The College of New Jersey-A group of business students founded the Entrepreneurship Club this past semester, bringing the prospect of innovation to life on campus, every other Tuesday night. The club offers a fun way for students to bounce ideas off of one another and learn about, not just Entrepreneurship, but a variety of subjects, and how to successfully turn their thoughts and ideas into a reality. In addition to networking and providing feedback, the club also allowed for club members to learn through both guest and student speakers.
The club saw a total of 67 different students attend at least one of the club’s six meetings during the semester, and not everyone who attended was necessarily a business major or ready to give birth to the next ground breaking piece of innovation. “I like to come and listen to what other people have to say. I think it’s interesting to see what I can learn from what people try to do with their ideas,” says Kevin Dray, a freshman engineering major. The club pushes for non-business majors to attend, as well, in an attempt to spark campus wide interest in the Mayo Business Plan competition. In 2015, $50,000 total were awarded to the top three teams with the top team winning $30,000, and past winning teams have featured combinations of all types of business majors as well as engineering and even biology majors.
Even businesses that are not associated to the college strike the eye of the club members. In November, six members traveled to Trenton in order to assist smaller, lesser known businesses in the area by getting them into Google’s databases making them easier to find on the Internet. This event, formally known as “Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map” helped the businesses verify themselves online, manage their information, and keep the information up to date.
For students who do have an innovative idea, and want to know how to take their idea to the next step, the club offers a safe haven for students to receive valuable feedback for their ideas. According to senior eboard Chief Advisor, Brian Dragotto, “E-Club is a great opportunity for anyone who has started a business, or wants to get themselves out there.” Dragotto created his own social media app, Toboggan, which uses unique picture and video contests to connect people. “Without this club, I wouldn’t have gotten as much guidance,” he says. After getting word out about his app to the club and receiving feedback about it, he has seen his app’s number of downloads and popularity skyrocket.
Club members were able to learn about entrepreneurism from the some of the best because of the various speakers that students were able to see live either on campus or in the area. Students had the opportunity to hear from Chris Rakow, the founder of Ewing’s RiverHorse Brewery, Brian Smith, founder of UGGs, Daymond John, one of the famous Sharks from Shark Tank, and TCNJ alum, Chris Hindley, creator of the Hoodie Pillow. Vice President Joe Salamone asks, “How often do you get to meet the founder of a multimillion dollar corporation (Brian Smith)?” Each presenter rose to the top with a different kind of product but all brought great insight on how to run a successful business, and each student gained a lot of knowledge.
If you have an idea you would like to see come to life, but lack the constructive feedback or even a partner with the last bit of knowledge you need to succeed, or if you are simply intrigued by the prospect of entrepreneurism and want to learn more, than come out to one (or more) of the Entrepreneurship Club’s meetings in the Spring semester now being held weekly at 8:30. The club expects to have a great turnout for all of the fun meetings and events planned for the semester as they continue to encourage innovation, entrepreneurship, and new business ideas.