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Aspiration to Innovation event set for Nov. 12

November 6, 2019

NIU students, faculty, staff and community members are invited to Aspiration to Innovation, an innovative event planned for Nov. 12 from 6 p.m.–7:30 p.m. at the Founders Memorial Library, 71 North. The event will feature informative discussions and first-hand accounts from local experts about what it takes to turn an idea into a successful business plan.

“We’re excited to bring local expertise to campus and provide an opportunity for NIU students to learn from community members who have different experiences and stories,” said Jerry Blazey, vice president for Research and Innovation Partnerships.

Leaders from fields like business, technology, arts, education, and health care will share their experiences of going from aspiration to innovation. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions as well as learn about the many campus and community resources available to help entrepreneurs get started.

“This event is important because it will engage students, NIU faculty and staff, and members of the DeKalb community in innovative ways,” said Jennifer Groce, director of Community Promotion. “This engagement allows NIU students to learn more about the community and harness the energy and ideas to identify new solutions to some of the communiversity’s most pressing challenges.”

Groce said the event encourages students to explore what’s happening locally, make connections and create innovative and collaborative methods to address current situations.

“A group of dedicated local business, community and NIU leaders will mentor students as they develop start-up proposals, social enterprises or strategic collaborations,” Groce said. “They can then take what they are learning in NIU classrooms and those connections and apply them to their long-term aspirations.”

Chad Glover, director of Jobs PLUS, shared the sentiment.

“Our events draw an interdisciplinary audience of students from each college who are at different parts of their journey here at NIU,” Glover said. “For students who already have an idea or may be thinking about pursuing an entrepreneurial endeavor we hope they learn something that will help them. For students who have not considered the idea before we’d like them to be inspired by the stories they hear and realize the pathway can be open to them too.”

The event is free and open to all. Advanced registration for Jobs PLUS events is required.