LU News Archive

Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour April 24

Lamar University will host the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour (EET) April 24 with keynote speakers who are the world’s top entrepreneurs still in their 20s.  Landes Auditorium, in the Galloway Business Building, will be the venue for EET speakers, exhibits and panel discussions from 9 a.m. through 1:30 p.m.  The daylong event will introduce students and the community to the opportunities available through entrepreneurship, and to explore ways in which they can help drive the economy, create jobs for themselves and pursue their passions.

Steven Washington will be one of the two keynote speakers for the event.  He launched his first company.  Washington Distributions, an import/export business brokered international deals between clothing/apparel manufacturers in Southeast Asia and retailers (both online and offline) in the US, Europe and Africa. His proudest achievement was being honored at the White House as one of the top 100 entrepreneurs under thirty years of age. He has also been featured in national newspapers, documentaries and other media for his entrepreneurial endeavors.

The second keynote speaker will be Duane Spires.  During his first year at the University of South Florida he decided to start a company to teach sports enrichment classes to children at local schools. He created Extreme Youth Sports Inc. EYS quickly expanded to more than 50 locations with several employees in the Tampa Bay area offering karate, dance, cheerleading, tennis, fitness, and team sports classes.

Prospective entrepreneurs should be inspired, not intimidated, by the current economic climate, according to Michael Simmons, co-founder of the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour. “More than half the companies on the 2009 Fortune 500 list were launched during a recession or bear market,” said Simmons. “Technology and globalization have made it very inexpensive to start a business. Now is the best time to become your own boss.”