BY ANNA FRIEDRICHSEN | the Statesman
Tonight, Friday April 22, the Cultural Entrepreneurship Fair will take place in Griggs Center from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
“It’s not just for the students presenting projects. Anyone can come to the fair. You’ll leave with inspiration, motivation and ideas,” Aparna Katre, cultural entrepreneurship professor, said.
The event is free, open to the public and will feature 23 projects from nearly 80 students. It will take place in the form of a science fair. Influential members and mentors from the community will be there to talk about the projects and give advice, according to Katre.
Some of the projects that will be at the fair include ideas for vacation rentals, ecotourism, a farmers market that lasts beyond the summer and a bakery in Romania, to name a few.
“My group will be doing a little art kit that will make art supplies available for lower income youth that don’t have access to those kinds of resources,” sophomore Sebastian Nemec said.
While Nemec and his group members are saving their big project reveal for the fair, he said they’re getting their feet in the water for what it takes to create and execute a business plan.
“I’m excited to see what all the other projects are,” Nemec said. “The projects are students seeing problems in the world and creating solutions.”
Nemec has goals of working for a non-profit in the future and helping with human rights campaigns.
Senior Alex Menchar is creating business relations with community members that will help him in the future. His goal is to have a production agency with his brother.
“I’ve been working on my project since September. The idea is high-end Scandinavian furniture,” Menchar said.
“They’ve invested $900 in a chair we’re working on,” Menchar said. “The whole concept is to make something we can sell; the idea is to have a line of five to six items.”
These projects aren’t all just for classes or for fun. Some of the projects turn into real businesses.
“Two of the projects will be competing in UMD’s Shark Tank,” Katre said.
The Shark Tank event will take place on April 26 and will include cash prizes for the top three business ideas, helping their designs become real.
According to Menchar, those who come to the event can see where Duluth is headed in terms of local businesses.
“It’s high energy. Students who present and those who attend say it’s a significant learning experience,” Katre said.
For more information on the Cultural Entrepreneurship Fair, visit: http://d.umn.edu/cue/main/Events%20News.html For more information on the Shark Tank event, visit: http://lsbe.d.umn.edu/centers-outreach/centers/umd-shark-tank