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Entrepreneurship at work, on campus and worldwide

Northeastern University and its Center for Research Innovation are hosting a series of events through Friday as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week. The theme of this year’s incarnation of the initiative will focus on fostering a strong and engaged community by working across a range of disciplines throughout campus and beyond.

“The energy and passion for entrepreneurship is deeply seated at Northeastern and continues to resonate as our alumni create impact around the world,” said Tracey Dodenhoff, the center’s director.

Northeastern Global e-week kicks off on Tuesday from 1:30-4:30 p.m. in the Curry Indoor Quad with the inaugural B.I.G. Venture Fair, which is co-hosted by CRI and Career Services. B.I.G, which stands for business, innovation and growth, will aim to connect start-ups from across the Boston area with students eager to build partnerships or pursue a career at an up-and-coming venture.

From 4:30 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, deans from across the university will discuss the role of entrepreneurship in their school or college. Each dean, Dodenhoff said, will speak for five minutes about how their disciplines are engaging entrepreneurs and what the future holds for their fields.

Click here for a full schedule of Global Entrepreneurship Week events. The slate of activities includes programs in the fields of health science, music industry, video-game design, and pitching for grants, investments and press coverage. The events are sponsored by colleges across the university and student groups including IDEA and the Northeastern Entrepreneurs Club.

This is the fifth consecutive year that Northeastern has participated in Global Entrepreneurship Week, which includes more than 35,000 events in more than 125 countries worldwide.

The venture fair will also mark the launch of VentureCrowd, a CRI-funded initiative that matches ventures with would-be entrepreneurs based on an individual’s skill set and an organization’s needs.

“The entrepreneurship ecosystem here can so often feel separated physically and mentally,” said VentureCrowd CEO Ryan Johnson, who graduated from Northeastern this spring with a master’s degree from the School of Technical Entrepreneurship. “When you’re trying to build a team, you really need to cross-pollinate — that’s a need here as at any other university or organization.”

Users of the site, which was released in open beta last month at NEXPO, can pinpoint their skill set in six fields—operations, technical, creative, legal, financial or marketing and sales—and then search for opportunities to pair their unique abilities with the needs of a particular start-up.

Johnson noted the differences between VentureCrowd and job boards or networking sites such as LinkedIn. “The one thing that really sets us apart is matchmaking and the need to pair up people with certain skills with the right company, and vice versa,” he explained. “And we’re focused on hyper-localization: we know that Northeastern is made up of many independent but interdependent communities, and VentureCrowd can help bring them together.”

The Center for Research Innovation serves as Northeastern’s portal between industry and the leading innovations from the university’s use-inspired research portfolio. The center bridges the gap between laboratory research and need-based solutions and is dedicated to establishing an ongoing dialogue with industry that informs and inspires Northeastern’s progressive research.

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