Michelle Xu
MICHELLE XU/THE HOYA

I can’t speak conclusively for Georgetown’s community of entrepreneurs, but having assisted in the planning of Georgetown’s startup weekend this year, here are some thoughts on Entrepreneurship Day.

1. Entrepreneurship at Georgetown has undergone a serious evolution over the past several years. Over 200 people showed up for this year’s Georgetown Entrepreneurship Day, and another 400 made an appearance for TechBuzz that afternoon. That’s over 600 people who care deeply about entrepreneurship at Georgetown, and that’s only the beginning — as nonprofit director Victoria Schramm (COL ’12) said, five years ago, none of this would have been possible.

2. Entrepreneurship is a great fit for Georgetown. One thing this university has in spades is intelligent, driven students who want to change the world. We hear all the time about how Georgetown students are the ones smart and capable enough to go out and really make a difference in this world we have inherited, and entrepreneurship is the ultimate expression of just that.

When you bring together the creativity, the intelligence, the passion and the desire to make a difference, that’s a recipe for incredible entrepreneurs, and more importantly, that’s a recipe for making real change. And more and more Georgetown students are growing increasingly restless with the traditional corporate career paths and instead really want to bring together the nexus of creativity and business.

They want to use business to add value to the world, whether that’s through a socially conscious venture or just their next great idea.

3. Georgetown is quickly becoming one of the best schools in the country for entrepreneurship. From our recently announced partnership with global entrepreneurial hub 1776, to our being two-time national undergraduate champs and one-time global MBA champs in the Venture Capital Investment Competition, to our being the first university in the country to offer stipends to graduating seniors to pay off their student loan debt so that they can pursue their startups, Georgetown is changing the face of entrepreneurship.

4. Washington, D.C., has become a significant incubator for entrepreneurs. Normally you associate entrepreneurship with places like San Francisco or the Silicon Valley, but recently D.C.’s entrepreneurial ecosystem has absolutely exploded. Washington attracts young, ambitious people who want to change the world — the city has an absolute wealth and diversity of talent.

A growing disillusionment with bureaucracy, non-governmental organizations and government in general has many young people living in Washington turning to entrepreneurship to make their dreams of creating real change realities. And from the perspective of investors, some of the most exciting sectors for venture capitalists are closely tied with government — sectors like health care, transportation, energy and education. I can think of maybe only a handful of cities that could be better for entrepreneurs, and D.C. is quickly climbing up the ranks.

5. Entrepreneurship is only really beginning to catch on at Georgetown. I know that might sound odd given all the praise I just gave for entrepreneurship at Georgetown, but I think it can and will be so much bigger on campus. And I know that the Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative has high expectations and even higher goals for the programs. John Doerr, venture capitalist at Kleiner Perkins and early investor in Google, Amazon.com, Groupon and Facebook, is coming to campus this Friday, and that’s really only the beginning.

“Every single student at Georgetown being exposed to entrepreneurship — that’s my goal,” Founding Director of the Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative Jeff Reid said.

And you know what: I think that’s a worthy goal to pursue, and I think it’s a goal we will see achieved.

Barry Goldsmith is a sophomore in the McDonough School of Business. He is a student program assistant for Startup Hoyas.

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