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GCC encourages entrepreneurs to stay creative

By Angelina Miconi
February 12, 2019

For the past six years, Genesee Community College has held a conference to encourage creativity in the entrepreneurial field.

The Creativity Conference in 2018 took place on November 14th from 8:15am – 2:30pm at the Batavia Campus. The event cost 25 dollars for students or staff, and 39 dollars for external participants.

The Creativity Conference was created for anyone from a small business owner to an aspiring entrepreneur. Scheduled speakers included GCC faculty, alumni, and local business owners. All of whom used creativity to their advantage on their path to success.

Lina LaMattina, director of Business Programs at GCC, founded the concept and created the framework for the program. “The Creativity Conference is designed to celebrate human creativity. It is also to teach people about the fact that they are creative and have them start to reflect on what ways that may be,” she said.

One of the first things LaMattina does at the Conference is ask the audience who believes they are creative. Usually, less than half the people raise their hands. “This is because most people define creativity as the arts. If you’re not involved in that, you may not see yourself as creative,” she said. “But, human creativity is a part of who we are.”

She believes that a successful entrepreneur doesn’t just focus on the product. “One person may have the idea, but not all the skills,” she said. “You might need someone who’s good in marketing, someone in communications, or maybe someone in graphic arts. For me, it is about inspiring others.”

One of the things the conference explicitly taught were different styles of creativity. Some people are more comfortable improving on something that already exists, these people are called adaptors. Contrastingly, innovators create something completely new. Both are important. “Creativity is essential when deciding what puts your product over another,” LaMattina said. “Our marketplace is really worldwide; you’ve got to worry about everybody. It’s not just the guy down the street that you’re competing with; it’s the small business across the world also that could make it cheaper and faster.”