By Asmi Shah (’14)
The 2014 Entrepreneur Association Conference: The Evolving Entrepreneur is the best thing I’ve done at Anderson. Since October, I had been working with Kristina Bidovec (’14) and Bo Pulito (’14) to organize the event. This year, we created a partnership between the Entrepreneur Association (EA) and High Tech Business Association (HTBA) to expand the reach of the conference. Countless hours were spent brainstorming themes, new initiatives and of course – keynotes. We knew that keynotes pull a crowd and sell tickets, so there was a lot of pressure to get this right. Judging by the response last Friday, we indeed got it right: Sean Rad, Founder & CEO of Tinder, along with Anderson’s own Emily Taylor; Kelly Perdew, CEO of TargetClose; and Mohanjit Jolly, Partner & Managing Director at DFJ Venture.
Kristina, Bo and I also worked with a group of 25 students to organize panels and content, obtain sponsors, market the event and run operations. It was a lot of work, but I was inspired by the passion and energy our team brought. We were the managers — thinking strategically about the event, the Anderson brand name, and how to maximize community engagement. We motivated the team when the end goal was months and months away. The three of us rallied together when ticket sales seemed slow, so we reached out to additional media sponsors, emailed personal contacts, and physically canvased co-working spaces and the rest of the UCLA campus.
I’m proud of our entire team, as the conference was a resounding success. We sold more than 500 tickets, received media coverage from prominent L.A. press, secured new sponsors, and hopefully sparked a few new investments. By working on the conference, I not only formed lasting relationships with my classmates, I also gained experience in management, negotiation, marketing, sponsorship, operations, finance and decision-making. I felt like a mini-CEO! The Evolving Entrepreneur has made a splash in Los Angeles, and I’m proud to be a part of it.