Rising Entrepreneurs

Logos of the visiting companies.

With speakers from Castle of Chaos, Cornerstone Aviation, GOAL ZERO, GreenStep, Molding Box, NailPort, USANA, and ZAGG in attendance, the Third Annual Entrepreneurship Summit kicked off at Hunter High School on December 4 with an introduction by Michael Cramer, Hunter’s business and marketing teacher, and the organizer of this event. Over two-hundred students from the Granite and Murray School District were all invited to participate in this enriching experience.

“What is entrepreneurship?” Cramer asked at the beginning of the Summit. “An entrepreneurship is, at most basic, the starting and running of your own business.” After answering his own question, Cramer covered how the Summit was going to pan out for the day. This included the highly successful guest speakers that were present.

“I once saw a sign that said, ‘Ten people have the same idea. One of them does it,’” recalled guest speaker Joe Atkin, President and CEO of GOAL ZERO. Each guest speaker came prepared with some personal experiences ready to share with students. In addition, they were more than welcome to answer some questions as well as give some tips on how to be a successful entrepreneur. “If you find yourself to be an idea person, associate yourself with the ‘how’ people. ‘How are we going to make this happen? How are we going to do this?’ They ask the questions and the push on you and together you will find the right answer,” Atkin stated. “Business strategy is all about the recognition of the interdependencies that everyone has to pull off a common goal. Because you can’t do it alone. You’ll never do it alone.”

Many students who took part in this event hoped to learn more about entrepreneurship, especially from the guest speakers from the eight aforementioned companies. Before actually going to this event though, the attending students had to sign up for what business speakers they wanted to listen to in particular; each speaker offered his or her own unique experiences and tips. “I liked how there were successful people that had a lot of experience,” remarked Skyline junior Kiersten Winterton.

Atkin, with his many years of experience under his belt, claimed about being a successful entrepreneur, “You usually go through a lot of pain to get there.” Co-founder and CEO of ZAGG Robert Pedersen II, another guest speaker, admitted though, “That’s the fun part of being an entrepreneur. There’ll always be challenges.” To bypass those ‘challenges’, Pedersen II lifted his hand and shared a simple, but dynamic phrase. “I. Can. Do. Hard. Things,” he exclaimed while closing a finger with each word that left his mouth.

Although the prominent entrepreneurs from different companies were the main focus of the Summit, the preparations done by Cramer and Jerry Corbett, Hunter’s CTE coordinator, were what allowed this whole event to occur. Those two organized this event similar to how the Second Annual Entrepreneurship Summit was done, structuring it as multiple segments throughout the day: an opening session, three segments that were designated to the guest speakers, lunch, another segment with a guest speaker, and a concluding session.

However, there were three more guest speakers as well as 120 more students that attended the event this time. This improvement is largely attributed to the increased amount of publicity. “The Work Based Learning teachers were the biggest supporters for this event. They distributed the info about this to the students in their school. The FBLA groups also helped spread publicity. I offered extra credit to my class,” Cramer informed with a laugh.

Despite only being the third annual event, Cramer and Corbett stepped up this time and made leaps from the previous Summit. Cramer commented, “There’s a lot more people this time. We have more experience. We changed the time to allow students to ask more questions. Also, we had better speakers.” Hunter sophomore Ben Rojo shared, “I like how the people show different views on how they got successful.”


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