The 2017 What If Innovation Festival is a two-part event that began with a ‘Tower Takeover’ at the Bell Tower. This event showcased innovation from Temple students, alumni, and entrepreneurs in the Philadelphia community. The vendors at the festival showcased businesses that varied in technologies, businesses, music, non-profits, and visual arts.
Jacob Andrews, one the head festival coordinators, said, “The main goal of the What If Innovation Festival is to foster and cultivate entrepreneurship and letting students see all of the resources available to them that Temple provides and that Philadelphia has open for students. So really the whole goal of the event is for students to meet with other students that are like-minded and then they’ll be able to come together and start their own companies.”
The festival vendors were excited to take advantage of the platform provided by the What If Festival to spread awareness and increase membership for their organizations.
One vendor at the festival said, “What we’re doing here today at the Innovation Fair is kind of trying to market our club on campus to get new members interested and start asking questions towards the tail end of their freshmen year and trying to get the campus and community excited about the engineering and innovation going on, on campus.”
Andrews also shared that this innovation festival is unique because the What If Innovation, “it was started by students that have been involved in starting their own companies and are very involved in Philadelphia entrepreneurial communities, so I think that helps a lot because it really gives students an understanding of what it’s really like.”
Along with the opportunity for students and festival participants to network and engage at the Bell Tower, there was also a second part to the festival where local industry leaders and innovators will be discussing the stages of innovation, which included ideation, funding, & sustainable growth. This Lightning Speaking Panel series followed the Tower Takeover at Mitten Hall that night from 6-8:30 pm.