“Jared, are you still alive?”
My classmates often ask me this question in this jest because I am the typical Kellogg School student entrepreneur: an entrepreneur that eats, sleeps and breathes his startup, while still juggling the rigors of Kellogg’s academics and extracurriculars.
Being an entrepreneur at Kellogg is a challenging journey that many people will never truly understand, but at the same time, it is a journey that can be incredibly rewarding if done right.
I am the CEO of eRetirements, a tech startup that provides user-friendly, personalized retirement location information for soon-to-be retirees.
The inspiration for my startup came in March 2015 when my parents called me to complain about their “dream” retirement location. When my friends asked me what resources my parents used to select their location, I explained that they didn’t use any.
When I spoke with other retirees, I learned that a comprehensive resource for retirement location planning did not exist. I knew then that I had to solve this problem by creating eRetirements, an online tool that that offers tailored relocation recommendations for retirees.
When Steve Lane ’16 set out to choose a business school, he had one essential question in mind: Which school can get my startup off the ground?
After carefully weighing his options, Steve decided that Kellogg was the best choice for developing his startup FlyHomes.
“Kellogg’s resources are amazing for startups,” Steve says. “FlyHomes would not exist if it wasn’t for professors such as Carter Cast, David Schonthal and Linda Darragh.”
In addition to unwavering support from faculty, Steve cites Kellogg’s alumni network, experiential learning opportunities and coursework as additional factors that helped his startup flourish.
Below, Steve talks in detail about FlyHomes and how Kellogg empowered him to become an entrepreneur. Continue Reading
By Tiffany Smith
OrangePrint is a social venture focused on matching returning citizens (formerly incarcerated men and women) with skilled labor and construction jobs via a web-based platform. The inspiration behind the company came from our work during the Social Venture Hub and Hult Prize pitch competitions that took place in Fall 2015.
I co-founded Kheyti in May 2015 with the vision of helping smallholder farmers overcome poverty using the right combination of technology products and services. We designed a “Greenhouse-in-a-box”: an affordable, modular greenhouse bundled with services that can help farmers earn a steady weekly income.
By February 2016, the results of our fundraising efforts through competitions had been mixed. While we had some success with NU Pitch Night, Wharton India Startup Competition and Kellogg Business Plan Competition, we lost 20 other competitions in the previous six months. Kheyti straddled the fine line between social impact and business, making it too risky for pure business plan competitions and too for-profit for social impact competitions. Our team was seriously considering bootstrapping Khetyi until we gained enough traction to approach social impact investors. So when a classmate suggested that I apply for the CommonBond Social Impact Award, I added “apply to CommonBond” to my to-do list with mixed feelings.
However, when I started reading about the CommonBond Social Impact Award, I discovered that the competition was aligned to our team’s unique perspective. Like Khetyi, CommonBond believed for-profit businesses could be a positive force for change at the local and global levels. Upon learning this, I decided to apply for the competition.
By Rose Jordan
This post is a follow up to a Tuesday, April 12 story about INjoo Networks and the startups’ preparation for the Clean Energy Trust Challenge, the largest single-day pitch competition for energy startups in the United States.
In the immortal words of Tom Petty, “the wa[aaaaa]iting is the hardest part.” No seriously. The waiting is the hardest part. It’s rare that you need to nag yourself to keep breathing in and out, but that’s exactly the negotiation I was having with my lungs in the hours and minutes leading up to our pitch.
From Kellogg Insight
The enthusiasm that David Schonthal has for startups is not based solely on how much funding they might raise, the chance they may come up with a giant-killing innovation, or the potential for a massive buyout from an established firm. Instead, Schonthal, an entrepreneur focused on the health care industry and a clinical professor of entrepreneurship at the Kellogg School, is fascinated by how startups exploit their constraints.
By Johnathan Thomas
For international students coming to the U.S., it can feel that housing options are limited. International grad students often come to the conclusion that campus housing is the only housing option available, especially when non-campus housing options have a reputation for being expensive, inconvenient or unreliable.
That’s where Rolando Manzo, a second-year Kellogg student, and I come in.
Together we founded FullyScreened, a venture that helps international students navigate the complicated housing process, all while making them feel more at home when they arrive in the U.S.