The Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business Administration provides students the opportunity to interact with experienced innovation professionals through the Entrepreneur in Residence Program. Hosting five entrepreneurs at Nebraska during the spring semester, Suji Park, Global CEO for both Food Dreams Made Real and Suji’s Cuisine, opened the series on February 23.
Park’s companies research and produce South Korean food products which are sold in restaurants in Seoul, Tokyo and the United States. She moved to Omaha, Nebraska, referring to the city as the “Silicon Valley of packaged foods,” to create an authentic, all-natural line of packaged Korean meals. Also a member of the Center for Entrepreneurship Advisory Board and the Food Processing Center Advisory Board at Nebraska, she shared her insights and experiences as an entrepreneur and restauranteur with staff members and students during lunch.
“Every stage of business is important as an entrepreneur and your role changes as your company evolves. You must know and understand your strengths,” Park said. “People often only see what they are doing as important while growing their business, but you need to understand legal aspects, human resources and view all components as significant.”
Since 2015, the program brings entrepreneurs to lunch and includes a casual question-and-answer format. The professionals also visit classes to present advice and discuss student questions and ideas.
“Providing students the opportunity to interact with entrepreneurs in an informal setting as well as in the classroom allows them to ask candid questions about entrepreneurship that cannot be captured in a textbook,” said Dr. Samuel Nelson, director of the Center of Entrepreneurship and assistant professor of practice in management. “We received positive feedback from our students, because it allows them to expand their network and gain real-life perspectives.”
Speakers are selected based on topics covered in various entrepreneurship and business classes. Guests are chosen depending on their level of expertise on the subject.
“Our guests range from entrepreneurs who recently started their own company, to entrepreneurs who successfully started and expanded several companies,” Nelson said. “We try to match the guest to the class with content they are most passionate discussing.”
Students can attend the Entrepreneur in Residence events at the Center for Entrepreneurship located at 1320 Q Street by emailing Brent Martin, coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org
. The remaining spring entrepreneurs include:
March 14, 11 a.m. – Meghan Ehrke, who graduated with a marketing major in 2011 from Nebraska, owner of Select Style, a boutique in Lincoln, Nebraska. Lunch will be provided.
April 4, 12:30 p.m. – Brad Burkland, president of Strategic Solutions in Lincoln, Nebraska.
April 20, 12:30 p.m. – Thomas Walter, owner of Tasty Catering in Chicago. Lunch will be provided.
To learn more about the Center for Entrepreneurship and upcoming events, visit: http://cba.unl.edu/entrepreneurship