Wells Presents Entrepreneurship Week 2018 and the Annual “Be Your Own Boss” Business Idea Competition

During the week of February 26-March 2, student participants will craft original business ideas and pitch them to a panel of judges; Richard Lorenzen of Fifth Avenue Brands will give the keynote talk.
February 7, 2018

Wells College’s Sullivan Center for Business and Entrepreneurship presents Entrepreneurship Week 2018. Events include a keynote lecture by founder and CEO of Fifth Avenue Brands Richard Lorenzen as well as the “Be Your Own Boss” Business Idea Competition. Lorenzen’s talk is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27 in the Hostetter Lecture Room (209) of Stratton Hall. Final presentations of the “Be Your Own Boss” competition will take place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 1, also in Stratton 209.

Richard Lorenzen is an American entrepreneur, investor and author of “Surge: Supercharge Your Life, Business and Legacy.” His New York public relations firm Fifth Avenue Brands focuses on media relations serving the tech, finance and policy spaces. Lorenzen has been called one of the top millennial influencers of 2016 (LinkedIn) and one of the top 50 people in digital marketing (“Entrepreneur” magazine). He is regularly featured by “Forbes,” “Business Insider” and more and is a contributor to the “Huffington Post” and “Entrepreneur.” 

The “Be Your Own Boss” Business Idea Competition includes students from across the college working as individuals or teams. With the mentorship of faculty professionals, each must submit a written business plan and pitch their original business idea to a panel of judges. 

Participants will compete within the categories of for-profit, social impact/non-profit and Friends and Family—a category devoted to ideas developed with the support of a friend, professor, family member, or alumnus/a of Wells. The judges will also award a prize for the best sustainability-focused business. Winners in each field will earn cash awards totaling $12,000, with the potential of additional incentives to pursue a start-up campaign and establish their business. 

“Through the process, students research their idea, speak with potential stakeholders and build their critical-learning and -thinking skills while developing their network,” said Kevin Miles, director of the Sullivan Center. “In the past, judges have provided recommendations and advice which resulted in teams winning the NY Regional competition, participating in the finals of the NY Business Plan Competition and invitations to participate in a business incubator.

“My primary hope is that the students have fun developing and pitching their ideas. Entrepreneurship is about building a business to fix a problem but it is also about entrepreneurs following their passion,” he added.

Learn more about the Susan Wray Sullivan ’51 and Pike H. Sullivan Center for Business and Entrepreneurship at


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