Colgate’s Professional Networks began in the summer of 2013 as a means to cultivate new professional opportunities for members of the Colgate community, promote alumni engagement, and support undergraduate professional development. Developed by the Office of Alumni Relations and the Center for Career Services, the first network — created by and for alumni in the finance community — held its launch in New York City on September 19. This was quickly followed by the launch of networks in the non-profit sector, entertainment, real estate, health and wellness, and digital media and technology. The Entrepreneur Professional Network launched on April 11 after Thought Into Action’s Entrepreneur Weekend all-star panel, where hundreds of alumni and guests were in attendance. The network is led by Katie Finnegan ’05, co-founder of hukkster, a disruptive online shopping venture that now boasts 250,000 users.
On June 13 – Colgate Day! – over 150 Colgate alumni gathered at Google NYC for the first of what will be a regular series of meetups and networking events geared toward those alumni with an interest in entrepreneurship. Many came just to see who else from the alma mater they love would turn up; others came seeking tangible advice and guidance on startup ideas they’re pursuing; and still others came interested to hear the life experiences of successful entrepreneurs as they consider taking the plunge. The event opened with remarks from President Jeff Herbst about the “state of entrepreneurship” at Colgate, and the momentum that continues to fuel the schools’ burgeoning entrepreneurial ecosystem. Afterwards Katie Finnegan led a revealing interview with Bill Kindler ‘08, painting a “behind the scenes” picture of starting a new business. Bill is the co-founder of Schoology, a highly successful learning management software with over $20M in venture capital backing. The evening culminated in a number of workshops discussing specific topics related to entrepreneurship such as technology and legal considerations.
According to Tim Mansfield, Associate VP for Alumni Relations, “Colgate alumni continue to show a passion for each other, students, and the university. The event at Google was a great exchange of ideas with alumni entrepreneurs while also celebrating Colgate Day. We are very grateful to Debra Locastro for providing the unique access to Google.”
Going forward, we will be treating the Entrepreneur Network just like a startup, as we endeavor to create a product that truly fulfills the desires and needs of our customers …YOU! So we need to hear more about what you’d like to get out of it. Please click HERE to complete a survey that will help us plan future events that will be relevant and useful to everyone in our Eship community. We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at our next event.