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Ohio University hosts Global Entrepreneurship Week

Published: November 19, 2021 Author: Staff reports

The Center for Entrepreneurship and TechGROWTH Ohio partnered to provide a week of activities on campus and online, November 8–12 for Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), the world's largest celebration of innovators, job creators, and entrepreneurs launching startups, bringing ideas to life, driving economic growth, and expanding human welfare.

The Center for Entrepreneurship enhances entrepreneurial education, University-based entrepreneurial activity, and regionally focused venture development in southeast Ohio. TechGROWTH is a $67 million public-private partnership composed of the Ohio Third Frontier program, Ohio University, and the private investment community and supports technology commercialization and small business incubation.

Adventures of an organized dreamer: Dan Snyder, OHIO alumnus

To kick off the week,  keynote speaker Dan Snyder energized students, the campus community, and beyond, candidly sharing his entrepreneurial adventures as an ‘organized dreamer’ and ‘mortgage industry disruptor.’ Snyder graduated from Ohio University and the College of Business with degrees in marketing and finance in 2003. After graduating, Snyder held executive roles at Wells Fargo and American Bank and co-founded QuickInsured. As he learned the banking and mortgage businesses and rose through the ranks, he saw opportunities to do things differently, and to do things better.

Today, Snyder is the CEO and founder of fintech startup Lower.com, an online-only direct mortgage lender. From Snyder’s bio: "Lower has always been about optimizing the homeownership experience. Owning a home is a huge opportunity for people to build wealth, so we center everything we do around that idea."

Since its founding in 2014, Lower has funded more than $18.2B (through Q3 2021) in loans and secured the largest Series A investment in Ohio history. The Lower team began with five employees in Columbus, Ohio, and now employs more than 1,700 people nationwide, and has been named a best place to work, both locally and nationwide.

"Set the vision and be relentless at executing it." - Dan Snyder

Snyder’s address focused on an optimistic mindset as the key to success, with an outlook mixture of “ninety-five percent optimism and five percent ‘We are going out of business.’” Snyder described the journey of an entrepreneur as unscripted, founded on a strong appetite for demanding work and perseverance.

Snyder reminded current and future entrepreneurs that “All you need is one break,” and encouraged students to seek out multiple mentors. “You should not be afraid or ashamed to ask for help but here is the key: be very crisp and concise on what you need help with, why you need it and... lay out a plan.”

"As successful as Dan's been, when he says he still wants and needs mentors and coaches, what does that mean for the rest of us?” said Paul Benedict, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship. “No one's too successful for help. Asking for help is a sign of confidence, not weakness. And someone with a growth mindset accomplishes more, has a greater impact, and usually feels more fulfilled."

Watch the full address here.

I am an Entrepreneur campaign

The I am an Entrepreneur campaign was launched during GEW to celebrate and recognize OHIO’s entrepreneurial community’s talent, creativity, and passion. Current and former Bobcats created videos about their entrepreneurial stories in the signature Global Entrepreneurship Week activity: I am an Entrepreneur! Students created compelling stories to compete for a chance to win one of two $500 scholarships.

Congratulations to scholarship recipients Yuxi Zhou and Matt Dedich.

Yuxi Zhou
Yuxi Zhou

Zhou expects to graduate in 2022 with a Ph.D. in chemistry and biochemistry, and she is eager to combine her knowledge in the field of biochemistry with business expertise to create improvement and innovation in the field.

Matt Dedich
Matt Dedich

Dedich is expected to graduate in 2025. His current major is business economics, and his entrepreneurial vision is to create an environmentally-conscious t-shirt company and online thrift store.

“Being innovative and entrepreneurial is in Bobcats’ DNA. We want to share our alumni’s and students’ stories every chance we get. If one current student or an alumnus sees themselves in one of these stories and is inspired to pursue an opportunity they might not have otherwise, that is a huge win,” Benedict said.

See the video submissions here.