On Sunday, September 29, 2019 the HC Launch student incubator started off with its semester kickoff event. The application process yielded eight student-led startup teams, with ventures ranging from data security to the cosmetics industry. Paul Wiley ‘20 and Tom Cremins ‘21, managing directors, kicked off the event discussing the direction of the incubator this semester, matched student teams, and led an engaging team building activity. Continue reading “HC Launch Incubates Eight Student Businesses”
Wilox, a student startup focused on making the world a cleaner place, is part of the Holy Cross student-run incubator. Earlier this month (11/13/18) they competed at the Beantown Throwdown (part of Global Entrepreneurship week) pitch contest hosted at LogMeIn, sponsored by Nutter/John Loughnane ’87 P19. The student team placed second, beating teams from MIT, Harvard, BC, BU, Tufts, McGill, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health, Wentworth, Brandeis, and Berklee.
Congratulations to the Wilox team!
Pictured from left to right: Joe Egan ’19: Business Development, Mike Brown ’19: Director of Sales, Luke Knox ’22: Co-Founder/CEO, Mary Anne Wiley ’22: COO, Paul Wiley ’20: President/Founder, Eric Lane ’21: Product Manager, John Bowen ’22: User Research, and Nolan Howard ’19: Market Research
“Tremendous job by the student team in competing so effectively! Congratulations to all involved! Great job too by the entire team from the Ciocca center for Business, Ethics, and Society at the College including Director David Chu and Entrepreneur-in-Residence Ja-Naé Duane.” – John Loughnane ’87 P19: Partner, Nutter
The Entrepreneurship & Innovation Program, led by Ja-Nae Duane, provides students the opportunity to utilize and build upon their liberal arts education while learning the fundamentals of starting a venture and keeping a company relevant in this fast-changing world. The new Certificate of Entrepreneurship offered through the Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, and Society provides students with comprehensive and structured programming to acquire technical business skills and experiences.
The Incubator started in 2018 with two student entrepreneurs, Paul Wiley ’20 and Joe Egan ’19. They currently have over 40 members and work with 4 different student ventures. Their goal is to teach the entrepreneurial method across campus which in turn will allow students to make their business dreams a reality as a part of the E&I programming.
Thanks for reading! Cassie
Cassie Gevry, Associate Director of Student Engagement
Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, and Society
“With the relaunch and the rebranding of the HC Startup group, there is also a renewed vision to create an ecosystem of entrepreneurial-minded folks. With the future of work dramatically changing the landscape, we need to prepare and support our students and alumni for this shift.” Ja-Naé Duane, EIR & Lecturer, Holy Cross
JOIN US for our winter networking event at T3 Advisors in Boston.
JANUARY 16, 2019 << Click to REGISTER.
Holy Cross alumni thriving as entrepreneurs and business leaders respond to real student questions about how to find success and satisfaction in the business world. Read student questions posed to alumni through Slack, HC Startup’s online message board, to learn what it takes to navigate the business world and find success as a modern entrepreneur.
Want to be a part of the community? Have answers to student questions? Join the conversation and meet us on Slack!
>> Q: Kit Mullen ’21, international studies major, asks “Lots of times people are torn between doing what they love and doing what will guarantee them successful in the eyes of others. As entrepreneurs how did you make the choice to leave the more normal, reliable lifestyle of working for a company for the riskier task of starting your own company?”
A: Rob Petrosino ’10, Director of Social Commerce Marketing at Peak Activity, answers “Sometimes it comes down to a gut call but job satisfaction and fulfillment typically out weighs a “normal” life.”
>> Q: Gavin McNamera ’21, political science major, asks “Early in your college experience, how did you find direction on where you wanted to take your career in business or entrepreneurship?”
A: Dan Barrett ’13 at Madaket Health, replies “Good question… the classic response is “follow what you enjoy doing”. It’s classic for a reason though: it’s true. Reflect on the classes that appeal to you, the assignments that appeal to you, the “aha” moments and the deep curiosities as you encounter new ideas in the classroom. Pursue those things. Entrepreneurship is hard. Working is hard. If you’re not doing something that fundamentally aligns with your interests you will burn out in a snap. Entrepreneurship is not flashy, it’s a grind. It usually involves grinding into a headwind, uphill. But it’s also a race. And if you hate the field you’re in or find it a total bore, it will be next to impossible to race against the people who happen to enjoy doing it.”
>> Q: Max Krause ’21, economics major, asks “How do you make sure your idea is a good idea before you go and invest your time and money into realizing it?”
A: Rob Petrosino ’10, Director of Social Commerce Marketing at Peak Activity, answers “If your idea solves a problem you are most likely on the right track. How you execute is more than half the battle however.”
A: Stacy Chin ’12, Co-founder & CEO at HydroGlyde Coatings, responds “ Listen to the market and you will see if they agree to your solution.”
Thanks for reading! Cassie
Cassie Gevry, Associate Director of Student Engagement
Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, and Society
Join this alumni-led workshop on April 14th to learn how you can make it big in the land of giants. Learn what it is, how to get in and the various career options from entrepreneurship to marketing and finance.
>> REGISTER HERE
Have you seen the show Shark Tank? Did you know we had our own version of it here at Holy Cross? YES! It’s run by the Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Ja-Nae Duane, where current students will pitch their ideas to a panel of alumni judges for real money. Don’t want to compete? Come watch the show!
The annual competition will be held on Thursday, February 22 from 6-8pm in Hogan Suite A …followed by an alumni networking event! Stay tuned to see who the alumni judges will be.
>> Want to compete? Join us for a prep session held on:
Monday, February 5 and Monday, February 12 at 6PM in Stein 216. *Must attend one prep session to compete.
MORE INFO: Meet with Ja-Nae via Google Hangout or stop by the new co-working space in Stein 129C.
— — — — —
UPDATE: Interested in who will be on the judging panel this year? Come to the event to meet them and mingle during the networking hour with a number of alumni entrepreneurs!
Stacy Chin ’12, CEO & Co-founder, HydroGlyde Coatings
Prof. Daniel Klinghard, Director, J.D. Power Center for Liberal Arts & the World, Holy Cross
Tyler Scionti ’15, Product Expert, Hubspot
The fall semester at Holy Cross is always a great time to reconnect with your friends and make new connections. I encourage you to make plans with these friends to attend some of our upcoming Prebusiness events. Some have food, but they all have great speakers. See you there!
Prebusiness hosts Sanctae Crucis honoree Tom Carey ’66
Tom Carey ’66 is the former executive vice president of Omnicom Group Inc. His responsibilities included the strategic development, networking, resourcing and integration of Omnicom companies for the benefit of major clients of the group, such as Daimler Chrysler, Mars, PepsiCo and others. He also participated in evaluation of strategic acquisitions for the company. Previously, Tom was president of BBDO North America and co-CEO of the New York office. Tom is a member of the Board of Advisers at the Medill School of Journalism, Media and Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University, where he received his master’s degree in journalism in 1967, and a former Trustee of College of the Holy Cross.
>Friday – September 30th from 2:30-3:30PM in Hogan TBA
Business As Vocation – You have to do well to do good.
JOIN US for dinner and discussion with Tom Beecher ‘56, Chairman of the Board of Barrantys LLC, who will share life lessons from his 50+ years in business. Mr. Beecher is also chair emeritus of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC), a nonprofit corporation founded to cultivate a world-class medical campus in downtown Buffalo, and he co-founded a Buffalo Inner-City Scholarship Opportunity Network, which funds scholarships for low-income students. Learn how he managed various businesses, and how ethical business practices adds value to the common good.
>Tuesday, October 4th @ 5:30pm in Hogan 320
Dinner RSVP link: https://goo.gl/gmpExc
The Purpose Is Profit: The Truth about Starting and Building Your Own Business
DINNER SPEAKER: Ed “Skip” McLaughlin ’78, Author
Do you feel the pull to start your own business? Tired of working for others? Learn from Ed “Skip” McLaughlin, who left his high-level corporate position to start not one but two new businesses. Discover what to do and what not to do to create your own successful startup. “The Purpose Is Profit” eliminates the mystery of becoming an entrepreneur. FREE BOOK INCLUDED.
>Tuesday, October 18th @ 5:30pm – 7:30pm in Hogan 408
DINNER RSVP: http://goo.gl/VmTq7e
Mark your calendars: the Holy Cross Entrepreneurs Group’s Alumni Networking Event is on Wednesday, October 7th!
The COES Pre-Business Office is presenting current students the opportunity to connect with alumni who are directly involved in start-ups or are involved with a business looking for start-ups as customers. Held at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, the event will consist of a general networking period, allowing students to speak with alumni about their experiences, and a Q&A session with a panel of four Holy Cross alumni.
The COES Pre-Business Office offers at least one networking event per semester, and has been offering this particular event since 2007. Professor David Chu suggests creating a business card for yourself (including your name, class year, email address, and cell phone number), and that you bring a few copies of your resume. In Prof. Chu’s opinion, “the most important thing for a student to ask is, ‘What do you do, and how did you get there from Holy Cross?’” Take this opportunity to learn from people who were in your shoes not too long ago! This is a great chance for students to make connections with HC alumni and solidify their reception networking skills.
Looking for networking tips?
- The HCEG student club will be meeting today, 9/29, for the second time this fall. In honor of this upcoming HCEG Networking Event, they’ll be discussing
networking etiquette and important DOs and DON’Ts. Again the club meeting is tonight (Tues., Sept. 29) in Hogan 402 at 7pm.
- The Center for Career Development has put together a handout outlining networking tips. Access the blog here, and stop by their office (Hogan 203) during drop-in hours M-F 1-4 pm and Wednesday 10-12 pm for resume review and more.
The event, titled Graduate School: Accelerating Your Entrepreneurial Trajectory, will run from 6:30-9:00pm on Wednesday, October 7th at MIT of Cambridge, MA. *Students can register for free! Dress is business casual – no jeans. Full details of the event and descriptions of the panelists can be found here. We hope to see you there!
Feel free to stop by the COES Pre-Business Office in Stein 129E or email email@example.com with any questions.
Thanks to Catherine Cote ’18, our Career Communications Liason student worker, for her detailed description of this upcoming networking event in Boston. Like she said, hope to see you there! As always – check out the new COES instapage @HCPrebusiness – and watch for future student write-ups of Pre-Business events.
Associate Director, Entrepreneurial Studies
Mike Fernandez – April 22nd, 2015
Last Thursday, Miguel Benito Fernandez held several talks in Mary Chapel, one geared towards Spanish majors, one for COES & Pre-Business program students, and one for the entire campus. He is also known as “a penniless, Cuban immigrant turned self-made business mogul, healthcare industry leader and philanthropist.”
Forced out of Cuba at the young age of twelve, Miguel ( better known as Mike) Fernandez tried hard to make his way in the busiest part of New York City – Manhattan. He enrolled in Xavier High School – a prestigious, private, Catholic college-preparatory school for young men. There, he was defined as a “failure” and a “scholarship” student. He worked incredibly hard, yet was teased as having a low IQ and being a straight C-student. However, what his peers didn’t know was that Mike turned down the full scholarship that he was offered, working part-time as an animal attendant and a gift shop cashier to pay half of the tuition while his father paid the other half.
So how did he do it?
Although Mike only holds a high school diploma and a semester’s worth of college education, he holds more integrity, wisdom, and real-world experience than most of us do today. Through his talk and the Q&A session that followed, Mike offered several tips and insight as to how he was able to get to where he is today.
1. Use Your Disadvantages to Your Advantage
Mike described himself as having Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, but rather than talk about how it hindered his performance, he talked about how he was able to use it to enhance his performance. He explained that it provided him with the incredible ability of multitasking- he was able to not only review, but also understand several financial statements in a very short period of time.
2. Develop a Plan
As a result of Mike’s ADD, he began to develop 7-day plans where he would map out his week from Monday of one week to Monday of the next week. This plan allowed him to be focused on achieving a specific goal within given time constraints, while also giving him the flexibility of changing his goal the next week.
3. Be Simple & Be Aware
Mike describes business to be much simpler than we complicate it to be. Broken down, business can be classified as a bunch of small decisions. These decisions are influenced by our knowledge and perceptions, and Mike emphasizes that it is imperative to be aware and understanding of whom you are working with. He explains that most of his clients and workers now are ones who have worked with him in the past, and that it is important to align business and customer incentives to be successful.
4. Break the Glass Ceiling
When asked about his experience with discrimination, Mike responded that he felt like he had two choices: to either be stepped on or to prove that he was better than those who looked down upon him. He compared the situation to be much like that of a glass ceiling. “Break that glass ceiling. You decide if it can be broken or not.” Mike emphasizes that despite what others say, we as individuals have the right and the potential to change our own future.
5. Don’t Invent. Copy.
Mike advises young entrepreneurs to take the ideas and mistakes of previous entrepreneurs into consideration before trying to make it out on their own.
6. Fail. A Lot.
“Push yourself to the point where you’ll fail and you will learn a lot in life.” Mike always focused on what was going wrong with his companies rather than what was going right. He always wanted to know what was going wrong and how to improve on his failures. Although 23 out of the 25 companies he invested in could be considered successful, he considered most of them to be failures because he did not reach his ultimate goal.
7. Stay Motivated
When asked how he stays curious, Mike responded that he keeps moving. Everything he does serves as a reminder that he is building up his own story and making his father proud.
8. Appreciate & Be Grateful
“In this country, if you can make it, you can make it anywhere.” Mike says that he appreciates the United States and all that it has to offer more than others. He reasons that coming from his background and social status in Cuba, he is really grateful and blessed to be in the U.S. today. Putting his own perspective on a popular idiom, he says, “The grass is always greener where you are.”
9. Be SUPER
“Sacrifice – Urgency – Passion – Execution – Results” Mike promotes the idea of being SUPER– that is, sacrificing your time to address important consumer concerns, prioritizing and completing tasks quickly and efficiently, being passionate about what you do, executing your ideas, seeing the big picture and satisfactory results that come along with it, and then helping others.
10. Pay it Forward
Mike’s publisher David Lawrence was also present at the talk, and he explained that Mike had projected to see about 500 copies of his book Humbled By The Journey, but in reality sold over 20,000 copies. Originally, Mike did not even want to write his own story, but after the sale of his books, Mike donated all of the proceeds to provide for early school preparation for children. He encourages all of us to also pay it forward, connecting with others and then spreading the wealth. “Giving is really a learned experience. You need to learn to give, because the natural instinct is to keep.”
Reflecting on Mike’s talk, I concur that we are extremely lucky to be in the U.S., where we have so much freedom and opportunity that we often take for granted. We are especially fortunate to be attending a school like Holy Cross, where students are constantly paying it forward and being men and women for others. I hope that all of you are as inspired by Mike as I am to break that glass ceiling of yours and to form your own meaningful relationships, companies, and future.
And with that, I leave you with a photo of me with bunny ears from the silly, personable and humble man himself: Mike Fernandez.
Thank you to our student writer Michelle Jin ’17 for her review of guest speaker, Mike Fernandez – and great photo!
As always – check out the new COES instapage @HCPrebusiness – and watch for future student reviews of Pre-Business events.
Associate Director, Entrepreneurial Studies
The event was bustling with alumni representing classes from the 1970s to 2013. Also in attendance were members of the College administration, and Professor David Chu, Director of the Ciocca Office of Entrepreneurial Studies and HC’s Pre-Business Advisor.
Many thanks to those who helped organize the event, including Kristen O’Hara ’92, CMO of Time Warner Media Group, who generously secured the Screening Room, HCEG-NYC co-founders Andrew Cialino ’10 and Colin Cunningham ’09 who managed marketing and social media outreach along with the Holy Cross Alumni office. The event was financially supported by a number of individuals and two company sponsors. Those sponsorships were arranged by J.D. Rehm ’88, co-founder of Mercury Group and Patricia Werner ’97, attorney at Bryan Cave LLP.
HCEG-NYC co-founder and the event’s host, Dan Barrett ’93, opened the event with a question: Why a Holy Cross Entrepreneur’s Group? In response, he expounded on two points. First, that alumni involved in entrepreneurial activities or servicing entrepreneurs have lacked a networking organization that has so long existed in other fields, such as law and finance. And second, alumni and students would greatly benefit from efforts to raise the profile of the College among entrepreneurial leads in the NY Metro area. HCEG-NYC would provide a professional networking organization in to help fulfill these goals.
Dan also shared interesting data on entrepreneurship among HC alumni. Using information gathered from the alumni office database, he noted that approximately 200 alumni have ‘founder’ or ‘co-founder’ in their job title. These individuals come from classes as far back as 1945 and as recent as 2013. The majority of these alumni reside in Metro NY, Boston, California, Maryland/DC and Florida as the top five locations. The list also revealed a wide variety of fields in which these alumni worked, including non-profits, finance, and consulting in addition to traditional entrepreneurial fields, such as technology and communications.
The evening culminated in the hour-long discussion with Tom Keirnan ’92, serial entrepreneur and currently co-founder and CEO of ClickPay, and Jack Hanlon ’06, co-founder and VP of Product and Data at Kinetic Social. In January, Jack also received the distinction of being named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 for the Marketing and Advertising industry for his transformational work at Kinetic.
Tom discussed how his early involvement in web development during the early days of the internet played a transformational role in his career and development as an executive or founder of several digital ventures over the past two decades. The concept of working for himself came as a result of advice from his father, as well as the training he received as a student. He stressed the value that a broad-based, liberal arts education provides an entrepreneur not only with the ability to think critically, but also with the skill set to solve problems and learn new tasks quickly. These skills, he claimed, were instrumental to his success thus far.
Jack added that his time at Holy Cross allowed him to explore various avenues which jumpstarted his passion for entrepreneurship. He was one of only four Music majors in his class, and he organized a thriving Ultimate Frisbee club on campus. These activities at Holy Cross required many of the same skills he leverages today at Kinetic.
It was a privilege to host such successful alumni speakers and hear their entrepreneurial stories. It is our hope that they provide an inspiration to all in their efforts, and that HCEG as a community can in the future cultivate even more talent and ideas to further our mission of connecting with each other on a professional, entrepreneurial level.
Thanks to Sydney Pugliares ’16 for attending and adding to this great review of the event! Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the HCEG: Boston Networking Event on June 12th, 2014. Be sure to like us on FACEBOOK and follow us @HCPrebusiness!
Associate Director, Entrepreneurial Studies