(Photo courtesy of Brian Green)
Tim Mounsey, a senior entrepreneurship major at Temple, wants to answer this question: What if students from all of Temple’s 18 schools and colleges got together to discuss and collaborate on new, innovative projects?
It’s why he came up with and organized the inaugural What IF Innovation Festival, a two-part event at Temple on Tuesday, April 19. It’s free and open to the public.
The first part of the festival, dubbed the Tower Takeover, will take place at the Bell Tower from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. where 40 exhibitors will be showcasing their technologies, businesses, music, nonprofits and art. While many of the startups come from Temple students and alumni, like Neha Raman’s award-winning customizable nail polish startup, other startups like Earl Knight’s social media analytics platform GoBabl will also be present.
Following the showcase, a series of lightning talks will be held at Mitten Hall from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The list of speakers includes Venture for America CEO Andrew Yang, Independence Blue Cross (IBX) Innovation Director Michelle Histand and Philly Startup Leaders President Brock Weatherup. There will also be an hourlong networking session afterwards.
The festival is the culmination of an eight-month process for Mounsey, his marketing team and Rosalie Shemmer, the director of Temple’s Career Center, which provided funding for the event along with IBX and Temple’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute.
Mounsey hopes the festival will not only motivate students of all majors to think about entrepreneurship but that it also breaks down the barriers between the 18 schools and colleges within Temple.
“Nobody talks to each other, it’s the weirdest thing,” he said. “This is kind of like a spark for that conversation, for people to begin to collaborate with each other. … That would be awesome, if partnerships and teams formed from all across the university to create cool projects or companies.”
There’s still around 20 tables left, so anyone interested in securing a spot can sign up here.