eweekend_storyColgate kicks off Entrepreneur Weekend 2015 today with a panel conversation featuring five all-star entrepreneurs: Jessica Alba, founder of The Honest Company; Neil Blumenthal, co-founder and CEO of Warby Parker; Greg Coleman, president of Buzzfeed; serial entrepreneur and entertainer MC Hammer; and Rent the Runway co-founder and CEO Jennifer Hyman.

The event will be streamed live at colgate.edu.

Panelists will offer insights that they have gathered as they have built businesses across an array of industries. Colgate trustee and Chegg! CEO Dan Rosensweig P’15’17 will moderate the discussion.

After the keynote event, panelists will hand the microphones to a few Colgate students, who will pitch their own ventures in a Shark Tank-style competition.

“We wanted to spark the kind of conversation that undergraduates couldn’t hear anywhere else,” said Murray Decock ’80, vice president of institutional advancement. “Into this creative Colgate environment, we’re welcoming panelists who pursue big ideas for a living. They know — and can teach our students — that you have to think big and take risks if you’re going to change the world.”

Entrepreneur Weekend has become a signature program for Colgate. Between 2012 and 2013, some of the world’s most innovative business leaders — including Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson, Chobani founder Hamdi Ulukaya, and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg — traveled to Hamilton for solo engagements with Colgate students.

Last year, the university hosted a panel that included business founders Ashton Kutcher of Katalyst, and Brian Chesky of Airbnb, as well as established CEOs John Donahoe of eBay, Tony Bates of GoPro, and Rosensweig from Chegg. By purposeful contrast, founders who serve as chief executives of their own ventures make up the majority of this year’s panel.

The celebration will continue on Friday evening, when the Colgate University Alumni Council will award its Entrepreneur of the Year Award to Ello COO Pete Sheinbaum ’92 and Patagonia Sur CEO Warren Adams ’88. On Saturday, the university will host a luncheon program and venture demos, developed by undergraduates in the Thought Into Action Student Incubator program.

The complete schedule is at colgate.edu/eweekend.