The student-run organization known as Entreprenoma is preparing to host their first annual Sonoma State University Entrepreneurship Conference. This series of talks will be hosted on Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Student Center Ballroom D and the theme is B.Y.O.B. – Be Your Own Boss. Not every person has the chance to be their own boss and sometimes one misses on the opportunity to be in control of their job, so Entreprenoma is inviting a few people who are well-respected in their field to speak and shed light on how each individual can pave their own path to success.
The line-up of speakers includes Morty Wiggins, president of Second Octave Talent, Sonoma State Alum and current CEO of Blacklist Watches Justin Eterovich, Tommy Dunehew Jr., vice president of business development at Boeing and James Eisenberg, a business start-up mogul.
Every university strives to create the next generation of innovators and thinkers, and according to those involved in Entreprenoma, the goal of this conference is to support and empower students by creating an entrepreneurial atmosphere on the campus.
"The purpose of the entrepreneurship conference is to provide an event where students can be inspired to start their own business, now or in the future,” said Darren Fong, Student Lead for Entreprenoma.
All of the speakers have blazed their own path in their respective fields, so the organization hopes that presenting a variety of successful businessmen from different business backgrounds will create a spectrum of experience that anyone can benefit from.
Perhaps the most notable name out of those coming to speak to spectators is Eterovich, a graduate of Sonoma State. Eterovich is CEO of Blacklist Watches and he got his start by using Kickstarter, the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects, to create his company while maintaining his responsibilities as a student.
The event allows for a glimpse at the plethora of avenues that professionals can take.
“There is a common misconception that to be an entrepreneur, you must be pursuing a business degree, but entrepreneurship stems from all majors,” said Fong.
With the growing rate of technology, it will take some special minds to identify and seize any opportunity to create, and of course profit from their idea, so another goal of Entreprenoma and B.Y.O.B. is to unite the future innovators and out-of-the-box thinkers in the area and grow the community of successful entrepreneurs from Sonoma State.
“Entreprenoma has afforded me some opportunities that I honestly never saw on my horizons,” said freshman business major Ian FitzGerald. “I get to be a part of events that allow me the chance to network myself as I work towards a degree.”
This event is just the beginning of the vision that Entreprenoma has for the entrepreneurial Seawolves looking to gain some advice and experience from like-minded individuals.
Recently, the Sonoma State Entreprenoma team volunteered at a TED Talk in Sonoma County, where members were granted access behind-the-scenes to learn and observe how a large-scale conference unfolds.
“We would really like to host a TEDx event at Sonoma State University in the future,” said Fong. “And if the conference has a good turnout, we definitely hope to build off what we’ve learned to host bigger conferences.”
The goal is simple: teach people how to be in control of their own well-being. However, this end goal often proves difficult to attain, so student-run Entreprenoma is bringing knowledge to the front doors of Sonoma State entrepreneurs.
With a crew of four successful businessmen ranging from different professional backgrounds, the organization is looking to bring anyone interested in being their own boss to the first annual Sonoma State University Entrepreneurship Conference.
For more information on the event or Entreprenoma, visit their Facebook page or go to entreprenoma.com.