Panel Offers Start-Up Advice


    HOLLAND — A trio of young business professionals and HopeCollege graduates will get together this evening to offer advice to aspiring entrepreneurs.

    Jeff Bates, co-founder of Slashdot, and Mike Harris and Mat Nguyen, co-founders of Worksighted, will provide insight to college students on how they can start a successful business in Holland.

    The event, sponsored by the Holland Young Professionals, begins at 5:45 p.m. at 100 East 8th St. in Room 260. The discussion is part of the ongoing Entrepreneur Panel the group is hosting. Previous participants included G.W. Haworth, the founder of Haworth Inc., and Gentex founder Fred Bauer.

    “We devised the Entrepreneur Panel as an extension of the Lakeshore e2e series. Our goal is to inform and encourage students with entrepreneurial mindsets to start a business in Holland and become a thriving part of the community,” said Stephanie Smith, co-founder of Lakeshore e2e and a HYP board member.

    Bates started Slashdot with fellow Hope graduate Rob Malda. Slashdot is an information technology news site and has won more than 20 industry awards. Bates is vice president of editorial operations for the Open Source Technology Group, the parent firm of Slashdot.

    Worksighted is an IT firm. Harris is a vice president of information systems. Nguyen is president of the company and a founding member of HYP.

    “Many students at Hope College are interested in someday starting their own business, medical or law practice, or consulting firm. Involvement with HYP and Lakeshore e2e will supply knowledge and tools to help our students reach these goals and, hopefully, provide the impetus for future entrepreneurial ventures in West Michigan,” said Sara Dalman, Hope College assistant director of career services.

    The event is free and open to the public. To register, go to

    “Holland Young Professionals hopes that this panel will inspire up-and-coming entrepreneurs to start their own businesses,” said Haans Mulder, co-founder of Lakeshore e2e and a HYP board member, “and, more importantly, use their success to contribute back to the Holland community in ways that so many other entrepreneurs have already done.”    

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