More and more colleges and universities are promoting themselves as hotbeds of entrepreneurship, creating courses and even degree programs in this field. I think one measure of the fertility of a college campus for this discipline is the extent to which the students take it upon themselves to create a club to support potential and budding entrepreneurs in their midst.
In that regard, I want to pay tribute to one local entrepreneurship club, at a university that might surprise some of you who immediately think of the Ivy Leagues or high technology schools. In a recent ranking by FledgeWing, the Northeastern University Entrepreneurs Club was listed as number six in the world. Among other things, the club holds Get Togethers, which attract over 100 students every week and involve a C-level executive speaking, a hands-on skill building activity, networking, and giving everyone in the room a free dinner. It also helps students find courses by endorsing those helpful in this field. Its Entrepreneurship Immersion Program connects growing companies with an enthusiastic student panel through a semester-long partnership:
The EIP enables students to develop business partnerships and cultivate potential job opportunities while providing businesses with contemporary knowledge and opinion through multifaceted student critique and analysis.
Club president Greg Skloot is grateful to the University for the financial support offered by various departments. He is quick to share credit for the success of the club with his schoolmates. Greg, though, has noticed that a fast-growing and busy organization like this needs structure and a sensible reporting system. But he also knows that part of his job is to develop the next generation of leaders:
I give younger members of my team leadership opportunities as soon as they prove themselves capable of doing quality work and collaborating effectively in a team environment. The more opportunities that you give your team to manage, the better managers that you will have to work with.
The Northeastern model is one that could be useful to students in many college and universities. Perhaps Greg's next entrepreneurial venture should be to write a book about his experience at NU and go on the circuit as a speaker and consultant to help spread the concept.