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Entrepreneur Weekend a Huge Success for Thought Into Action!

By Mary Galvez on April 18, 2013

The weekend kicked off on Friday night at Cotterell Court with a keynote address by Sheryl Sandberg, COO at Facebook and author of the NY Times bestseller, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.

Sheryl Sandberg at Colgate university

Sheryl Sandberg at Colgate University

On Saturday morning, over 25 students displayed 16 ventures they have been working on for the past year through Thought Into Action. These ventures included for-profit, not-for-profit, and campus and community enrichment initiatives.

At noon, five students pitched their ideas to the overflow crowd in the Clark room of the Hall of Presidents. This was followed by a special lunch where Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya told his moving story of how an immigrant from Turkey turned his idea for manufacturing yogurt in a depressed area of upstate New York into a multi-million dollar business. Sarah Stewart '04 at Colgate University

A new feature of Colgate’s annual Entrepreneur Weekend was a speaking series called Little Talks, Big Ideas which featured seven alumni and one current student who have launched successful ventures and provided words of advice from their success and failures as entrepreneurs. A networking reception followed in the Hall of Presidents for students, parents, alumni, staff, and faculty.

Many students reported that they made great connections with alumni and parents and some even walked away with promises of help and/or funding. A highlight of the weekend was during the Little Talks, Big Ideas in the Chapel when David Fialkow ’81 raised over $25,000 ($21,000 committed by him and Mike Ellenbogan ’86) from the audience after an impassioned presentation by Maggie Dunne ’13 on the non-profit corporation she founded, Lakota Children’s Enrichment, Inc. The buzz around the weekend was contagious and we look forward to continuing our work with the students this summer with the ENY Fund and next year through Thought Into Action.

Take a look at the April TIA newsletter for more information on the weekend and some fabulous pictures!

Little Talks, Big Ideas: Maggie Dunne ’13, founder of Lakota Children’s Enrichment

By Mary Galvez on April 7, 2013

Maggie Dunne ’13 is the founder of Lakota Children’s Enrichment, Inc., a nonprofit corporation concerned with issues facing the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Dunne has raised more than $90,000 and has collected about $150,000 in new and salvaged goods for her enterprise, while pursuing a dual degree in Native American studies and religion at Colgate. In 2012 she received the grand prize in Glamour’s Top 10 College Women Competition.

After giving an impassioned presentation on the need to invest in human capital, two alumni in the audience — David Fialkow ‘81 and Mike Ellenbogen ‘86 of General Catalyst Partners — emerged and on the spot committed $22,000 to Dunne’s nonprofit. They proceeded to solicit an additional $3,000 from others in the audience.

For more about the Little Talks, Big Ideas event, see the full story on the Colgate news site, as well as the Little Talks, Big Ideas website.

Little Talks, Big Ideas: Sarah Stewart ’04, co-founder of The Pop Nation

By Mary Galvez on April 7, 2013

Sarah Stewart ’04 is co-founder of The Pop Nation, a San Francisco-based company that manufactures and sells gourmet, vegan, and gluten-free popsicles. With a fleet of paletas pushcarts, The Pop Nation joined the mobile food movement in 2011 and continues to grow its operation through direct and wholesale accounts. The Pop Nation just completed a $50,000 Kickstarter campaign to move into their own kitchen space.

For more about the Little Talks, Big Ideas event, see the full story on the Colgate news site, as well as the Little Talks, Big Ideas website.

Little Talks, Big Ideas: Brian Haghighi ’09, co-founder of California Fruit Wine Co.

By Mary Galvez on April 7, 2013

Brian Haghighi ’09 is co-founder and chief marketing officer of California Fruit Wine Co., an innovative winery in San Diego that handcrafts wines from a variety of fruits other than grapes. Jobless after his graduation in 2009, Haghighi was introduced to fruit wine by some friends and decided to take this unconventional wine to market. With no real start-up funds, Haghighi and his brother have had to be resourceful. Today, they own a company that is valued at $3 million, with five-year projections exceeding $60 million.

For more about the Little Talks, Big Ideas event, see the full story on the Colgate news site, as well as the Little Talks, Big Ideas website.

Little Talks, Big Ideas: Amy Jurkowitz ’85, co-founder of Milkshake

By Mary Galvez on April 7, 2013

Amy Jurkowitz ’85 is co-founder of Milkshake, a media company devoted to discovering all that’s good around the globe — featuring companies, causes, products, people, and places making a positive impact. She recently launched a boutique agency, Bread + Buzz (ad)ventures, which specializes in helping young companies position themselves for market success and refreshing established brands to re-engage their consumers. She is also a co-founder of MATERIAL, a fashion-forward line of women’s athletic wear.

For more about the Little Talks, Big Ideas event, see the full story on the Colgate news site, as well as the Little Talks, Big Ideas website.

Little Talks, Big Ideas: Katie Finnegan ’05, founder of Hukkster

By Mary Galvez on April 7, 2013

Katie Finnegan ’05 spent her career in the retail sector as a merchandiser and management consultant. Frustrated by the e-commerce landscape, in 2012, she launched Hukkster, a platform that allows online shoppers to tag their preferences anytime, anywhere, and gain real-time access to specific products the moment they go on sale. The same year, Hukkster raised a $1 million round of seed funding led by the Winklevoss twins and including retail executives such as the CEO of Tumi (Jerome Griffith) and the president of Henri Bendel (Chris Fiore).

For more about the Little Talks, Big Ideas event, see the full story on the Colgate news site, as well as the Little Talks, Big Ideas website.

Entrepreneurs of New York Fund Award Winners – 2013

By Mary Galvez on April 6, 2013

The Entrepreneurs of New York (ENY) Fund was established to grow and advance the ventures of Colgate student and alumni entrepreneurs who are solving big problems and demonstrating an ability to execute. For the inaugural year there were 36 final applications – 24 from alumni and 12 from students, 10 of which were Thought Into Action students. Nine extremely successful alumni and/or parent entrepreneurs acted as judges and narrowed the applications down to a “top 10” list, from which six final ventures were selected. The winners – four alumni and two student ventures – were announced during Entrepreneurs Weekend on April 6. Each team was awarded a grant of $15,000 in start-up funds and committed to working in Hamilton for six weeks from May 20 through June 28 on their businesses. The winners are:



Proto Exchange aims to connect 3-D modelers and owners of 3-D printers to people who need finished 3-D products.
James Placa ’07 and his brother Jonathan think 3-D printing has arrived.



Good Nature Brewing
Handcrafted, all natural ales brewed with local ingredients.
Carrie Blackmore ’08 and her husband Matt Whalen opened a new storefront in the village of Hamilton.



Recipe Into Reality
From recipe discovery to ingredient delivery, RIR connects the popular content of recipe websites and blogs with the online grocery.
Yuni Sameshima ’13 and Joey Petracca ’13 stayed in Hamilton after graduation to launch Recipe Into Reality.



A fun, free way to discover new beers, wines and spirits.
Harry Raymond ’11. ENY has helped propel his iPhone app, Shindig-Drink Explorers Club, onto a list of top 300 food and drink apps on the iTunes store.



A safe, social, and sustainable way to exchange goods and services on college campuses.
Rob Carroll ’15 and Gabe Zetter ’15
. Still full-time Colgate students, Zetter and Carroll attend the TIA program where alumni mentors are helping to shape Gateswap’s future.



Real Abroad
The world’s first student-only travel website.
Jack Henley ’12, a graduate of the TIA program.