Business Day 2021: Bright Ideas Start Here

Business Day header image, tagline, bright ideas start here

What does it take to be a successful entrepreneur? How can entrepreneurship spark innovation and business for a better world? And what does this look like amid a global pandemic?

Now, more than ever, entrepreneurial skills are being put to the test.

The College of Business’s 42nd annual Business Day, hosted by the Dean’s Student Leadership Council (DSLC), will feature prominent local entrepreneurs who will share insights on how they have adjusted to thrive during uncertain times.

All Colorado State University students, faculty and staff are invited to attend four virtual sessions on April 1, from noon – 6:30 pm. Attendees can expect to learn how to become an entrepreneur, how entrepreneurial skills are utilized across industries and what successful entrepreneurs wish they had known before they embarked on their startup journeys.

logo, Dean's Student Leadership Council, CSU College of Business

Learn from Experts

Traci Lounsbury headshot
Laborjack co-founders
Defy Ventures combined headshots

Keynote speaker Traci Lounsbury has spent more than two decades at the helm of four successful commercial interiors businesses. As CEO and majority owner of Workplace ELEMENTS, the fourth-largest woman-owned business in Colorado, she helps organizations utilize human-centered design to customize environments that positively impact peoples’ lives.

Traci is a board member of the Downtown Denver Partnership and the council chair of The Commons on Champa’s Women on the Rise program, which she helped launch. In her 3 pm session, she will share her company’s story along with advice on thriving in a startup as a young entrepreneur.

At noon, founders of Laborjack, Josh Moser and Blake Craig, will share perspectives on entrepreneurship gained from their side gig gone full time. The pair of College of Business graduates teamed up in pursuit of their entrepreneurial passions in 2016 and quickly developed a platform that seamlessly connects qualified and insured laborers to jobs in the gig economy. Laborjack now has three Colorado locations and one in Phoenix.

For a different perspective on entrepreneurship, join the panel discussion at 1:30 pm with representatives from Defy Ventures. Defy works with incarcerated individuals in Colorado to develop entrepreneurial and professional skills in order to break the cycle of poverty and incarceration. The panelists will discuss the role of entrepreneurship in transforming the lives of incarcerated individuals through increased post-release employment opportunities and lower recidivism rates.

Pitch your Venture in the Spring Business Showcase

Following the speakers and panel, Business Day is partnering with the College of Business’s Institute for Entrepreneurship to host the Venture RAMS Spring Business Showcase. During the showcase, teams of students will virtually present their business ideas to a panel of judges in hope of winning up to $3,000.

All are welcome to tune in to watch entrepreneurial students in action and vote for their favorite startup pitch. Students who are interested in pitching to the panel should apply online by end of day on March 17.

Log on and learn

Log on to join the College of Business and the DSLC for Business Day 2021, which is fully virtual on April 1, from noon – 6:30 pm, and hear from these experts in entrepreneurship:

  • Traci Lounsbury – CEO and majority owner, Workplace ELEMENTS
  • Josh Moser – Co-founder, Laborjack
  • Blake Craig – Co-founder, Laborjack
  • Stacey Putkia – Executive Director, Defy Ventures
  • Ismerai McCarragher – Program Director, Defy Ventures
  • Nick Scofield – Senior Operations Associate, Defy Ventures

The event is free for all members of the CSU community. Sign up with your CSU eID to actively participate or register as a livestream observer.

There are a limited number of interactive spots available for each session, but plenty of space for observers.