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Celebrating Northeastern’s ‘innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem’

Today marks the start of Global Entrepreneurship Week at Northeastern University, a five-day series of events celebrating and promoting entrepreneurship and innovation on campus, in Boston and around the world.

“The goal is to celebrate the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem that’s here at the university,” said Tracey Dodenhoff, director of Northeastern’s Center for Research Innovation. “There’s a lot of energy on campus and these events allow the community to take part in all that is going on.”

The slate of events includes daily “Breakfast of Champions” discussions held in the morning at Renaissance Park that will explore topics such as venture funding, intellectual property and government-sponsored innovation. A full schedule of events is posted online at northeastern.edu/eweek.

Global Entrepreneurship Week is a worldwide initiative that was launched in 2008 by former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Carl Schramm, the president and CEO of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Since then, it has expanded to 115 countries and nearly 24,000 partner organizations, directly engaging more than 7 million people.

The events on Northeastern’s campus are free and open to the Northeastern community. One of the keynote events — “Inspire, Translate, Accelerate!: Building Northeastern’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem” — will celebrate the new Center for Research Innovation, which was founded earlier this year. The center, which supports cross-university entrepreneurship and innovation, succeeded the Division of Technology Transfer.

It aims to connect the gaps between groups and organizations on campus to provide seamless service to entrepreneurs and to help connect academic research with industry.

“Our objective is to provide a high level of service and let the university community know we are here to help them be successful,” Dodenhoff said.

Student groups such as the Entrepreneurs Club and IDEA, Northeastern’s venture accelerator, are organizing several events. Wednesday evening’s Investor Insights, for example, will feature venture capitalists giving entrepreneurial advice to new students and alumni. On Thursday at 6:15 p.m., WilmerHale Venture Group is hosting a keynote address by crowd-sourcing entrepreneur Ben Kaufman of Quirky and an engaging panel discussion featuring entrepreneurial alumni.

“I think this goes to show how thriving entrepreneurship is at Northeastern and how much fire and spirit there is on campus,” said Greg Skloot, president of the Northeastern Entrepreneurs Club. “It’s really good for showcasing what the community is up to at Northeastern.”