Entry 77 of 100
By ZK Queijo On November 19, 2008 at 3:52 PM
Walking across Radford University's campus on the second day of the Entrepreneurial Summit, I had the chance to talk with Brian Patrick Cork (RU '84), keynote speaker, serial entrepreneur, and judge for the annual Elevator Pitch Competition. Athletic, charming, clad in a dark T-shirt and jeans on the first really cold day of October, he reflected on what it meant to set foot on RU's campus after 24 years.
"I'm always proud to be Highlander.. a lot has happened since graduation. Everything I am doing today had a fundamental start there. This is where I started being a real human being."
Cork acknowledges his four years at Radford as a political science major as formative years. In his keynote address he shared stories about the numerous and colorful events of his youth as an undergrad that put him on the path to becoming an entrepreneur. He spoke with passion and ease about his zest for life and learning.
The opportunity to return to campus and give something back to community that helped shape him into who he is today meant a great deal and judging the Elevator Pitch Competition turned out to be as exciting for him as participating was for the students. He saw it as his turn to see potential in students and offer direction.
Anthonia Anamege, second place winner, impressed him with her desire to establish the Bookworm Foundation, a nonprofit organization to help the children of Nigeria learn to read.
"I'm a son of a military officer, I'm a patriot, I'm a world citizen. Who knows what's going to happen when she puts books in a child's hands. Here's the key, she's going to reward us. Years from now we're going to hear bout her. That's the glory in this."
Nicholas Morgan, founder of AcousTek Industries, won first place for his pitch to develop a technology that can be used in the field as an remote land mine detonation device. Convinced his technology would work, he had what Cork says it takes to succeed: "It takes panache and a level of moxie--that DNA--that charisma to do what we want to do--which is change the world – that's what entrepreneurs want. I had the opportunity to be part of that launching point. I would not have missed it for the world.”
Brian Patrick Cork is the Cultural Architect at brian cork Human Capital | Executive - Global Search and Recruiting and Business Coaching. He blogs at the aptly named: Unsinkable Brian Cork