Radijah Hudson ’16, JCSU Math and Dance major reflects on her experience at Impact U, a local entrepreneurship incubator for college students.
Major: Interdisciplinary Studies, Math and Dance
My experience with Queen City Forward at Packard Place was phenomenal. I grew so much as person and an entrepreneur. I received the chance to be around so many different people. This experience helped my network a ton, especially as a rising junior. All resources were at our finger tips, there was nothing that we couldn’t receive info about. The mentors were brutally honest, which was great because that’s what I needed. The building and space were also great and we had a really cool balcony view of the city as well as 24/7 access to Packard Place. Although the program is over, Queen City Forward members have extended their availability to us, so that’s a plus. This experience has filled me with gratitude and I am beyond thankful for this experience.
This opportunity was truly an entrepreneurial experience. Monday and Friday were the only mandatory days we had to be in attendance. The rest of the days we could come and go as we pleased. These days were extremely eventful. On Mondays and Fridays we had workshops with our mentors and top professionals. Our mentor access was incredible; we connected with entrepreneurs that were extremely successful in their focus and some were only a couple of steps ahead of us. We connected with a lawyer, branding and marketing companies, as well as tech, investors, and financial professionals. I’ve connected with companies like Kelso Communications, Moor & Van Allen, Slip-on Dancers, and OrthoCarolina, just to name a few.
I’ve been molded and prepped by some of my primary mentors. Just to mention a few: Katie Hughes, the founder and CEO of Slip-on Dancers (Zumba shoes) and Arnar Þór Viðarsson whom is a writer from Iceland. We were given a list of mentors we could just schedule meetings with, and just immerse ourselves in all the information from them we needed and wanted, from business to personal. The best part about this program is that we can still contact and communicate with all of the mentors. So our resources are never dry.
Thanks to Innovo!
Working with Innovo is tremendously exciting and overwhelming in a good way. They challenge every bone in my body. The atmosphere is extremely genuine. When preparing me for my pitch day they guided me through this experience by being brutally honest, soulfully and spiritually supportive, and not challenging me, BUT making me think outside of the box.
Doing the pitch was extremely scary, nerve racking, but I got through it. Although it is great to put ourselves, it’s very scary because you are exposed to so much judgment rather it’s good or bad, BUT it is very much needed. I eventually got the hang of things and eased up throughout the day. I am true dancers so performing helped ease my mind.
Although I didn’t need receive any funding, it is okay. At that point I wasn’t looking for any funding and I hadn’t prepared my pitch for investors. I will be ready to pitch to investors very soon.