We have been focusing on building engagement opportunities for entrepreneurs at all stages of ideation. Our focus for the fall semester has been on encouraging community and networking between alumni and students. To learn more about engaging with the Pillsbury Institute, please send an email to Kristen Ciferri, Program Manager for the Pillsbury Institute, at pihe@cornell.edu.

Over the course of the semester, our Entrepreneurs in Residence, Nick Bayer of Saxbys Coffee LLC, Winston Lord of Venga, and Jacob Wright of High Peaks Hospitality have shared their entrepreneurial journey perspectives in classes and worked one-on-one with students to provide feedback on their entrepreneurial career paths and business plans during office hours.

In October, Dean Carvell worked with the leadership of the student group, Hotelie Entrepreneurs, to outline a series of engagement activities for members. Harris Rosen, founder of Rosen Hotels & Resorts, came to speak to the members of Hotelie Entrepreneurs to share lessons from his entrepreneurial journey.

In November, we held our Fall Advisory Board Meeting during the week of the NYC Hotel Show. We were able to provide updates to our Advisory Board Members and solicit feedback on programming for the upcoming 2014 calendar year. At the meeting, Advisory Board Members committed to engaging with the Pillsbury Institute’s initiatives that will bring them to campus over the next year and provide students with opportunities to obtain entrepreneurship experience during internships over the summer break. We are fortunate to have such a dynamic and engaged group of leaders on our Advisory Board and are looking forward to welcoming them to campus to participate in initiatives on campus this spring. Additionally, I was delighted to join Lee Pillsbury ’69 at the first annual Cornell Reception at the PhoCusWright Conference in Hollywood, Florida, in November. It was fantastic to join so many hospitality entrepreneurs together for networking after The Travel Innovation Summit and Workshops.

In January, we will officially launch our entrepreneurship mentor platform, called Connect Entrepreneurial Hotelies. The mentor platform development was in response to requests to assist Hotelie entrepreneurs at all stages of the ideation. The platform will focus on mentorship specific to hospitality entrepreneurship between students and alumni. Additionally, we look forward to hosting the 2014 Innovation Network under the direction of Jill Hellman on January 26. The Innovation Network will be taking place in Los Angeles, California.

On April 10-11, 2014, the Pillsbury Institute will engage alumni in entrepreneurship on campus at Celebration. Celebration is a two-day entrepreneurship conference sponsored by Entrepreneurship@Cornell. This year, the Pillsbury Institute will be hosting two panel discussions at Celebration, Cornell to Entrepreneurial Career and Women Hoteliers in Entrepreneurship, in addition to providing nominations for the Student Business of the Year award. We are looking forward to engaging with students, alumni, and faculty from across campus during the two-day event.