Students attend entrepreneurship conference

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NDSU’s College of Business students take their entrepreneurship studies seriously. Three students, for example, went to an entrepreneurship conference Oct. 3-5 in Santa Barbara, California. They were the only student attendees – the rest were entrepreneurs looking to grow their businesses.

The NDSU students found and researched the ONTRApalooza conference on their own, presented a proposal to the college and traveled across the country to attend. They learned about branding, marketing, the sales process in start-ups and problem solving.

“A big take-away was that it’s not about what you do, it’s about the problem you solve,” said senior Chase Nettum, a marketing major from Fargo.

They heard from global speakers and were among more than 150 attendees. The group networked with entrepreneurs from all over the world.

“We were the youngest people there, but we owned it,” said senior Megan Skjonsby, a management major from Bismarck. “We met so many different people, but we all had the same mind-set and were excited about the same things.”

Nancy Ngo, a senior from Fargo majoring in business administration, learned that the perception of a company and its branding wins over consumers and it’s important to listen to others.

“The way your company is perceived can sway an immediate response and ultimately win over your customers,” said Ngo. “It’s important to understand that every action your company makes can determine your success.”

The students credit their Introduction to Entrepreneurship course and other College of Business classes for sparking even more interest in pursuing big ideas.

“We are grateful to the generous donors and for the collaboration with the NDSU Research and Technology Park that made funds available for these students to attend this conference and grow in their entrepreneurial thinking.” said John Bitzan, associate dean of the College of Business and professor of management. The students were sponsored by the college’s Innovation Alliance Fund.

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