The format of the dinner was a sort of round-robin where students changed tables at each course of the meal. This gave them a chance to meet different entrepreneurs, and for us to meet different students. Since there were more tables then courses, some of the students made a point of making the rounds to meet everyone once coffee was served - a move I applaud.
The center point of the evening were the presentations by the two teams that won the Wells Entrepreneurship Week. In the not-for-profit track was a business concept to allow professors to loan their pets to homesick and stressed students. In the for-profit category, a unique new concept for a golf training aid was demonstrated and explained, with the additional good news that the team has a commitment of seed capital funding from an angel investor!
Wells College has a great entrepreneurial history, dating back to its founder Henry Wells, who was the entrepreneur who founded Wells Fargo and American Express. This tradition has been continued this year with the announcement of a $5MM donation from Wells College alumni Susan Wray Sullivan to endow the Susan Wray Sullivan '51 and Pike H. Sullivan Center for Business and Entrepreneurship. As a liberal arts college, business and entrepreneurship has not been a traditional focus, but students and educators are keen to the changing winds and now see these skills as part of a well rounded education.