#weareentrepreneurs answers the question: “Why entrepreneurship?”

A social media campaign organized by the University at Buffalo’s Blackstone LaunchPad chapter is hoping to draw attention to the range of diverse backgrounds the school’s entrepreneurs have, from all stages of their careers as innovators.

Through the month of March, entrepreneurs associated with the university, including current and former students, business owners in the community, and friends of the program are encouraged to tag social media posts with #weareentrepreneurs, completing the sentence, “I am an entrepreneur because …”

It’s part of a national campaign in which Blackstone LaunchPad Entrepreneurship Initiative chapters across the country are participating.

Several current or former UB entrepreneurs have already participated, telling their entrepreneurial story through photo and video posts on the chapter’s social media channels, including the founders of Chipdown and ColdSpace Storage.

“It’s really a national campaign, but we’re encouraged to take it and run with it,” said Taylor Speer, a graduate assistant with the chapter. “It’s catching momentum. We’re starting to gain a lot of traction on tweets, retweets, and students appreciate the chance to be featured. It’s been a successful campaign so far.”

Another UB entrepreneur participating in the campaign is Isabel Hall, a UB engineering student whose passion for science, technology, engineering, and math inspired a STEM-focused summer camp for elementary school-aged girls. Supported by the Buffalo Student Sandbox program and the recipient of the Western New York Prosperity Fellowship, her camp has become a hit amongst local kids and parents, Speer said.

“We are trying to get a diverse range of perspectives,” Speer added. “The way we see it, entrepreneurs can be any color, any shape, any size, any gender, and any age. We are trying to pull entrepreneurs from different backgrounds and perspectives.”

Visit @LaunchPad_UB on Twitter and Instagram to see more of these stories through the month of March, or search the hashtag #weareentrepreneurs. Check them out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LaunchPadUB/ Speer said videos and photos will be posted throughout the month.

“This is a great opportunity to highlight some of the ideas for ventures that might not be advanced in their development, they might not have social media channels yet,” Speer said. “It helps to get their names out there.”

Read more articles by Joel Lehman.

After spending 15 years in northern Vermont where he worked as managing editor for a daily publication, Western New York native Joel Lehman returned to Buffalo this summer to be part of the city’s renaissance. He lives with his girlfriend and his goldendoodle, Wilson, and he enjoys running, skiing and cooking for his family.
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