Ian Mikutel and Greg Koberger hear it all the time. The fourth-year Rochester Institute of Technology information technology majors constantly listen to their technology-minded friends talk about how they have a great idea, but lack the business acumen to launch a company.
“It’s frustrating, because we have every element you’d need to launch a successful business right here on campus,” Mikutel says. “We just need to pull it all together. We need a kick-start.”
That kick-start happens this weekend. Mikutel and Koberger have created RIT48, an approximately 48 hour event that brings students from across campus together to collaborate, receive coaching from mentors and, before the event concludes, launch a Web startup company.
RIT48 begins at 9:30 a.m. Friday with an opening presentation and concludes at 7 p.m. Saturday when each team presents its final business plan to a panel of judges. The closing presentations, which will take place in the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences auditorium, are open to the public.
Entrepreneurship is a passion of both organizers. Mikutel has already launched his own startup, TheWiire.com, a site that reviews Nintendo’s Wii video game console and other video games. Koberger hopes to eventually launch a business of his own.
“We’re both preparing to graduate and we’ve been thinking about what we can do to leave a legacy at RIT,” says Mikutel. “We’re hoping that RIT48 lives on and can impact RIT students for years to come.”