Carnegie Mellon University

swartz center

September 04, 2019

Fall 2019 CONNECTS Series Lineup

Every year the Carnegie Mellon Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship opens its doors to the public for the CONNECTS Series. The series presents speakers, panel discussions, workshops, and networking events to prepare students for the world of entrepreneurship. It functions as a tool to connect students and members of the public together.

This fall, the CONNECTS Series will begin with a presentation titled “Why Everyone Must Think and Act Like an Entrepreneur” with Rebecca Harris from Chatham University on Sept. 10 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in the Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, located in the Tepper building at the Tepper Quad. 

Registration can be found online via the CONNECTS Entrepreneurship Seminar Series form prior to the event. 

The fall 2019 CONNECTS workshops include:

Why Everyone Must Think and Act Like an Entrepreneur!

Tuesday, September 10, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Rebecca Harris, Chatham University

Learn the skills and tools to pursue ‘problem-solution fits;’ meaningful ways to utilize ‘Entrepreneurial Thinking’ to see things differently, identify new solutions and help you become more creative, agile and employable.

Design Thinking Through New Metaphors

Wednesday, September 11, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Dan Lockton, CMU School of Design and Director of Imaginaries Lab

In this workshop, explore design techniques for reframing the way you imagine and think about concepts, using an innovation technique of generating novel metaphors. Examine how you can use these methods strategically to enable new approaches to problems, and develop new products and services.

Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition

Thursday, September 12, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Eric Close, Flash Surgical Inc. and Forest Lane Capital

Interviewing for a job envisioned by someone else? Instead create a job by hiring yourself, finding a company to acquire and transforming the company into a disruption machine. Become a business artist! Express yourself by mastering the nexus of Entrepreneurship and M&A. Opportunities for disruption and innovation are everywhere, get into the game.

A Tale of Two Startups - The Best Strategies, The Worst Strategies

Monday, September 16, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Michael Glenn, Perkins Coie

Take part in a discussion of what went well and what didn’t in a case study of the IP strategy adopted by two startups.

Business Model Canvas: A Practical Guide

Tuesday, September 17, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Will Kaigler, CMU Swartz Center

Many aspiring entrepreneurs have heard of the business model canvas, but few actually use it correctly. This workshop will focus on the proper techniques to leverage the full value of this important tool for business planning and validation.

Is My Idea a Good One?

Wednesday, September 18, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Kit Needham, Project Olympus

Have an idea or a technology that you think solves a big problem? Before you start building your product, learn how to correctly do “customer discovery” so you create a solution that customers will want and pay for.

Lean Startups

Thursday, September 19, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Dave Mawhinney, CMU Swartz Center

The Lean Startup is a technical approach to generating and managing startups, helping to get an anticipated product or service into the hands of customers faster. Learn how to make your startup lean and efficient using entrepreneurial best practices in this seminar.

Overcoming Fear, Finding Success and Building a More Women-Friendly Startup Community

Tuesday, September 24, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Dr. Lynn C. Yanyo, De Novo Ground

Learn how entrepreneurism has changed over the last 50 years, what is needed to be successful today and focus on how anyone can be a successful entrepreneur, if they choose.

START SMART LAW: Overview of Startup Legal Issues

Tuesday, September 24, 2019
5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Gates Hillman Center 4405
Presenter: David Lehman and Adam Kelson, K&L Gates

Check back for more information.

Splitting the Founder’s Pie & Other Aspects of Equity Compensation

Wednesday, September 25, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Frank Demmler, Startup Whisperer, 2 X Frank Entrepreneurial Yoda-for-Hire

Equity compensation can be a very mysterious concept for first-time entrepreneurs. Learn how to make critical decisions from the division of the Founders' Pie through stock option grants.

Agile Product Development

Wednesday, October 2, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Sean Ammirati, Birchmire Ventures

Learn an iterative and interactive framework to manage the process of building your startup's technology solution. Master specific tips for implementing this framework in your venture and hear case studies from local Pittsburgh companies who have taken advantage of these techniques.

Financial Modeling

Tuesday, October 8, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Phil Compton

If you’re going to start a company, mapping out your financial projections will be an important part of that process. Learn the basics and gain insight on how to incorporate assumptions and flexibility into a model. Understand and be able to discuss key terms such as burn rate, cash runway and EBITDA which will allow you to more confidently support projections to your investors, Board and fellow team members. Includes a user-friendly example of a cap table.

“Growth” for 10K Small Businesses

Tuesday, October 9, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Liza Salley, API

Check back for more information.

To Trust or Not to Trust: What Every Startup Needs to Know About Privacy and Cybersecurity

Thursday, October 10, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: John Funge, Data Tribe

Privacy and cybersecurity are no longer back office tasks sequestered away from the core of a business. With a steady drumbeat of high-profile security breaches and cases of customer data mismanagement, privacy and security are increasingly becoming board-level topics for companies large and small. They are both a threat and opportunity. This seminar will provide an overview of key privacy and cybersecurity regulations, trends and practices that every startup needs to know.

Building a Successful Team

Tuesday, October 15, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Kit Needham, Project Olympus

Got an idea for a startup but need to find co-founders or teammates? Worked on a business startup as part of a class project and want to pursue it afterwards – with or without some of your classmates? Want to join a student startup team and know what to expect or ask for? Learn successful techniques to help your team create a solid foundation that can help your startup thrive, attract funding and avoid problems in the future.

START SMART LAW: How to Negotiate a Term Sheet

Tuesday, October 15, 2019
5:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Pitt Law School, Room 113
Presenter: David Lehman & Adam Kelson, K&L Gates

Check back for more information.

Angel Investment for Women Entrepreneurs

Wednesday, October 16, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Christine Ferguson, Ferguson Financial Consulting, Inc.

In 1997 only 1.7% of the billions of dollars of venture capital invested in startups went to women-led businesses; 21 years later that percentage has stayed nearly flat, at around 2% in 2017 according to financial data and the software company Pitchbook. Come and learn about women-focused angel investment funds that are increasing the pipeline of investment going to women-led and women-owned early stage companies, and providing women entrepreneurs with a welcoming environment in which to pitch their startups, including Next Act Fund right here in Pittsburgh.

The Art & Science of Negotiation

Thursday, October 17, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Taya R. Cohen, Ph.D.

This seminar covers several key principles for successful negotiation and conflict management, and is designed to address a broad spectrum of negotiation challenges that are faced by managers and professionals. Learn strategies for claiming and creating value in negotiations, how to effectively prepare for a negotiation, how to avoid common negotiation traps and helpful phrases and questions to use in negotiations.

Investor Presentations - Beyond the Pitch

Tuesday, October 29, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Jim Jen, AlphaLab

Come learn about what makes an effective investor presentation, including an overview of the content that most investors expect to see, how it fits into their investment analysis, and potential pitfalls. In addition, learn about other factors that are important to raising investment and building investor relationships.

B2B Product Marketing

Wednesday, October 30, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Suzy Teele, ARM

Marketing to companies is different than selling to consumers ... or is it? Learn the best practices for awareness, attraction and engagement in B2B Product Marketing ... and what often doesn't work.

Insurance for Startups

Thursday, October 31, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Laurie Kuzneski, Kuzneski Insurance Group

Need insurance for your startup? Learn what you need and when you need it.

Federal SBIR/STTR Process and How Startups Can Take Advantage of Free Money

Tuesday, November 5, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Ralph Hershberger, Madera Associates LLC

Learn the history of SBIRs, the various funding from Phases 1 & 2 and which agencies participate and discuss the current template, review process and how a startup can secure free funding through the government.

Using Digital to Achieve Business Goals

Wednesday, November 6, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Laura Kelly, Dick’s Sporting Goods

In 2019, there's no such thing as digital and IRL (in real life). Individuals and companies online presence is real life, and your online strategy should reflect that. Learn how to choose where to be online, how to establish measurable strategies that impact your business goals and how your digital and traditional strategies work together.

From Classroom to Boardroom: Turning a Class Project into a Fully Fledged Corporation

Thursday, November 7, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Alison Alvarez, BlastPoint

CMU Alumni (TPR '16, SCS '07) Alison Alvarez will talk about the process of taking a project from a Tepper entrepreneurship course and building it into a company worth millions of dollars and serving dozens of large corporate customers. Her company, BlastPoint, creates persona driven analytics solutions that solve hard problems in predicting customer behavior. Topics covered: Finding a co-founder, building a prototype, finding the right market, lessons learned in pricing, and creating a network for fundraising.

Creating a Successful Video Pitch

Tuesday, November 12, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Brian Staszel, CMU

Is your video pitch effective for competing in an online business competition for entrepreneurs? Learn how to create a successful video and capture the attention of venture capitalists.

SMART START LAW: Company Formation Seminar and Workshop

Tuesday, November 12, 2019
5:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Pitt Law School, Room 113
Presenter: David Lehman & Adam Kelson, K&L Gates

Check back for more information.

Public Relations Primer: How to Earn Media Coverage

Wednesday, November 13, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Emma Gielata, Matter Communications

Learn the basic principles of PR and how to earn media coverage. This crash course will walk attendees through how to tell a compelling story, the best vehicle for delivering news and what angles resonates best with each type of publication (business, tech, trade and local).

Tune Up Your Perfect Pitch

Thursday, November 14, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Daniel Teadt, CMU

Learn how to maximize your speaking voice to make sure you are heard, felt and understood in every pitch meeting. Voice expert Daniel Teadt will guide you in discovering how your voice can resonate with others and what it reveals about yourself, including solutions for finding your authentic sound, making the most of every word and enjoying the process of making your Perfect Pitch.

The Transatlantic Divide: Investigating the Differences in Investment Practices Between European and US Venture Capital Firms

Monday, November 25, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Dr. Keith Arundale, Henley Business School, UK

Participants in this workshop will be updated on the performance of VC funds in Europe and USA and discuss the reasons for the historic underperformance of European VC funds including structural, operational and wider environmental differences with the US. The VC investment process will be reviewed and differences in approach between European and US VC firms explored.