PLS: Amy Cosper, Editor-in-chief of Entrepreneur Magazine
Amy Cosper, vice president and editor-in-chief of Entrepreneur Magazine, was the first speaker for the 2014-2015 President’s Lecture Series. Cosper’s lecture followed the Dedication and Hall of Fame Induction of the Strome Entrepreneurial Center on Sept 25.
Cosper began the evening by denouncing the word lecture all together, saying she is a story teller who would give an elongated toast to entrepreneurialism.
“An entrepreneur is someone who creates something where there was nothing,” Cosper said.
“Owning a small business does not make you an entrepreneur, anybody can go out and buy a dry cleaner. On the other side, being the CEO of a publicly traded gigantic company does not preclude you from being an entrepreneur,” she said.
She initially called her story “A Mind Lit Only by Fire”, later swapping it for “Screw it, let’s do it Old Dominion”, which she derived from a Richard Branson quote.
Cosper discussed the evolution of the word entrepreneur, giving examples from Entrepreneur Magazine’s previous cover titles such as, “the dude who buys the hot tub and rents it out” and “how to start a mail-order bride business,” to more recent editions of the magazine that feature people like Richard Branson and Steve Hafner.
She also emphasized the difference in entrepreneurialism nationally and internationally, speaking specifically about a recent hackathon she attended in Croatia.
“We are so lucky in this country because it [entrepreneurialism] is so much a part of our culture and our heritage… it is a part of who we are as Americans,” Cosper said.
She said she believes that people in all academic disciplines should be thinking entrepreneurially.
“We are laying the foundation for our future, the future of this country, the future of this economy, the future of this political system, the future of our children, by celebrating, embracing and executing innovation and invention,” Cosper said.
At the conclusion of the lecture moderator, Cathy Lewis, asked the audience’s questions. Cosper answered questions about her start in the industry as a reporter, and moving her way up into an editor position when she was asked to work for Entrepreneur Magazine.
She also answered questions a few people in the audience had about personal business endeavors, as well as giving advice to the community as a whole for future entrepreneurialism.
By Jessica Perkins