UMD Entrepreneurship Conference led by Senior Duo

Seniors Brandon Colucci and Andrew Achter

Seniors Brandon Colucci and Andrew Achter

The third annual UMD Entrepreneurship Conference, led by seniors Brandon Colucci and Andrew Achter, aims to give students the confidence to someday start their own business.

Held in the Kirby Ballroom Tuesday, Oct. 17 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the conference includes renowned speakers and workshops designed to enhance registrant’s entrepreneurial skills.

“This conference helps students acquire the confidence to start their own businesses by giving them positive role models to interact with in our speakers,” Colucci said.

“Our biggest name this year is George Goldfarb, the CEO of Maurices,” Achter said, ”He will be really interesting to hear from.”

The third edition of the entrepreneuership conference is Colucci and Achter’s first as conference directors. They were on the first conference planning committee back in 2015.

The Labovitz School of Business and Economics

The Labovitz School of Business and Economics

“They were definitely the two that I first approached, showing interest in either of them leading,” said Nicole Wilde.

Wilde is the conference’s faculty advisor, overseeing the planning processes and making sure everything runs smoothly.

With both of them being asked to lead, Colucci and Achter were faced with a decision.

“They decided they would both lead as co-directors,” Wilde said. “They have the leadership skills and a definite interest in events from both of them.”

Colucci and Achter’s strongest suit, however, is one of experience.

“Brandon and Andrew have a lot of experience that came from being a part of the last two conferences,” Wilde said. ”They have done such a fantastic job and made mine a very easy one compared to other years.”

Besides Wilde’s involvment, the conference is 100 percent student organized. Twenty-two students make up the conference planning committee, in addition to Colucci and Achter.

Even with a concentrated student effort, planning for the conference requires large amounts of time and hard work.

“Andrew and I oversee all of the subcommittees, meeting weekly. We started planning this conference eight months ago,” Colucci said.

“There has been a lot of time put into the event itself by all the individual students,” Achter said.

Although this is Colucci and Achter’s last conference, they have been through it together from the beginning. The timelessness of proper entrepreneurial skills is still the conference’s focus, three years from the first conference Colucci and Achter helped stage.

“The dean of the business school wanted an event surrounded by LSBE and UMD,” Colucci said. Her ask was so broad that we had to just start brainstorming.”  

“We had to do something that would draw in the outside community and also help students grow their interests,” Achter said.

Inside the Labovitz School of Business and Economics

Inside the Labovitz School of Business and Economics

Update 10/15: The conference is occurring on Tuesday Oct. 17, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. An earlier version stated the conference was on Tuesday Oct. 18, which is not a valid date. 

Connor Shea