CSUN Colleges Collaborate on “Art of Innovation” Conference

Illustration provided by Ryan Holbrook.

Illustration provided by Ryan Holbrook.

Entrepreneurship is not the first word that comes to mind for, say, a kinesiology student hoping to better the lives of future athletes. At California State University, Northridge, entrepreneurship is the driving force for all career paths at the upcoming third-annual “Art of Innovation” Conference.

The event, hosted by CSUN’s College of Engineering and Computer Science and David Nazarian College of Business and Economics, will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 30, in the University Student Union’s Grand Salon, located on the east side of campus at 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge.

Ryan Holbrook, entrepreneurship program director in the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics and co-organizer of the event with Jimmy Gandhi, director of the Ernie Schaeffer Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, said the conference is one of many examples of increasing collaboration among the various colleges at CSUN, with the goal of highlighting entrepreneurship.

“There is a renewed focus on entrepreneurship at CSUN,” Holbrook said. “I see this conference as a way of promoting a more connected relationship between the colleges and supporting a unified effort cross-campus. ”

The series will consist of three panel discussions — innovation technology, business process innovation and social innovation. Each panel will feature speakers with expertise in innovation fields.

Collaborators in the series include the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) and local community groups such as the Valley Economic Alliance, the Rocky Peak Leadership Center, the Valley Economic Development Center and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Organizers hope to create networking opportunities for attendees.

The most important goal of the event, however, is to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit by fostering a culture of innovation and creativity, Holbrook said.

“I like to see this as the rising tide of entrepreneurship at CSUN,” he said. “There is so much momentum and tailwind right now, and we want to capitalize on it by creating resources that truly benefit not only our students, but also our alumni and the greater San Fernando Valley community.”

The Art of Innovation is free to the first 75 students who sign up. Early registration for faculty and alumni is $69 and general early registration is $99. Space is limited. Campus parking is $6 in Lot G3, south of the University Student Union. To reserve a seat, visit www.ecs.csun.edu/aoi.

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