Creating an Entrepreneurial EcosystemMDC's Idea Center nurtures innovation and creativity

Jim McKelvey, founder of Square, speaks with students during recent Pioneers @ MDC event.

Launched this fall with the generous support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Idea Center at MDC has wasted no time making its impact felt across the College with an exciting roster of programming to help cultivate entrepreneurship.

Among the Center’s most notable initiatives is the recent launch of the Startup Challenge, a business model competition for students of any discipline who have refined startup ideas that are ready to be developed into go-to-market business plans. Winners receive seed money for their venture, as well as support and mentoring to help turn their creative ideas into  successful enterprises.

Students have been able to glean inspiration from a distinguished slate of entrepreneurs from various industries as part of the Pioneers@MDC speaker series. These game-changers have shared their trials and triumphs along with some of the secrets of their success. Speakers to date include Jim McKelvey, the co-founder of Square, a $6 billion company that revolutionized the mobile payment industry; George Logothetis, chairman and CEO of the Libra Group, an international business group comprising 30 subsidiaries operating across five continents; Demian Bellumio, co-founder and chief operating officer of Senzari, a Miami-based startup that leverages cutting-edge technology to make real-time music recommendations; and Daniel Cane, co-founder and CEO of MODMED, an electronic medical record (EMR) system helping physicians increase efficiencies in their medical practices while improving both treatment and business outcomes.

“Our goal is to foster a true entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Idea Center Executive Director Leandro Finol.