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Undergraduate Academies to host entrepreneurship speaker series lecture

Photo of Ansar Khan and James O'Leary.

UB grad Ansar Khan and former student James O'Leary, who founded Refulgent Software and developed an iPod application for restaurants, will speak at an entrepreneurial workshop.

Release Date: February 8, 2013

“Entrepreneurship is seen as a way to revitalize Western New York. If we can identify students now who are going to be entrepreneurs, and keep them here, together we can boost the local economy.”
Hadar Borden, administrative director, UB Undergraduate Academies
Photo of Ansar Khan and James O'Leary.

BUFFALO, N.Y. – A handful of Buffalo’s most driven risk-takers will gather Tuesday, Feb. 12, for an entrepreneurship speaker series hosted by University at Buffalo’s Entrepreneurship Academy to teach UB students how to hand in homework by day, and manage a thriving business at night.

The workshop, “From an Idea to a Business: How to Be a Student Entrepreneur,” will be held at 7 p.m. in Knox 20 on UB’s North Campus. The lecture is free and open to the public.

A pre-lecture networking reception at 6 p.m. in Norton Hall, room 17, aims to link technologically savvy students with their business-minded counterparts.

Featured lecturers are Ansar Khan and James O’Leary, both former UB students who founded Refulgent Software and developed “Ambur,” an iPod application that allows waiters to take orders on an Apple device and wirelessly send the information to a kitchen printer.

Khan’s and O’Leary’s company now serves more than 260 clients and generates six-figure annual revenue. Forbes featured the students last year among a handful of “All-Star Student Entrepreneurs.” But four years ago, all they had was an idea and ambition. This is the notion Hadar Borden wants to drive home to UB students who attend the lecture series. 

“If you have an idea or a solution to a problem, this is possible. You don’t have to be like Mark Zuckerberg,” says Borden, administrative director of Undergraduate Academies at UB. “There are people and resources here at UB and in the Western New York community who will support students if they have the ideas.”

The Entrepreneurship Academy, a program dedicated to preparing UB students for futures as business owners, is a new addition at UB, launched last fall as a division of the Undergraduate Academies. And it has already garnered buzz throughout the campus and local communities, says Borden. The academy expanded upon its initial fall enrollment of 40 students with 30 more this spring.

More information about UB’s Entrepreneurship Academy is available at http://academy.buffalo.edu.

“Entrepreneurship is seen as a way to revitalize Western New York,” says Borden. “If we can identify students now who are going to be entrepreneurs, and keep them here, together we can boost the local economy.”

Entrepreneurial students aspiring to establish a career in Western New York are encouraged to apply for the Western New York Prosperity Scholarship, which Borden says offers a great incentive for students to remain in Buffalo. The need-based scholarship, offered by the Prentice Family Foundation, may cover as much as $25,000 of a student’s financial need.

The award is available only to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in business, engineering, biomedical sciences or biotechnology. The deadline for 2013-14 applications is Feb. 15. For more information on the scholarship, visit http://wnyprosperityscholars.buffalo.edu/index.shtml.

Media Contact Information

Marcene Robinson
Contributing Writer
University Communications
Email: marcener@buffalo.edu
Tel: 716-645-4650