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Business

UCSB Student Entrepreneurs Step Into Future with Next Generation Summit

All business, college students from throughout California convene for two-day networking event

Some of the region’s most innovative young minds convened over the weekend to start talking about how they, as college students, will soon solve the problems of tomorrow.

The dedication showed by UC Santa Barbara students, who have been working since September to plan the Next Generation Summit, becomes more impressive considering that many of their student counterparts spent the weekend reveling in Cinco de Mayo celebrations.

More than 100 students from throughout California and beyond signed on to attend the two-day, first of its kind event, hosted by UCSB’s Entrepreneurs Association at the university’s Corwin Pavilion.

Designed for students by students, the Next Generation Summit featured two full days of seven keynote speakers — most of them local entrepreneurs — and a series of one-hour workshops focused on six topics: technology, environment, business and education, arts and entertainment, health and psychology, and physical and life sciences.

Students also participated in informal lunchtime talks over pizza, an undeniable unifier of college students.

UCSB senior Kiyan Rajabi, founder and director of the event, said it didn’t take long for students from up and down the coast to meet and solidify the next partners for their entrepreneurial business ventures.

UCSB's Next Generation Summit offered a series of small-group workshops. Student Lloyd Dixon led one of the workshops, titled 'Why Our Modern View of Attraction is Dead Wrong.' (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)
UCSB’s Next Generation Summit offered a series of small-group workshops. Student Lloyd Dixon led one of the workshops, titled “Why Our Modern View of Attraction is Dead Wrong.” (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

“We have so many different majors, so many different backgrounds,” Rajabi said. “We’re creating the connection. There are so many young people out there who would love this opportunity.”

What began with the hope that other college students would latch onto the summit idea ended with a discussion and promise to host the gathering in future years, whether it be at UCSB or another college campus.

The fact that students were gathering for the greater good instead of partying says a lot about the next generation, said Betsy Kabaker, a UCSB sophomore in charge of marketing for the event. Click here to view her live tweets from the summit.

“It’s been amazing,” the global studies major said. “We have a great team. We mass emailed every college campus in California. Someone flew from Arizona.

“The main goal is making a commitment and trying to solve problems,” Kabaker continued. “It’s nice to be around people with so many good ideas. It’s really hard to juggle innovation and school. How do we find time? This is what is going to get me a job in the future. It’s not stuffy because it’s all college students.”

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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