Blackstone LaunchPad marks Global Entrepreneurship Week with its first day of events

Mary Kate Garvey


  • International Entrepreneurship in Northeast Ohio Panel
  • Noon to 1 p.m.

    Student Center, Room 315

    A panel discussion of legal implications, public relations and other factors that affect international students, immigration and business.

  • Career Services Networking Prep
  • 5 to 5:30 p.m.

    Career Services Center, Room 261 Schwartz Center

    A networking prep session for students co-sponsored by Career Services Center.

  • Golden Flashes: Past and Present Entrepreneurs
  • 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

    Student Center, Room 306

    Bootstrapping, marketing, pitching — students have the opportunity to “speed-network” with Kent State alumni and entrepreneurs about the how-to’s of start-up businesses. Refreshments provided. Co-sponsored by Kent State University Alumni Association.

    **Open to Kent State students and alumni only**

    Register at

Kent State hosted three events in celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week Wednesday, including sessions related to fashion, finding ideas and social media.

The week is intended to recognize and celebrate entrepreneurship around the world. Kent State’s Blackstone LaunchPad, an entrepreneurial start-up program, coordinated the events.

Kate Harmon, Kent State Blackstone LaunchPad program manager, began the “Finding Ideas and Following Your Passion” session by explaining that LaunchPad is a free and confidential service that helps Kent State students, faculty, staff and alumni from all majors start and grow businesses. She also talked about the unique opportunities available to entrepreneurs, especially in Northeast Ohio.

“Northeast Ohio, believe it or not, is a very rare area in the country to have a very well-developed ecosystem around entrepreneurship, meaning there’s a lot of support agencies,” Harmon said.

She had each student write down his or her top three passions on a cocktail napkin to symbolize the simple places ideas can originate.

“If you have a lot of different passions, why not try to combine them and find out what ways you can be creative and bring them together?” Harmon said.

Kevin Wolfgang, a manager at Kent State’s TechStyleLAB, spoke to students about how to make products fashionable. He focused on the importance of being timely when developing a product, especially with fashion.

While conducting research, Wolfgang said an entrepreneur should focus on finding the product’s target market and finding an acceptable price for that particular market. An entrepreneur needs to find what a consumer would be willing to pay for the product in development.

Wolfgang also recommended that entrepreneurs should be flexible and allow for the possibility of accidents. He recently developed premade bowties to sell at Kent State’s Fashion School Store, so there would be a market for men. Instead, women purchased the bowties and used them as hair bows.

“You have to be careful of who you guess your client is because your client might change,” Wolfgang said. “So, you’ve got to be flexible.”

Also available to students was a seminar about the new reality of the business world, including the changing climate of social media and mobile applications for entrepreneurs.

Contact Mary Kate Garvey at [email protected].