The Entrepreneurship Club throws end of semester bash

Students in the club share their experiences

By Lisa Ladas

About 30 students attended the University of Massachusetts Entrepreneurship Club’s end of the semester bash on April 23 in Bartlett Hall. During the end of semester celebration, students networked, shared innovative ideas and talked about their accomplishments from the semester.

“It’s becoming one of the biggest college entrepreneurship presences in America; connecting the members to expansive resources including guidance, funding and mentorship,” said Kunjie Qian, a finance sophomore and president of the organization.

Qian, who is heading his own venture in the world of restaurant apps, said the club’s aim is to help make Amherst one of the biggest entrepreneurship hubs in the country. They refer to it as a “hub” because they hope it will be a central connecting point in the network. The club is helping members expedite their success with an array of resources by connecting members to mentors, innovative resources and helping also with funding opportunities.

Qian explained one of the club’s events, “The Idea Jam.” The Idea Jam was a 36-hour long weekend event that took place this past February. The event started on  Saturday at 10 a.m. and ended on Sunday at 2 p.m. Contestants competed for first, second and third place, and the winners received cash prizes. Qian said several students had ideas and were able to come together with other students to help bring their ideas to reality.

Winning teams were awarded $100 to be used to start making a basic product for their businesses. Each team then had to create a business plan and Qian said the result was “an astounding success.” Several of the team members currently have registered their new companies and continue to grow.

Qian encouraged students from all majors to join the entrepreneurship club because, “what binds us is not what we study, but our passion for growth and innovation.

“We are entrepreneurs no matter if we are studying EBITDA, coding Python, or which position the UAG codon is in sequence, ” Qian said.

“The Entrepreneur Club is to foster a community, and giving a constructive entrepreneurial atmosphere within. [We] help those who have that initial idea, [and] as a team, give them the courage for them to be able to follow through and learn. [We] cultivate an entire clique of entrepreneurs, create a culture of inspiration, hustle and innovate,” Qian said.

Jean Carlos Fernandez, a biology sophomore student, created “Wonder Apps Inc.” This creation allows Fernandez flexibility in creating a brand for a variety of apps. He plans to launch his application “Joules” September 1.

Fernandez’s plan, on a broader scale, is to develop different apps within his company and do contract work for app development for the public. He is marketing his company through flyers, various social media platforms and word of mouth.

Jaida Fonfield, a freshman in the education exploratory track, said the Entrepreneurship Club has been a great platform for driven and passionate business-minded individuals to go from an idea to a business.

“I have had a great experience with the club, networking with many individuals full of potential,” Fonfield said. “I hope others will join next year and share their wealth of knowledge and grow as entrepreneurs.”

Rohan Teja Ramesh, a finance and computer science freshman, brought up that the club has been a guiding platform for young entrepreneurs to come together and build a cohesive team.

“The club fosters culture and growth and is an excellent way to augment knowledge and meet like-minded people,” Ramesh said.

Lisa Ladas is a Collegian correspondent can be reached at [email protected]