Students, alumni and community members will be gathering in Gonzaga Auditorium this coming spring to attend or to be a part of Fairfield Startup, Fairfield’s entrepreneurship competition. The event is scheduled to take place on April 5, 2017.

Fairfield Startup is a pitch competition for students who are interested in starting up a real company, similarly to the show, “Shark Tank.” There are a series of events leading up to the final contest in April. Some of these events included the elevator pitch contest, which was held on Oct. 15 and the showcase qualifiers that will be on Dec. 14. One of the upcoming events, the business model workshop, is scheduled to take place on Nov. 12.

The program is overseen by Dr. Chris Huntley, a faculty member in the Information Systems & Operations Management. Fairfield StartUp has successfully taken place since 2000.

The purpose of the workshop is for students “to publicly unveil their ideas to enter the competition formally and to start recruiting the people that they’re going to need in order to execute their plan,” according to Huntley.

Experts from Boston Consulting Group will be present at the workshop to provide students with the tools necessary to stand before their potential investors.

According to Huntley, as well as Fairfield StartUp’s website, every event along the way teaches a variety of things, such as entrepreneurial skills, public speaking skills, how to efficiently network, as well as simply how to interact with others in a professional and business environment, all of which could be useful for life after Fairfield.

Program Director at the Dolan School of Business Eve Liptak offered her perspective.

“Students shouldn’t feel intimidated by this event either,” said Liptak. “If they’re not very familiar with the process or the business process that’s fine because that’s what this is set up for.”

“Students of all ages, all majors, with or without an idea for a startup should attend the workshop,” Liptak added. Liptak urged students to remember that “these are real people who are willing to invest in your company.”

Gonzaga Auditorium will be set up to resemble a TV studio in order to televise the event to alumni and students across the globe. Approximately 300 attendees were present at the competition this past April, including alumni, community members, students and faculty.

The two-hour stream of the competition will be available on Fairfield StartUp’s website.

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