CEO hosts Iona Student Entrepreneurship Panel in Hynes Institute


Joseph Ferrer

Student entrepreneurs in the Iona community held a panel to discuss their journeys with starting their own creative businesses.

Joseph Ferrer, Arts & Entertainment Editor

On Nov. 18, CEO at Iona College hosted a student entrepreneurship panel featuring three groups of student entrepreneurs and business owners from the Iona community within the Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Students on the panel were able to share their experiences with starting new entrepreneurial endeavors over the course of the pandemic and shared their advice with those who intended on pursuing their own ventures.  


The first of the students featured on the panel was senior Liz Rodriguez and her business Copacetic Candles. Through her business, Liz sells uniquely scented candles with flavors such as Cereal Bowl and Cranberry Marmalade that not only smell great but also are environmentally friendly and healthier than normal wax candles. The second student on the panel, junior Juan Cadile founded Salve Agency, a digital marketing and consulting company that helps other businesses and organizations promote their brands and help their clients. Finally, Jacob Cooperman and Nigel Fernandez cofounded CoopTV, a self-published podcast discussing pop culture and other topics relating to our current generation.  


Each of the members on the student panel shared their experiences, starting with their own entrepreneurial journeys and what it took to continue and grow their businesses. The students stressed how important it was to find a vision that can produce value and be shared among others alongside actually taking action to further develop that vision. The members of the panel also highlighted how getting in contact with their various mentors across the Iona community helped guide them with what direction they took their projects in as well as helping them make connections and open doors that led to new opportunities. Each of the mentors also stressed how important it was to talk with other students and colleagues to get feedback and new ideas.  


The students also did not shy away from talking about the struggles and effort that they face and have to put in regularly with their businesses. Jacob Cooperman, for instance, talked about the late nights he had spent early on editing and recording material for his podcast only for them to initially perform poorly and not have many eyes on it. Certain challenges and hurdles do not get easier over time but despite the journey becoming harder as more time passes, Jacob and his partner Nigel learned more as they went on and continue to press forward. Jacob and the other student entrepreneurs stressed that regardless of how hard and demoralizing certain moments may have seemed, their endeavors became more rewarding as time went on and they continued developing their businesses. The members of the panel also touched upon issues such as balancing their time between studies, their individual projects and their personal lives as well as their differing perspectives on how each student handled and faced certain problems.  


Each of the members of the student panel initially took individual passions and hobbies that they loved, and through their hard work they were able to start to grow them into potentially profitable ventures. The student panel event was an opportunity that highlighted the creativity of student entrepreneurs within the Iona community as well as for said students to share what they’ve learned with other students within Iona.