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by Sarah Sienkiewicz

“NEXPO is our opportunity to recognize the accomplishments and continued hard work of the ventures in the IDEA program. The tremendous passion of the entrepreneurs and program leaders at Northeastern is what makes this community truly incredible to be a part of.”–Annika Morgan, CEO of IDEA

After much preparation and excitement from the Northeastern Community, IDEA Management Team, and IDEA ventures, over 500 attendees gathered in Cabot Cage for NEXPO to celebrate the culmination of Global Entrepreneurship Week. While Global Entrepreneurship Week is now over, NEXPO emphasized that the celebration of entrepreneurship throughout Northeastern is continuous.

Around 30 ventures from the READY, SET, and GO stages were excited and eager to interact with attendees to gain knowledgeable feedback. With a strong focus on interaction, NEXPO provided all who were interested in seeing what’s next in innovation the opportunity to do so.coffee1400-590x393

Whether it be through taste-testing Commonwealth Coffee Co. Cold Brew Coffee, providing feedback to early stage ventures, or interacting with Blurr’s photo platform NEXPO was the place to be for evolving entrepreneurship. Connor Russo, from the venture Mealtime reflects on NEXPO, “It was a fantastic opportunity to get feedback on their first prototype, they were able to connect with so many people. Attendees were very impressed at the quality and diversity of ventures in the program. They mentioned it was great to hear so many refined pitches from enthusiastic entrepreneurs.”

Supporting our ventures are the Northeastern service providers, mentors, and community organizations who help ventures continually progress. Scout, Northeastern’s student lead design studio, assisted five of the ventures present with packaging design, graphic content creation, website development, and overall branding. The NU Social Enterprise Institute showcased five research projects within Jamaica, South Africa, and the Dominican Republic to highlight their strong focus on providing students with hands-on experience on social problems. Also on the NEXPO floor were four ventures from the Husky Startup Challenge, an event earlier in the week where entrepreneurs presented their early business plans to an audience in hopes of first place. This year Bloom Bags, a company that allows customers to design and build their own backpacks, took the first place prize.CUDpYpOWwAENapW

Because interaction was key to this year’s event, a live twitter wall was projected allowing ventures, and attendees to share their excitement and interact with each other using the hashtag #NEXPO. Be sure to check #NEXPO for some great event highlights, like IDEA’s NEXPO branded cookies and cupcakes!

IDEA would like to thank all those who made the event possible especially the Northeastern Center for Entrepreneurship Education (NUCEE). We look forward to next year’s NEXPO and seeing where the ventures are in Fall of 2016 because ventures are never static and always moving.