On Monday, April 2, LorkTech, a company cofounded by Case Western Reserve University students Mark Lorkowsi and Michael Giammo, hosted “Celebrating Sustainability and Entrepreneurship” in the Thwing Ballroom. The event supported Kids Against Hunger (KAH), a charity chapter founded by freshman Aditya Rengaswamy.
The event was a networking opportunity for students to meet local business leaders and hear talks on how sustainability and entrepreneurship can be combined for the betterment of both. All proceeds went to KAH.
Roughly 70 people were in attendance, about half of whom were undergraduates. It was a formal occasion to interact with Cleveland-area business leaders and other students with business ideas. LorkTech cofounder Mark Lorkowski approached Rengaswamy after learning about the new chapter of Kids Against Hunger that was established this year.
Lorkowski wanted to support KAH while bringing together people interested in combining sustainability and entrepreneurship to share their ideas.
Several CWRU students from the Entrepreneurs Club gave presentations of their own business ideas. Second-year student Tim Martin talked about Pure, a material that can be incorporated into shoes to reduce microbial growth and odor. Martin and other students aim to create insoles for shoes and eventually market the material to major shoe companies.
Curtis Obert explained his product, Hole Patch, which quickly and cheaply fills potholes until roads can be fully repaired. Obert and his colleagues are in a design competition to win money to invest in their product, which has already been tested in East Cleveland.
Invited speakers included Jenita McGowan, chief of sustainability for Cleveland; Stephanie Corbett, director of sustainability for CWRU; and Gene Matthews, director of Facilities Services at CWRU.
Ian Charnas, operations manager of think[box] and alumnus of CWRU’s engineering school, delivered a presentation about think[box], a new center that gives university members a chance to design and create products for use in research or entrepreneurial ventures.
The center is currently located in Glennan but is raising $20 million to move permanently to the Lincoln Storage facility at the southern corner of campus. According to Charnas, they have already raised $13 million to accomplish this move.
The event raised over $2000 for KAH. The event began with a cocktail hour and time to browse student and other local presentations, with live music provided by April Kim and Hyun Jin Kim. Both Rengaswamy and Giammo spoke before the invited speakers took the stage.
Celebrating Sustainability and Entrepreneurship gave students the opportunity to meet these leaders in both disciplines as well as other students already working on entrepreneurial projects. The event was advertised across campus including through USG’s Student Sustainability Council.