Business faculty calls on colleagues to excuse students from class for Startup Week

Campbell's downtown Raleigh campus

DURHAM – Campbell University, School of Business faculty member and newly appointed Director of Entrepreneurship, Scott Kelly, has published the following open letter to fellow faculty who teach at North Carolina business schools:

Dear Colleague:

I’m a business faculty member at the Lundy-Fetterman School of Business at Campbell University and am writing to invite you to excuse your students from class on April 19-22, 2022, to attend the Raleigh-Durham Startup Week.

Like you, I spend a lot of time preparing for class to ensure it is engaging and productive. However, occasionally there are opportunities when students should get out of the building, and this Startup Week is the perfect environment for students to network, learn, and grow.

Students sometimes feel pressure to follow the traditional system of studying long hours in hopes of landing that dream job. However, we know students who participate in off-campus meetups, conferences, and competitions experience higher quality/quantity job opportunities and a shorter path to discovering their ultimate calling.

Hope to see you and your students in Durham!

Why this open letter?

Professor Kelly explained the background of why he feels this event (and others like it) are instrumental in a student’s educational journey, “When I watched my students participate in a Startup Weekend in the Winter of 2017, I was convinced it was the richest educational event I’ve experienced as an educator. We traveled to Silicon Valley as part of an undergrad course called Innovation in America and spent most of our time engaging companies like Facebook, Google, Dropbox, and a few other smaller startups. While walking around Facebook headquarters was exciting (we saw Mark Zuckerberg walking around), the most impactful time was participating in Startup Weekend in Oakland, where students worked with Bay Area innovators for 25 hours between Friday night and Sunday afternoon. It was hard work, and by Sunday night they were ready to present a prototype of a new business idea. Why was this awesome? Students were immersed in the community and mentored by top talent.”

According to Kelly, the Raleigh-Durham Startup Week happening on April 19-22, 2022, provides a similar educational experience because they will be immersed in the regional startup ecosystem.