Make It REAL 2020

(The Virtual Edition)

An entrepreneurial mindset and spirit can give students an edge in any career. Make It REAL 2020 (The Virtual Edition), usually limited to STEM competition award winners, was opened to all this year. This free series organized by STARTLAND is a chance for students to listen and learn from local innovators and entrepreneurs about how they integrate business realities into the innovation process.

Why Is Being Entrepreneurial Important?

Learn how an entrepreneurial mindset and spirit can give you the edge in any career. In this session, learn how everyone can be innovative and hear how this rockstar panel addresses questions like:

  • What is entrepreneurship?
  • How can being entrepreneurial help me?
  • Am I passionate about what I am doing?

Join panelists Andy Stoll, Senior Program Officer of the Kauffman Foundation; Don Carter, executive coach at; Diana Kander, New York Times bestselling author, keynote speaker & innovation consultant;  and Toby Rush, serial entrepreneur and investor. Adam Arredondo, CEO of STARTLAND, moderates the session.

Who Cares About My Idea?

Learn strategies for testing your prototype or idea and going to the next level of marketing and stakeholder analysis. For your product or idea to be viable, someone else needs to care about your problem and be willing to pay for your solution. In this session, you’ll learn how to be sure any project you work on is relevant and worth your time and effort.

Panelists include Anita Newton, Chief Innovation Officer of CommunityAmerica Credit Union; Hunter Browning, Chief Technology Officer of Labor Chart; Jeff Shackelford, President & CEO of ECJC; Nick Franano, President & CEO of Flow Forward; and moderator Adam Arredondo, CEO of STARTLAND.

When Should I Worry About Protecting My Idea?

In this session learn when it makes sense to protect your invention and what options are available. Learn about intellectual property and why it matters, plus a few basic facts on patents, trademarks and copyrights.

Panelists include Erin Smith, founder of FacePrint; Tony Simpson, founder & President of AgTech Advisors; and Liam Reilly, Corporate Intellectual Property and Technology Transaction Attorney at Husch Blackwell; with moderator Adam Arredondo, CEO of STARTLAND.

Draw Your Future

In this final session of the series, Patti Dobrowolski of Up your Creative Genius will walk you through a guided exercise called Draw Your Future with Agilities—a process suited for entrepreneurs who want to take their ideas and Make It REAL or for anyone looking for ways to navigate what’s next.

Thanks to The DeBruce Foundation for making this session possible.