On June 14-15, the Entrepreneurial Residential Learning Community (ERLC) was thrilled to host the sixth annual Entrepreneurial Living-Learning Community Roundtable (ELLC) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The participant-driven event provided the opportunity for faculty, administrators and student services professionals from across the country who are involved in entrepreneurially themed residential learning communities to share best practices, network and inspire one another in the name of igniting passion for innovation in our students.
Created in 2012 by the Innovation Living-Learning Community (LLC) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the one and a half day ELLC Roundtable encourages attendees to discuss the successes and challenges that their campuses’ entrepreneurial residential communities have encountered as well as provide support and advice for universities considering starting similar new programs of their own.
This year the ERLC hosted 25 ELLC contributors representing 16 different universities from coast to coast. From as far west as Arizona State, to three university campuses representing North Carolina (UNC-Chapel Hill, NC State and Elon) participants had the opportunity to learn from facilitated discussions on subjects ranging from “Designing Spaces for Entrepreneurial Thinking” to “Student Toolkits for StartUp Success” to “Encouraging Alumni Engagement.” A student panel comprised of former UW-Madison ERLC residents gave everyone a chance to learn from those who matter most–the students that we serve.
The roundtable was a great source of Badger pride as our guests enjoyed a formal tour of UW-Madison concentrating on entrepreneurial spaces as well as a tour of the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery. The city of Madison’s startup spirit was also on display during second day sessions held at 100State’s downtown co-working space, the largest in Wisconsin.
According to Sari Judge, UW-Madison’s ERLC Program Coordinator, the continued success of the roundtable has been impressive, “I think the roundtable has surpassed all of the initial expectations from when it launched in 2012.” She continues. “Creating an engaged community of those who work in the entrepreneurial living learning space has been invaluable. I now have lots of new ideas to implement on the floor this year and I thank the ELLC Roundtable for encouraging me to think creatively for the year to come.”
Says Haley Huie, Director of the Albright Entrepreneurs Village at North Carolina State and a two-time Roundtable attendee, “I found the ELLC Roundtable to be incredibly helpful as I was wrapping up my first year in leading an entrepreneurship community. There are so many tips from other schools, and ideas for how to grow our programmatic offerings in a curricular and co-curricular environment.” She continues, “I personally enjoyed the networking, presentations and discussions around how we can help students learn from founders and leaders within the startup ecosystem to inspire our change makers.”
As entrepreneurial residence programs continue to grow across the country, professional development events like the ELLC Roundtable ensure UW-Madison’s ERLC staff is at the forefront of what is hot in the worlds of teaching, programming and student support.