By Jacob Keasbey ’17, civil engineering major and president of the entrepreneurship club
A group of Norwich University students from across a variety of disciplines involved in the Entrepreneurship Club recently had the opportunity to sit down with a delegation from the St. Louis Missouri chapter of Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) for lunch.
The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) is an international peer-to-peer network of business owners. There are 147 chapters in 48 countries. Members are business owners who have achieved at least a threshold level of annual business. EO provides a venue for members to relay ideas and discuss challenges in confidence with their peers.
This EO group, St. Louis Chapter, chose Vermont for their annual retreat and attended the William E. Colby Military Writers’ Symposium, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, and toured Norwich. An EO member had been introduced to the Colby Symposium the previous year by a Norwich alumnus.The lunch included a small-scale pitch competition that matched pairs of students with a seasoned entrepreneur. With EO members as mentors, teams of students and entrepreneurs were asked to brainstorm ideas on programming and marketing the Colby to a wider audience. Luke H. Moeckel and Nick R. Roop split the $200 prize for their winning idea.
After the pitch event, 10 Entrepreneurship Club students were invited to attend the Meet the Authors dinner where they were seated with an EO member. Students and EO members received each other’s bios in advance of the dinner to help frame their conversations.
For students, the time spent with the professional entrepreneurs was full of insight.
As president of the Norwich Entrepreneurship club and a student who attended the luncheon I can say the opportunity was amazing. Being able to talk one-on-one with successful entrepreneurs about developing ideas and growing as a professional was a valuable experience. The entrepreneurs from St. Louis not only mentored us in the small pitch competition but also got to know us and what kind of projects we are interested in. Through knowing what kind of projects we as students like working on the entrepreneurs were able to offer a wealth of advice based on their real world experiences. It is my hope that everyone involved was able to take the time spent with the entrepreneurs and apply it to their own work.