Over 300 entrepreneurial Duke students met in Gross Hall on Thursday night to network with more than 30 startups for discussion based around internships and careers in entrepreneurship. The StartupConnect Networking Fair, launched last year, is Duke’s only networking event for students and startups.
The evening began with a panel discussion featuring successful Duke alumni entrepreneurs, including Tatiana Birgisson (T ’12), Founder and CEO of MATI Energy, and Josh Cohen (Fuqua ’07), Director of Strategy and Partnerships of TransLoc. Students had an opportunity to learn about each panelist’s journey from Duke student to entrepreneur and ask questions. The discussion covered a range of topics including the challenge of starting a business, company culture, and advantages of staying in Durham.
The panel was followed by networking and dinner catered by local Fuqua Alumni, Jimmy Kim’s Mixed Casual Korean Bistro and Chris Duke’s Anna’s Gourmet Goodies.
The event, launched to better connect Duke students to startup opportunities, has received interest from over 700 students since its launch in 2014.
“I’m so excited to see how many students are interested in starting their careers at startups, especially those founded by Duke alumni” said Janvi Shah, T’15, student event manager of the event, “StartupConnect is an amazing way to build the energy at Duke around entrepreneurship and make this career path accessible for students.”
The StartupConnect Networking Fair was hosted by the Duke Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative, Pratt School of Engineering, and the Duke Career Center.