Fusion Promotes Community and Student Networking
PROVO, Utah – Nov 15, 2018 – The lights were dim, music was playing, and food was offered to over 800 excited entrepreneurs on BYU campus at one of the largest entrepreneurial networking events in Utah. For the eighth year in a row, Fusion, sponsored by BYU Marriott’s Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology (CET), promoted free-flowing conversation between students and local entrepreneurs as they made connections at the October event.
“Fusion has a cool vibe atmosphere meant to encourage people to talk to each other,” says Taunya Brown, CET event manager.
Fusion is geared toward students and locals alike. The CET advertises the event around the community, and local entrepreneurs and investors register along with student entrepreneurs. This year the event took place in the Hinckley Alumni and Visitors Center, where more than 470 students and 350 community members attended, while companies came to talk to students and locals.
Previously known as The Event, this gathering was rebranded and renamed this year to better communicate its purpose. “Because Fusion is a networking event, and the purpose is to connect people, ‘fusion’ denotes the process or result of joining things together,” Brown says.
This fusion of students and community allows the CET to lead the way forward in the entrepreneurial networking space. “Students typically meet a few key contacts who can help them in the future, companies they can work for, or investors they can contact once they’ve started their businesses,” Brown says. “Or maybe they find fellow students who can work with them on their ideas. Community members also find students who could be key players in their startups or find investors to help them take products to the next level. The connections people make are the success stories.”
One of the students who made connections at Fusion this year was Benjamin Bush, a first-year BYU Marriott MBA student from Portland, Oregon, who is developing a phone-case game controller. Not only did Bush talk to designers and investors who could help him but he also talked with other entrepreneurs who he felt he could help.
“There is value in interacting with individuals in the same place as me, trying to push through the difficult beginning stages,” Bush says. “It was fun to see others in the trenches, just knowing I’m not alone and that others are supporting me. I was also surprised that I could give back to them.”
For students and locals looking forward to next year’s Fusion event, Brown suggests preparing beforehand by identifying what they have to offer. To get the most out of the event, be ready to get to know people and understand what they do, she says.
“The most rewarding part of this event is reaching beyond students to the community to help create connections,” says Brown. “And at the same time, it helps people recognize everything the Rollins Center does for BYU and for the community.”
Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Katelyn Stiles