Thursday, March 22 marks Temple’s third-annual, student-run What IF Innovation Festival — three years of Temple’s top entrepreneurs coming together to inspire others.
These students are not afraid to take risks and expand their horizons. The What IF Innovation Festival is an expansion of the school’s past efforts to support those students, serving as a bridge between all of the innovation and entrepreneurship happening across all of Temple’s different schools.
Why I joined What IF
I’m Kunal Duggal, a freshman marketing student at Temple. The What IF Festival presented a unique opportunity for me. I saw it’s ability to bring together a wide variety of different people all under the banner of entrepreneurship. And, as a marketing coordinator, I saw this as a way to spread the word and network with a variety of amazing entrepreneurs that are right here on Temple’s campus or local to Philadelphia.
What IF allows for Temple students no matter the school to present their new businesses or innovations, whether it be an application, service, or product. By putting all of these amazing students in the same space we aim to expand the entrepreneurial bug by having people who attend the showcase get inspired by their peers. Or by having the “showcasers” use this opportunity to network and work together to create new projects. This is of course only one half of the What IF Innovation Festival.
Two examples of the amazing ventures Temple students are displaying within What IF are, Milk and Vine, written by Emily Beck and Adam Gasiewski, the viral sensation that swept across Temple’s campus and beyond making it an Amazon best seller, being featured on publications like USA Today and Teen Vogue, and Repair U.
Repair U, created by Jessie Dilaura, is a millennial-focused repair startup focused on providing the best repairs at the lowest cost. The venture was featured in a Technical.ly article, back when Jessie had just begun funding Repair U.
Directly after the showcase portion of What IF, some of Philadelphia’s prominent entrepreneurs will speak about their experiences in building companies. Three of them — United by Blue CEO Brian Linton, Wild Mantle CEO Avi Loren Fox and Spector Art CEO Jordan Spector — are Temple alumni. They are accompanied by Jonas Cleveland, founder and CEO of robotics startup COSY. The speaking session allows for attendees to connect with and learn from our more experienced and successful speakers.
The beauty of What IF…
Is its ability to incorporate Temple’s diversity.
What IF has no specific definition of what entrepreneurship or innovation is nor does it cater to one audience such as those interested in technology. What IF opens the doors to anyone who can look at the bigger picture, take a calculated risk and prepare for failure at the deepest levels. The What IF innovation festival’s goal is to expand entrepreneurship and innovation in a unique way — the Temple way, by opening doors to anyone who is willing to ask themselves the question, What if?
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