Entrepreneurship Resource Nights: Risk and Opportunity

Resource Nights (ENTRE 440/540 Business Plan Practicum), offered throughout winter quarter by the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship, bring in experts from the local entrepreneurial community to teach various aspects of creating a startup venture, from idea generation to legal issues to raising capital. Each week you can read a recap of the previous Entrepreneurship Resource Night. This week, instructor John Zagula steps in for the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship’s Amy Sallin and recaps a class featuring Gary Rieschel, founding member of Qiming Venture Partners. If you have questions about the lecture series, or any of the Buerk Center’s student competitions, email Amy at [email protected]

We left the dreaming phase of our class and have now entered the thinking/planning phase. Core to that is truly understanding and balancing risk and opportunity. We talked about this from various angles.

We introduced various tools and approaches (the “3 Cs” and “SWOT”) to use to understand the reality—the playing field, the landscape—of what you are up against in turning your ideas into a real business.

We heard from Gary Rieschel, as an exceptional practitioner of assessing and embracing both risk and opportunity in life, career, and investing. We put some of these concepts into practice analyzing real companies from your surveys (Yeah teams!!).

We also heard from our wonderful Foster Librarian, Jason Sokoloff, about the amazing (FREE) tools at your disposal to back your playing field assessment with real data and analysis. And we closed with an investor perspective of how to prioritize these risks.

Some folk were sick or had other important things (hard to imagine, but hey, we understand), and missed week four. Hope you all feel better and can make it for week five. Catch up on what you missed now at this link for all the videos of the class.


Three different views about risk from three different people. Each are worthwhile.

“If you’re not a risk taker, you should get the hell out of business.” – Ray Kroc

“Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.” – Warren Buffett

“I read, I study, I examine, I listen, I think, and out of all that I try to form an idea into which I put as much common sense as I can.” – Marquis de Lafayette


Resource Nights are each Tuesday from January 9 to March 6 from 6 to 7:50 p.m. in PACCAR Hall 192 (Shansby Auditorium). Can’t make it in person? Lectures will be recorded and the links posted to our website weekly. View the Resource Night schedule for links and complete listing of topics and guest speakers.


DON’T MISS THIS WEEK. We are going to be talking all about strategy. With strategists no less! We are in the second part of the second part—going from analysis to decision making. Featuring master strategists Christy Johnson, CEO of Artemis Connection, and Amy Nelson, CEO of The Riveter!

Tuesday, February 7 at 6:00 pm in PACCAR Hall, Shansby Auditorium (room 192)



If you’re still looking to join a team or for team members, stay tuned to the Student Team Formation website. First, create a profile on the Team Building site. Then check out the Showcase page to browse for a team to join or to find team members. NOTE: This is for current students only! 

MENTOR CONNECT (via website)

Need some quick advice about intellectual property, financial projections, or how to divide equity between co-founders? The Buerk Center’s MentorConnect site is a great way to connect with a professional via email for advice, questions, and feedback. The site requires a UW login, so if you’re a student from another college or university contact me for a guest login.


Did you know that we have binders full of past competition entries that you can view? All students are invited to come by our office in Dempsey Hall 227 to take a look. Bring a notepad and any questions you might have. And definitely review the rules beforehand under the “Entry Requirements” tab(s) for the HIC and EIC. Questions? Send us an e-mail.


Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge student entrepreneurship competition

The Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge (HIC) student competition is the place to channel your passion for innovation, solving problems, and making an impact in the health, healthcare, and wellness space. $15,000 Grand Prize!

Start your HIC application now

Deadline to apply is February 12.

Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge student entrepreneurship competition

Maybe the idea came to you in the lab, in class, or on a hike. Whatever the source, the Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge student competition is the place to showcase your solution to our pressing environmental problems. Form a team. Shape the future. $15,000 Grand Prize!

Start your EIC application now

Deadline to apply is February 20.


Health Innovation Challenge: Terri Butler
Environmental Innovation Challenge: Lauren Brohawn
Business Plan Competition: Amy Sallin
BPC MBA student co-chairs: Emma Hohenstein & John Montgomery

Have a great 2018!