“What does the festival mean to you?” This is the question we ask attendees, speakers, and most importantly ourselves, at the latest NYU Entrepreneurs Festival. As much as this grand event is about learning the intricacies and dynamics of starting a business, the common thread that weaves between any answer is that it brings people together.
The most inspiring aspect of the festival is that it gathers together over a thousand people. All with diverse backgrounds and distinguishing personalities. Conversations had and connections made electrify the atmosphere, a spectacular feeling that penetrates the entrepreneurial soul. Whether it’s two students sharing their reviews of the latest panel or roundtable, a showcasing startup handing out their business cards with a cheeky smile of future success, or a keynote speaker gracefully welcoming the onslaught of inquisitive questioners late into the night at the after party. These moments, no matter how big or small, connect those that would have otherwise never met.
A even more heartwarming observation is the comradery and growth of the students on the festival planning team. Four months prior to the festival a group of students, most not knowing anyone else, chose to devote their time and energy to throw an amazing event. These students bring all their diverse talents to the planning process and while contributing also learn essential skills that will benefit them in their future careers. The metamorphosis of greenhorn student at the beginning of the process into a confident soon-to-be entrepreneur is an incredible sight. Such tremendous growth couldn’t have occurred without the collaboration of all the team members working together; and all professionalism aside it’s always great to make friends with awesome people.
The festival brings people together under the mission of launching their entrepreneurial story. A spectacular story needs many writers, editors, publishers, producers, and of course viewers. Entrepreneurship “is all about appreciating the talents of the people you surround yourself with and knowing you could never have made [anything] by yourself” (Steven Spielberg).