The World of Networking: Networking Fair 2024

IN2 at IMSA | Source: IN2

On March 13, 2024, the annual Social Entrepreneurship (SocEnt) Networking Fair was held in IN2 for the SocEnt students as a part of the elective’s efforts to display the applications of the design thinking process and the process of social entrepreneurship. While the networking aspect of the fair remained the same from previous years, the co-chairs brought something new this year: a problem workshop. Co-Chair Nathaniel Huang (‘24) started the networking fair with an introductory speech to the guests and students before kicking the fair off.

Aarna Patel (Class of 2025): One of the SocEnt facilitators, Aarna presented her work with her startup, VIP Skincare, started by her and her mother. They work to produce a line of cosmetics and skincare and contribute a portion of their profits to the Wings Domestic Abuse and Violence Shelter to help those in difficult situations. 

Carissa Chen and Manu Mamillapalli (Class of 2025): Two more of the SocEnt facilitators presented their product: Sustain, which is an app that helps users make more sustainable decisions regarding their purchase of fashion. Additionally, the app also allows users to create their virtual wardrobe with outfits that the user can upload to the app. With this app, Carissa and Manu hope to encourage more sustainable practices with fashion shopping and a better awareness of consumption.

Fox Valley League of Women Voters: This organization sent representative Barbara Laimins to promote their cause of fighting voter misinformation. In addition to promoting their mission to combat voter misinformation, their problem for the problem workshop involved input from the SocEnt students to see what more they could do in the future for their cause.

APS Training Academy: This organization attended last year’s Networking Fair, and they returned announcing their presence with 3D printed models of Among Us characters and a vehicle that is coded to run to have its path determined on scanners. This organization brought their work and their mission of helping promote STEM education within low-income communities.

Mya Griesbaum (IMSA Alum Class of 2022): An alum of IMSA from the class of 2022, Mya presented her research and work with Mycorrhiza, a line of clothing made from a species of fungi. She tuned into the event virtually and presented her work over Google Meet to students.

After the fair aspect of the event, the students shifted their focus to the problem workshop, where students were assigned a group number that would determine which organization they would work with. The assigned organization gave their groups a problem that those organizations themselves have encountered and students are tasked with designing and ideating a solution that can solve these problems. The organization then gave feedback on those solutions to help further show the applicability of the design thinking process outside of SocEnt classrooms. The other Co-Chair of SocEnt, Dash Leigh (‘24), closed out the event with a closing speech before releasing all students.

About the Author

Nathaniel Huang
Hi there! I'm Nathaniel, a senior-year staff writer currently living in 1505 C-Wing. You can probably find me in a quiet corner, listening to various music, watching a Twitch stream, looking at either a map, a painting, or some music compositions, or practicing for Quiz Bowl.

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