It Takes an Ecosystem
The Feliciano Center draws from a rich ecosystem to offer a real-life entrepreneurial experience where students generate creative ideas, develop them and ultimately pitch them to a panel of professionals. One of the Center’s trademarks is to foster an entrepreneurial community: real entrepreneurs, funders and professional service providers who support real entrepreneurs (attorneys, accountants, graphic artists and software programmers to name a few), faculty and, of course, our students. Taken together, all these entities form an ecosystem that interacts with each other, supports each other, and learns from each other.
Students work directly with innovative faculty, entrepreneurs and professionals who support New Jersey’s entrepreneurial community, and each course relies heavily on this creative community. A vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem is critical to our students’ success. For example, if there is a need to understand how to protect intellectual property, an attorney specializing in this area will be available for coaching. Or, if there is a need to program an app for use in a smartphone, a software programmer can be engaged. These external resources will take on multiple roles throughout the Feliciano Center – such as mentors, guest lecturers, entrepreneurs-in-residence and pitch judges.
Especially important components of the Feliciano Center ecosystem are the successful entrepreneurs who already exist within our student body as well as our alumni entrepreneurs. Our successful entrepreneurial students and alumni provide inspiration that every student has the potential to become a successful entrepreneur.