Lally celebrates half century anniversary

On Tuesday, October 21, the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center will be abuzz with excitement as startup business founders and partners learn more about investing and entrepreneurship. The event, titled “Investing in Entrepreneurship,” begins at 9:30 am with a panel of angel investors and entrepreneurs discussing how to make or break your first investment as a new startup. At 12 pm, the Startup Showcase begins. During this segment, 20 investment-ready startups will each receive five minutes to pitch their young businesses to angel investors and investment group representatives with the intention of getting an investment to further their vision. 10 mentor-ready startups will receive one minute each for their pitch in the hopes of obtaining guidance on the road to growing a successful business. At 3 pm, President Shirley Ann Jackson will lead a conversation with entrepreneur, philanthropist, and Internet pioneer Steve Case. Since Case’s time as Chief Executive Officer of AOL, he focuses on helping startups in the United States as part of the Startup America Partnership. The discussion with Jackson will focus on cultivating entrepreneurs and growing an innovation ecosystem that uses data to unlock potential solutions to the grand global challenges.

“Investing in Entrepreneurship” will feature some of the best and brightest talents of the Capital Region, many of whom are part of the Rensselaer community. 13 of the 30 startups in the Startup Showcase involve alumni, 10 involve current students, and three involve faculty. Eight of the startups are from outside of the Institute. The list of startups is widely varied, from next-generation lithium ion batteries (EnerMat Technologies), to a mobile security solution for college and university campuses (POMCO group), to unique sunglasses frames made of exotic hardwoods (Coast Designwear). The morning panel also includes RPI alumni Christine Tate ’95 and Jeff Stewart ’91, among other experts.

When asked about the importance of this event to the student body, Jason Kuruzovich, director of the Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship had the following to say:

“One of the remaining challenges for a startup that is emerging is obtaining access to early-stage angel capital. The Investing in Entrepreneurship showcase serves as an ideal way to connect our early-stage entrepreneurs with prospective investors in order to build on the potential we have seen emerging in our startup community.”

The event, sponsored by the Lally School of Management, is the culminating event recognizing the school’s 50th anniversary. The event is also part of the Bridge to the Bicentennial, a decade of celebrations and observances that pay tribute to the historical and transformative events leading up to the 200th anniversary of the founding of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

To find out more about the event and RSVP, visit https://lally50.splashthat.com.

To find out more about the Severino Center, visit https://scte.rpi.edu.