Kellogg’s Zell Fellows Program is designed to help students develop market-ready businesses by graduation. Zell Fellows have the unique opportunity to found a startup or grow their fledgling venture with the help of $25,000 in funding, as well as leadership coaching and mentoring from seasoned entrepreneurs.
Clear Admit recently spotlighted the Zell Fellows Program and its innovative entrepreneurs, including second-year student Blair Pircon.
Pircon discussed with Clear Admit how she’s used Zell Fellows resources to develop her startup The Graide Network, an online marketplace that connects teachers with qualified teaching assistants who can grade student assignments.
Clear Admit also interviewed Zell Fellows Program Director David Schonthal on the program’s unique design, inherent value and future plans for development.
From Clear Admit:
Though best known for producing a steady stream of crackerjack consultants and marketing mavens, Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management is also making inroads when it comes to educating entrepreneurs. Through the Kellogg Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative (KIEI), the school is pioneering a lean methodology approach to launching new ventures that is steeped in experiential learning.
To complement its “new venture creation” track, coursework that takes students through the full life cycle of new ventures from ideation to launch, Kellogg also features a special program offering support to MBA students who are trying to get ventures off the ground by graduation. Called the Zell Fellows Program, it is open to students who are either founding a startup or looking to grow an early-stage venture. In December, nine students were selected as the newest cohort of Zell Fellows, with ventures ranging from a service that takes the stress out of packing lunch by delivering customized, allergy-friendly meals directly to families’ homes to a platform that creates interactive guides that hotels can give their guests at check in.
According to David Schonthal ’09, program director and clinical assistant professor of innovation and entrepreneurship at Kellogg, more than 100 students expressed interest in the program this year and roughly 60 submitted applications to be considered for participation. The cohort size remains small, though, because that’s part of the program’s unique, intrinsic value.
About the Zell Fellows Program
The Zell Fellows Program — formerly known as the Zell Scholars Program — is an application-only, two-quarter program funded by Equity Group Investments LLC Chairman Sam Zell. Now in its third year, the Zell Fellows program has already provided executive support to 19 fellows who are running or have founded businesses.