will even receive their own start up capital to put towards their business.

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Last year’s competition consisted of seven student ventures and four projects were awarded with prize money to invest toward their ideas. The grand prizewinner from last year’s competition was given to the Wofford Wrap, which aims to “expand and contribute to the existing Wofford media ecology” through experiencing multimedia journalism. The group consisted of two seniors who graduated last year, Virginia McCully and Scottie Kay Auton. The group received $2,000 for first place and another $1,200 for winning the grand prize, accumulating a total of $3,200 of prize money to put towards the advancement of their organization.

Apart from the Terrier StartUp Challenge, the Launch program has other methods of encouraging students to express their various business ideas. For those in the Launch program, they are asked to develop a business each semester and share it with the Wofford community.

Two current seniors, Ari De Lucy and Owen Hughes, have made their project over the last two semesters about helping other student entrepreneurs on Wofford’s campus. An important part of what determines the success of an enterprise is being able to network and connect with other businesses in order to spread your product to a larger audience. De Lucy and Hughes did just that through The Wofford Market where they hand out gift cards to aspiring entrepreneurs and create an environment for them to interact with one another.

A large motive behind this market is to help students become more aware of what the Space can do or of the products that are made through the Space. As De Lucy says, “We’re hoping to branch out to groups that are selling things on campus and create a base network and start selling more.”

In addition to this, De Lucy and Hughes made an effort to attract participants outside of the Space program.

“We definitely want to have some non-Space participants. We want people who aren’t familiar with the Space but who still have stuff to sell and put out there. You don’t have to be in Launch to use the resources in the Space,” says De Lucy.

De Lucy and Hughes put on this event outside of Burwell on April 25 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. and offered a chance for any entrepreneurs to come out and advertise their products in front of the Wofford campus.

The following day on April 26, the StartUp challenge was held. Information on project pitches and competition results can be found online at the Space’s website. The idea is to keep this competition growing each year and to continue attracting entrepreneurs to come out and participate. If it gets big enough on Wofford’s campus, this competition might even expand out to more of the Spartanburg community to meet a larger network of entrepreneurs.

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