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Thinking Outside The Box

By Jill Borowski
Staff Writer

More than 50 faculty and students attended the Thoughtbox Lecture series at LIU Post, on Wednesday, Feb. 12, during common hour. Mark Fasciano, founder of Canrock, the early stage technology venture capital fund that moved onto campus in November, gave the first lecture in a new LIU Post Thoughtbox Lecture Series. He is the co-founder of this lecture series, which shows students how a startup begins as an idea and ends in success. The new lecture series “is an exclusive opportunity for our students to get to know Mark and hear the struggles he endured early on in his career,”said LIU Post’s Ryan Attard, an employee of Canrock and the new director of Entrepreneurship at LIU.

“The goal of this lecture series is to encourage and inspire promising young entrepreneurs here at LIU,” Attard added.

During his first lecture, Fasciano spoke to faculty and students about his business, and how to start a successful business of their own. Fasciano stated that he kept Canrock on Long Island because he and his partners grew up here, and it is also cost effective. “It is close enough to the city so we can attract young people and get into the city in less than one hour. The cost basis is much lower than actually being in the city,” said Fasciano. One of the main differences about his company from other companies is that Canrock is an open “incubator” for ideas—there are no walls or barriers, thus keeping ideas from flowing freely.

Fasciano stated that his company is unique from most venture capital funds because Canrock does not just fund money blindly. “We don’t just write out million dollar checks and hand it out,” he said. He talked about how Canrock is also different because it funds multiple ideas all at one location, which he said, allows for faster and more efficient exchange of ideas.

When Fasciano was asked what can be done to establish more successful startups on Long Island, as well as in other places, he answered that talent, networking, and capital are necessary to get a business started. He also added that institutions that are interested in the business eventually fund the rest of the remaining capital and resources. Fasciano acknowledged that the media plays a huge role in the success of a budding business.

Fasciano was concerned with the opportunities that he and this lecture series will provide for the students at LIU Post. Interested students can go to Canrock’s temporary offices in the basement of the library to see how startup companies function. He ended his presentation by saying that he looks forward to working with LIU Post and the entrepreneur program in the near future.

The next segment of the Thoughtbox Lecture series continues with Mark Simon on Feb. 27 in the Hillwood Lecture Hall. Following lectures include Hilary Topper on March 25, Eric Ho on April 1, and Jeff Leventhal on April 16. All lectures will take place during common hour.

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