Winterim Applies the Liberal Arts To Entrepreneurship
Team Represent, winners of the “Best Understanding of the Problem” category.
[This story has been updated. The original story, below, was published on Jan. 13.]
After five days (and nights) of learning, brainstorming, prototyping, debating, networking, and rehearsing, ten teams of students presented their start-up ideas at Winterim’s pitch competition last Friday.
The overall winning team – Tutor U – consisted of English major Arista Engineer BA ’19, sophomore Nick Lombardi (who was on last year’s Winterim winning team), and economics major Kris Gado. For their win, they received $5,000 in startup legal support from Winterim sponsoring law firm Stoel Rives.
Two teams won entry to the InventOR Inventor Collegiate Challenge, a competition for college and university students from across Oregon who’ll compete for $25,000 in prizes to fund their innovative ideas.
Those teams were Sueno Sweatshirt (computer science major Ahmed Gedi BA ’19, environmental studies major Skylar Golleher BA ’19, and economics and psychology double major Buzurg Dodkjhudoev BA ’19) and Grounded (rhetoric and media studies major and dance minor Bryce Johnson BA ’19, psychology major Mark Wilson-Dalzell BA ’19, and world languages major Amy Gore BA ’21).
And this year, a new category was introduced: Best Understanding of the Problem. The winning team, Represent, included students political science major Terrell Mwetta BA ’19, political science and computer science double major Hannah Posey-Scholl BA ’19, and rhetoric and media studies major Andres Penso BA ’19.
From January 13 to 18, 30 Lewis & Clark students from all corners of the globe and the gamut of academic disciplines are returning to school early from their winter break to do a deep dive into entrepreneurship and leadership through Winterim. The weeklong experience brings students, speakers, and mentors together to explore what it means to be an entrepreneur.
Winterim, the flagship program of the John E. and Susan S. Bates Center for Entrepreneurship and Leadership, gives students an opportunity to explore entrepreneurship from the ground up. Working in small teams, the 30 students identify a problem, research and develop a solution, and take part in a pitch competition on the final day. Along the way, they are assisted by 45 off-campus leaders and professionals—many of them alumni—who serve as speakers, mentors, and judges.
“The common thread of all Bates Center experiences is engaging an entrepreneurial mindset to apply the adaptability, critical thinking, and problem solving of liberal arts in new and ambiguous situations,” says Chrys Hutchings, the Bates Center’s associate director. “The 15 talks and workshops include design thinking, business model canvas, productivity and decision making, personal financial literacy, sales, and presentation skills. But the real magic is the networking that happens between the students and the leadership community in Portland and beyond. Students have received jobs from these connections.”
Led by Professor of Psychology Brian Detweiler-Bedell, the Bates Center is designed to help students translate their liberal arts training to be leaders for impact. It is open to all years and all majors, regardless of prior participation in programming and classes. For the second year in a row, Winterim enrollment is at maximum capacity. Over 40 percent of participating students this year are women and over 50 percent are students of color.
Winterim 2018 participant and Davis Scholar Joyness Byarugaba BA ’19, a double major in economics and psychology, commented on what she most valued from the week: “Most of what I learned were lessons beyond the entrepreneurship realm. The program set a tone for how I wanted to experience my year, communicate value, be productive, control my finances, and so forth. Winterim really challenged me and gave me a chance to build my confidence, experience, and knowledge with and through others.”