Student Competition Info Fair encourages campus entrepreneurs

“These four years or six years are full of opportunities,” said Mindy Baierl, executive director of the Institute of Management and Engineering.

She looked around the atrium in Thwing where students and professionals were buzzing with conversation. “I am absolutely humbled by the students. They are bright, they are articulate, they are phenomenal problem solvers.”

Baierl was one of the many professionals who attended the second annual Student Competition Info Fair on Thursday, Sept. 10. Many organizations came to recruit business, engineering and design students: Design, Build, and Fly; think[box]; the Spartan Challenge; the Great Lakes Energy Institute; Hacker Society and many more.

“It was a huge eye-opener,” said Stephanie Chen, a student of the Masters Program in Physiology at the School of Medicine and a visitor of the fair. “I got to network with a lot of amazing people. It really [makes] me want to be involved.”

One group present was the Saint-Gobain Student Design Competition. First place winners of last year’s competition, Answenergy, hosted the table. The Saint-Gobain Student Design Competition asks students to produce a prototype of an idea that solves a problem in society, construct a business plan and present it to judges. Winners receive a $9,000 prize.

The competition is one of many opportunities on campus designed to guide students into the entrepreneurial world.

“The biggest thing I want to point out is the access to spaces where you can innovate and create,” said fourth-year student Felipe Gómez del Campo speaking of other CWRU resources.

Del Campo gained national recognition in the engineering and business world and was even invited to the White House last semester after marketing his product, a fuel injector that improves the efficiency of jet engines.