The University of Kansas on Wednesday announced its largest-ever multi-disciplinary career fair for startups in the Midwest.
The Startup Job and Internship Fair — set for March 1 — will connect students studying everything from engineering to design with startups from Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. The fair is open to any and all area small businesses.
“We’re really good at putting students in front of big companies,” said Julie Nagel, interim president of KU Innovation and Collaboration. “We want to bring that expertise and opportunity to startups, and make KU an open place for startups.”
The fair is part of KU’s expanding efforts to expose students to entrepreneurship. Nagel noted that currently there are more than 600 students from different disciplines enrolled in some kind of entrepreneurial course. The Catalyst, KU’s business accelerator exclusively for student-founded enterprises, is another bright spot.
“KU has a very robust entrepreneurial education program,” Nagel said, “We have an entrepreneurial certification program through the business school, and The Catalyst is now home to 12 student-led companies — all of which will be at the Startup Job Fair.”
Companies can register for a free table at the job fair here. There’s a limited number of spots available for companies, Nagel said.
Nagel said she sees the job fair as a win-win prospect for both students and startups.
“Startups need talent and our students can fill that need,” she said. “We hope to get as many companies (in the job fair) as possible so we can help those companies grow, and expose students to this whole other world.”
Asked if she thinks the entrepreneurial community and universities could improve communication, Nagel said that KU is willing to listen. The university, she added, is committed to growing the region’s talent pipeline with its students.
“Startups need to tell the KU community what they need to grow, so we can educate students to fill that need,” Nagel said. “If students can find jobs here and stay in the region, that’s better for everyone.”