Retail Connect 2017 Tackles the Risks and Rewards of Entrepreneurship

This Thursday, students and industry professionals will gather for the College of Design’s annual event, Retail Connect. Presented by the College of Design’s Retail Merchandising Program, the Retail Merchandising Design Advisory Board, and the college’s Alumni Relations team, this year’s event will focus specifically on entrepreneurship and the role entrepreneurs play in our global economy.

The founders of three Minnesota-based start-ups will speak about both the risks and the rewards inherent in entrepreneurship: Dale Nitschke (M.B.A. ’97), the Founder/CEO of Ovative/group; Ben VandenWymelenberg (B.S. ’12 Architecture), the Founder/CEO of Woodchuck; and Wesley Uthus (B.S. ’08 Apparel Design) and Michele Henry, Co-founders of Primp Boutiques.

In addition to speaking about their own individual paths to launching a business, the panelists will be answering questions on the ins and outs of starting a business. “I hope we are able to paint a picture for what it looks like to start and run a successful retail business. It’s not always easy and requires a lot of patience and resilience. It’s also extremely rewarding,” said Uthus.

They also want to motivate students to follow their own dreams. “I’d like to inspire some designers to start their own companies and to pursue their passions,” said VandenWymelenberg.

In addition to the discussion panel, attendees will hear from opening speaker and panel moderator Amanda K. Brinkman, Chief Brand and Communications Officer at Deluxe and creator/host of the Hulu and web-based series, Small Business Revolution – Main Street. Following the main program, guests will have the opportunity to screen Episode 6 of the series, featuring clothing boutique Polka Dot Parlor.

Learn more about Retail Connect 2017.

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