Published 05/03/18

Goss Prize recipients Nick Anketell ’19 and Jacob Zimmer ’19 meet in AIC to discuss SWSX

"Attending SXSW as an undergraduate student was nothing short of a world-class opportunity," said Jacob Zimmer ’19, right, who attended the conference with Nick Anketell ’19, left.

Thanks to Goss Prize, two student entrepreneurs catch glimpse of future at SWSX

SXSW Interactive, an emerging technology conference that includes trade shows, speakers, networking sessions, and a startup accelerator, attracts people who are at the top of their field and striving to do more. This year, Bryant students Nick Anketell ’19 and Jacob Zimmer ’19 were among them.

"Attending SXSW as an undergraduate student was nothing short of a world-class opportunity."

Their attendance was made possible by a Jackson W. Goss Prize in Entrepreneurship, which is presented annually by Bryant to advance the creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurial spirit of undergraduate students. For Zimmer and Anketell, it allowed the pair to gain invaluable advice and expertise – and to be part of an incredible conversation.

“Attending SXSW as an undergraduate student was nothing short of a world-class opportunity,” says Zimmer, who is concentrating in both Social Entrepreneurship and Bryant’s new Leadership and Innovation program. “I learned from the best and met and networked with different experts from a wide array of different fields, and with like-minded undergraduates from across the world.” 

Seeing the future

Anketell, a Financial Services, Applied Analytics, and Political Science triple major, traveled to the conference to learn more about blockchain technology in support of his company, Amulet Technology Solutions, a cloud-based computing platform that specializes in building network systems. “I applied for the Goss Prize because I see the way the world is going and I want my company, Amulet, to be at the forefront of technology,” he says. 

"At SXSW ... you’re learning what kind of career you can have, and what kind of person you can be."

He especially appreciated a session featuring author, blockchain expert, and entrepreneur Julian Hosp, M.D., who shared his vision of the wide range of uses for the new technology. “I've read all his work and it was incredible to attend his talk,” says Anketell. “His presentation definitely inspired me, and he had a really unique outlook on the future.” 

Zimmer, the President of Bryant’s chapter of the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization, used the conference to obtain knowledge and insight that he could share with his fellow students. His favorite session, he says, was “The Science of Perfect Timing,” led by management psychologist and author Dan Pink. “It was a reaffirmation of what I've been learning in class,” says Zimmer. “My Strategic Management of Technological Innovation course just had a class on how introducing a new idea at the right time can disrupt and redefine an industry.”

Learning to do more

Zimmer and Anketell are grateful for the opportunity that the Goss Prize made possible. Not only did it provide key practical and professional guidance, it motivated them to go further.

“At SXSW you’re not just learning about an industry or about business or technology, you’re learning what kind of career you can have, and what kind of person you can be,” Anketell says. “I think that the conference really gave me an edge to go out and accomplish what I previously thought was impossible.”