The Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative recently named its eighth annual cohort of Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, a team of entrepreneurs and investors who will spend time on campus throughout the academic year to advise both undergraduate and graduate students on starting their own companies.

The EiRs for the 2018-19 year are: Laura Clark; David Fogel (SFS ’93, LAW ’97, GRD ’97); Talia Fox; Shye Gilad (GRD’12); Patricia Henriques; John Jabara; Jay Kenny (COL ’95); Fiona Macaulay; Mike Malloy (COL ’12); Peter Mellen (COL ’89, GRD ’98); Miguel Monteverde; Jill Monk; Meghan Roman (MSB ’96); Mark Silverman (MSB ’72, LAW ’75); Marc Steren; Dave Terzian (COL ’76); Tien Wong and Khuram Zaman.

The Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program focuses on connecting Georgetown students to a diverse network of accomplished alumni, industry experts, and business executives.

GEORGETOWN MCDONOUGH SCHOOL OF BUSINESS The Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative named eighteen entrepreneurs-in-residence on Sept. 24.

Throughout the term, these EiRs hold office hours and weekly chalk talks, where they discuss their experiences in the startup world and provide networking opportunities between students and EiRs, according to Jake Yoon (SFS ’19), who has attended these events. Georgetown students are also able to reach out and schedule one-on-one meetings or calls.

Yoon highlighted that EiRs can be helpful regardless of where one is in their entrepreneurship journey. Prior knowledge or experience of entrepreneurship is not necessary to sit down and chat with an EiR.

Ahmed Ibrahim (MSB ’22) said that speaking with EiRs can spark a newfound interest in entrepreneurship.

“I think often times the common thought about entrepreneurship is that it’s innate, but I think it’s really cool that in McDonough, you have so many opportunities and so many experts to consult with. Just by talking with them, you can realize certain aspects about yourself that you didn’t before,” Ibrahim said in an interview with The Hoya.

Peter Mellen, founder of Netcito, emphasized the importance of mentorship in launching a startup.

“I made virtually every mistake in the book along the way. Probably the biggest mistake was not seeking more mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs. Getting the right advice at the early stage of launching a business can be a game-changer for a founding team,” Mellen wrote in an email to The Hoya.

EiRs can support students in their entrepreneurial endeavors in a number of ways.

“When coaching students, we often use the phrase, ‘nail it before you scale it.’ Students often skip steps along the path to building a business… As Entrepreneurs in Residence, we help students test their business model and prove demand for their product with minimal investment,” Mellen said.

“I am an early stage investor and much of what I do in my working life is very relevant to students who are trying to move their ideas and startups forward… I have invested in and been in a number of businesses in my career and it gives me a perspective that I can share with the Georgetown Community,” Mark Silverman, a venture investor, wrote in an email toThe Hoya.

“Where I think I’m able to help the most is to get students to think more critically about their ideas and whether or not there’s a real business opportunity. It all starts with ‘What problem are you trying to solve for your customer?’ If the student has a clear and defensible answer to that question… then they’ve got a huge head start and the greatest chance of success,” Miguel Monteverde, a D.C.-based tech and media executive, said in an email to the Hoya.

Tien Wong, chairman and CEO of Tech2000, who has been involved in the Entrepreneur-in-Residence program for the past six years, spoke to the rewarding nature of being a part of such a program.

“I have always felt that it is incumbent on those who are fortunate and who have achieved some degree of success to always seek to give back. I have had the good fortune of having had a lot of help and mentorship in my journey, and only feel it fitting to be able to provide guidance and mentorship to students as a small way of giving back,” Wong wrote in an email to The Hoya.

The Entrepreneur in Residence Program was founded under the Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative with the support of Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business.

Under the banner of StartupHoyas, the Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative provides a plethora of academic, extracurricular, and off-campus programs, with the overarching goal of creating a culture of entrepreneurship on campus, according to the StartupHoyas website.

The four facets of the initiative are encouraging entrepreneurial spirit, teaching about entrepreneurship, connecting students to a community of innovators, and encouraging students to launch their own new ventures, according to the StartupHoyas website.

Mellen, who has been involved with the Entrepreneurship Initiative since it was started eight years ago, said that the initiative has made substantial progress towards its original goals.

“Entrepreneurship education was virtually nonexistent when I was a student at Georgetown,” Mellen said. “Now we have an entrepreneurship minor, the Entrepreneur in Residence program, the Venture Lab, multiple student clubs, and many other resources for aspiring entrepreneurs.  It’s thrilling to be part of this growth.”

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