For the past few years, I have had a mental health startup idea I wanted to pursue, but I needed direction on where to begin (like many other first-time founders). I spent much of my time sketching extensive workflows on paper to map out how this tech-forward, service-based venture I had in mind could work. Nonetheless, I knew I needed mentorship and guidance on how to take things to the next level.
Because I was planning on applying to business school to obtain an MBA, I began researching schools with entrepreneurship and innovation related resources. While doing so, I was immediately drawn to Fuqua. Whether you are trying to launch a startup, work on someone else’s startup, work in VC, pursue entrepreneurship through acquisition, or innovate inside a large organization, Fuqua has endless, curated opportunities.
During Spring semester of my first year, I was enrolled in New Venture Development, where I was able to turn my idea into action and get hands on experience to understand the highs and lows of starting a venture. Specifically, I narrowed down and solidified an opportunity and developed and tested various business and revenue models. In return, I am now able to carefully articulate my venture’s value proposition while pitching to investors and leaders within the entrepreneurship space. The progress I made in class prompted me to continue working on my venture during the summer. I was fortunate enough to have received the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) Summer Entrepreneurial Grant to make that happen. In the span of a few months, I managed to secure partnerships with K-12 schools across the country to pilot a baseline of my venture (CounselEd).
Going forward, I want to make it my mission as a CEI Fellow to translate my personal entrepreneurial experiences to Fuqua by helping create an inclusive and energized environment for entrepreneurial action. Specifically, I would like to foster more collaborations between various industry related clubs and CEI. There are many students interested in creating ventures but lack knowledge and experience on how and where to start. Additionally, they aren’t aware of all the resources CEI has to offer. Furthermore, I plan to create more of a pipeline of prospective students at Fuqua interested in entrepreneurship and innovation so Fuqua can become an official “e-ship hub” for future pioneers and innovators.