Launching on Labor Day Weekend

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This past weekend I got to participate in Launch Weekend at Case Western Reserve University.

Students, alumni, and others affiliated with the Blackstone LaunchNet  could pitch an idea, find backers and teammates, tweak the business, give a refined pitch, and win awards.  

Today is Labor Day, and the connection to this and the launch weekend does not escape me. Labor Day reminds us of the dignity of work. While work is tough, it is necessary for happiness. We see connections that others haven’t, and build something for the benefit of others. 

Labor Day reminds us of the dignity of work. While work is tough, it is necessary for happiness. In work, we see connections that others haven’t, and build something for the benefit of others. 

Nowhere is this more apparent than in entrepreneurship, and it was displayed beautifully at the launch weekend. 

Entrepreneurship unites. It was stunning to see the bonds formed in just over 48 hours. College freshmen from China working with established Cleveland entrepreneurs. Grad students from India with decades-past alumni. 

The majority of these projects won’t be the next hot buy. That’s fine. Guess what? They all pointed toward a need that has been overlooked, and got us thinking about how to serve others.  

I was humbled to serve as a mentor during the weekend. I am a client of the LaunchNet program and have progressed toward my goals in entrepreneurship. I am far behind in my journey than some of the other mentors. Impostor syndrome struck. 

But I was able to contribute, and the teams genuinely appreciated my insights. Again, it didn’t matter my success or my background — just being there and being willing to help was enough. 

It doesn’t matter where you’re starting from, what industry you’re looking at, or how much revenue you’ll create. It’s all entrepreneurship — we’re all in this together.

Have a happy Labor Day. 

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