During my time at Fuqua, participating in programming and initiatives put on by the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) and the Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Club (EVCC) has directly influenced my career goals and supported my interest in becoming an entrepreneur and investor.
I’ve been privileged to be able to work directly with Fuqua founders who were eager to give back to the Fuqua community by sharing their journeys with current students. In particular, working with the Fuqua female founder community including Marnie Oursler, Michelle Eger, Christine Schindler, Poorvi Patodia and Jennifer Thai has been a source of support and inspiration. EVCC and CEI have been a platform for facilitating conversations and programming that allow Fuqua students to learn from the success stories of the Fuqua founder community. When myself and my peers shared an interest in facilitating an event series that would explore the unique challenges and opportunities that women face in entrepreneurship, venture capital and femtech, the CEI and EVCC quickly became collaborators to help bring the discussion to life.
At Fuqua, we are fortunate to have the opportunity to work directly with Jamie Jones and Stephen Fusi of the CEI to shape the future of entrepreneurship and venture capital at Fuqua and at Duke. They have been open collaborators that seek to understand the student perspective, how they can best support us as we pursue careers in this space, and how to help us leverage the multitude of resources at Fuqua and at Duke to enable our success. Even prior to arriving at Fuqua, I had multiple interactions with Jamie Jones about my career goals and how she, the CEI and Fuqua could help to support me on that path.
Another engaging aspect of entrepreneurship at Fuqua has been the breadth of industries that student founders come from or are looking to break into. Student startups and interests span widely from health care to circular fashion, to fin-tech, consumer packaged goods, and beyond. Events like Fuqua Fast Pitch have highlighted entrepreneurs in our community and put them on a stage that facilitates feedback and investment from real VCs, as well as support from other students.
The backdrop of the Research Triangle has been a unique value-add at Fuqua, and to see Fuqua grads like Michelle Egger go on to partner with local facilities and Duke scientists to scale a thriving, venture-backed startup drives home the resources that are available for Fuqua students to take advantage of at Fuqua, at Duke, and in the Research Triangle.