Entrepreneur Society Visits 10 Burgeoning Businesses in a Single Day
They headed out at 8 a.m. on a Friday in September for a whirlwind excursion of Manhattan-based startups, accelerators, incubators and venture capital firms. And after traversing the city, between midtown and downtown, they returned to NJIT at day’s end with a firsthand view and better understanding of the world of entrepreneurship.
The group of 15 Highlanders — students from the university’s Martin Tuchman School of Management, Ying Wu College of Computing and Newark College of Engineering — were treated to tours and discussions during the trip, a first-of-its-kind for the Entrepreneur Society, which sponsored it. Will Lutz, NJIT director of commercialization and one of the advisers to the long-standing campus club that is supported by the New Jersey Innovation Acceleration Center, served as chaperone.
The goal of the outing, Lutz notes, was to tap into what it is like to both be an entrepreneur and work at an entrepreneurial or tech-based company. It was also “to introduce students to entrepreneurship in the New York area,” particularly “Silicon Alley” around the Flatiron neighborhood, and get them “exposed to top-tier companies in the New York tech scene,” said Lutz.
Among the organizations welcoming the club were the Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator, the largest accelerator program in Manhattan for early-stage startups; Green Carbon Ventures, a private investment firm focused on renewable energy projects; Bunker Labs, a national nonprofit network of veteran entrepreneurs helping new veteran entrepreneurs; and Dashible and Pynt Society, subscription services for finding the best consumer deals and accessing a curated list of top establishments for drinks in New York City, respectively.
“The trip was a hands-down success. We visited top-notch startup firms in the most competitive environments in NYC … and learned from some of the best in the business. Having young entrepreneurs with us … made it all the more fun!” remarked Kenneth Traina, head director of the Entrepreneur Society, who will receive his MBA from NJIT next year.
Noted computer science major Milad Mirghahari, “This trip really showed me a side of the New York City tech sector that I’ve never seen before. It’s not everyday you get to go into growing companies, observe their operations, and directly discuss such relevant information to our careers. I would recommend any computer science student that wants to work at a top technology company/startup to take this trip simply for the value it’ll provide when sorting through jobs and finding appropriate company cultures. I can’t wait to see what companies are being visited in the future.”