The first installment of MSU LaunchCats’ Entrepreneur Speaker Series

MSU’s LaunchCats, partnering with the Jake Jabs School of Business and Entrepreneurship, kicked off the start of their four-part Entrepreneur Speaker Series on Thursday, Jan. 19. The event took place in Reynolds Hall and featured four speakers discussing social entrepreneurship and how entrepreneurship can make a positive impact on the world. LaunchCats is a co-curricular, multi-disciplinary student organization focused on identifying and solving problems and changing the landscape of entrepreneurship.

The four speakers, Mark Brand, Mark Goerner, AJ Paron-Wildes and Philip Sheppard, are all members of the HATCH Network. HATCH connects innovators from around the world and facilitates ideation and real world problem solving. The speakers discussed each of their individual entrepreneurial journeys and how they were able to find and pursue their passions.

Brand is a successful Canadian chef and owner of multiple businesses who has taken it upon himself to help find a solution to poverty and homelessness. He stressed that, “every problem is an opportunity.” Goener is an artist, concept illustrator and founder of Eqogo, an app that aims to connect consumers to the environmental impact and life cycle analysis of the products they buy. Paron-Wildes has been an interior designer for over 20 years. She spoke openly about having an autistic child and how her life course changed to research and design that facilitates focus and learning for the autistic population. Sheppard is a famous cellist, composer and producer. He discussed how one relationship can propel a career.


If you are interested in getting involved, you can learn more about LaunchCats at Catch the second installment of this four-part series at 5 p.m. in the SUB ballrooms on Feb. 13.