May the startup be with you.

See what we can do for your business this month.
Bruce Leech, Executive Director of the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center
Greetings. I hope everyone is continuing to be optimistic, as we are starting to get back to a new normal. It is great to now see the vaccines available to everyone as DePaul has made the decision to require students to be vaccinated before returning to campus this Fall. We are looking at several modalities of teaching in the Fall and I am scheduled to teach my MGT270 Intro to Entrepreneurship class in Flex Mode. This means students will be in the classroom, but they will also have an option to be remote, with the class being streamed and leveraging Zoom. The university is heavily investing in updating our classrooms to provide this technology. We are all trying to make this the best experience for our students and provide the most flexibility as we begin another school year. While most of the USA is seeing a significant drop in COVID cases, other parts of the world, especially India, are still having issues so please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.  

As we finish off another year, we have a few programs coming up at the CEC. First, we would like to congratulate Virginia Head and Teagen Andrews for winning Campus1871 for their ReusaBowl business idea. They competed against all the other Chicago area universities and won so we are very proud of them. Coming up on May 19, we have our 5th Annual Purpose Pitch virtual competition, where we award 4 final student teams and 4 final alumni teams primarily on the strength of purpose of their business, not just the viability of their business model. We hope you can join us for that event. In addition, applications are open to students for our CEC Summer Internship Program and CEC Hackathon, both include scholarship money to the participants.  

Finally, we all realize this has been a very difficult year, but there are some tremendous opportunities coming out of this pandemic. Anytime you disrupt the business world to this degree (not that I would wish another pandemic) there are huge opportunities going forward. For example, my son is in the restaurant business and last year everything was shut down with no opportunity. Now, he is getting lots of calls for his experience and many other industries are facing a strong comeback and in dire need for help. The key is to look at those businesses that are coming out of the pandemic strong and look for the new opportunities that exist.  
So, let's all continue to pull together, continue to be safe and look for those opportunities to start or join a business that thrives in our new normal!  
It's that time of year again! Every Spring the CEC celebrates purpose-driven startups of DePaul students and alumni with our annual Purpose Pitch competition. This year marks our 5th annual event and we are thrilled to announce 8 finalists (4 student founders/4 alumni founders) that will pitch their businesses and compete for a share in $10,000 of prize money.  Please join us on May 19 from 4-6pm CST via Zoom to hear these inspiring business ideas and how they will impact the people around us and our planet.
Need business help from DePaul students?
We're so excited for our 3rd Hackathon to commence this summer, but before then, we need your help! During each Hackathon, we ask our students to help solve the problems of a small business in the Chicagoland area. If your business could benefit from the ideas of DePaul students, then apply here today!

Are you a student and want to apply to participate in the Hackathon and win scholarships? Stay tuned for more information coming up!
Congratulations to DePaul-based ReusaBowl for winning Campus 1871!
ReusaBowl is a web-based technology that allows restaurants to maintain an inventory of reusable containers for off-sight dining. Congratulations to the Reusabowl team, Teagen Andrews, Virginia Head,  Mudabbir T., and Requel Young. Watch their pitch here!

Campus 1871 is a two week program in which Universities from across Chicago compete to simulate the experience of building and pitching a business for prospective student founders! It’s an immersive experience that builds skills in collaboration, ideation, and problem-solving.
Click here to watch ReusaBowl's pitch!
CEC Mentor Program: Meet the Mentor: Perry Galanopoulos
"My career began in operations management for a local third party logistics company servicing Motorola. I leveraged my operational skills to get a software business analyst role with Kellogg's rolling out SAP and a WMS system. After a short while, I moved into the technical side. These skills were SUPER hot at the time, and I had become bored of implementing site after site."
"Anderson Consulting picked me up. It was an amazing, demanding and profitable experience that I still lean on even today. One of my last roles was supporting a partner on a software value proposition project. He had a master in accounting, German literature and information technology."

"Impressive, eh? Maybe I, too, could benefit from additional education. So I enrolled in DePaul’s MBA program! Upon graduation in 2008, warehouse robotics was blossoming and I got a role with an Italian company designing automated guided vehicle (AGV) solutions. It was another incredible experience. In addition to traveling the world and being “ equipped" to visit Northern Italy quarterly, the work was cutting edge and right up my alley. AGVs basically replaced fork truck drivers and converted a conventional warehouse into a near “lights out” automation, so the design scope was just about as broad and deep as you can get. I worked across all levels (C to hourly), functions (manufacturing, warehousing, and transportation) and disciplines (operations, IT, engineering - mechanical, electrical, structural) of the organization. After hitting a glass ceiling, I moved back into operations for a short while; then jumped on the sales side with a material handling integrator learning contracts, pricing, mechanization (conveyors) and structural engineering (work platform / racking); back into supply chain consulting and then finally, launched my own business FuFluns'!"

I started FuFluns’ Foods in Northfield, IL as a health-conscious, environmentally-focused supply chain expert who was tired of seeing big businesses mislead consumers, cut corners, and poison our planet.  Our products are sold by some of the most discerning retailers in the world such as Erewhon Market in L.A., homeopathic doctors and acupuncturists.”

“Just because you have an Entrepreneurial Degree does not mean you have to start a company tomorrow. Wait for your pitch and more importantly PREPARE FOR IT! Build a solid educational foundation, follow your interests and always keep learning. There is value in specialization, but there is also value in understanding the big picture. What I brought to distribution endeavors, was the ability to lead and align cross-functional teams to achieve business objectives - knowledge and empathy. Synchronicity is real, and opportunities will present themselves when you’re ready.”
Meet CEC Mentee: Christopher Williams
Christopher Williams is a student in the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business Masters of Business Analytics program. Christopher has worked in the public sector for several years and hopes to apply the analytical skills he has cultivated through this program. Christopher is also an entrepreneur at heart and firmly believes in taking his
creative ideas to the market.
Q: Please tell us a little bit about your startup idea?

A: I am trying to launch Black Saturday School, a signature program created by Spheres of Influence (SOI), my educational consulting firm. Black Saturday School is a series of self-paced or group-based online learning modules designed to inspire Black children to achieve greatness by building core skills in math, reading, and critical thinking within the context of the rich history of Black Americans.  

Q: What is the purpose of your business idea?

A: The purpose of Black Saturday School's is to address the detrimental impact of the dual pandemic on the educational and emotional well-being of Black children. This specialized online learning system is designed to supplement academic learning by featuring prominent Black figures and historically significant accomplishments.  

Q: Can you describe the journey that led you to this business idea?

A: I was inspired by the concept of Black Excellence, a mindset where we honor those on whose shoulders we stand while using them as inspiration to blaze new trails. Black Excellence is not reserved for a select few; instead, it is a concept to which we must all strive, contribute, and use to nurture future generations. Our learning modules will provide the necessary foundation for greater participation from students of color and assisting them with finding their purpose.

Q: You are a mentee in the CEC Mentorship Program, can you please describe your experience and why you would recommend others get involved?

A: I would absolutely recommend that others participate in the mentor program. My mentor, Michael Medema, has been exceptional with the level of support and encouragement provided. I appreciated his candor about his successes and failures, and how they demonstrated the internal growth needed to succeed, especially as an entrepreneur.  
Join CEO for Speed Networking!
DePaul CEO will be hosting a virtual Speed Networking event on May 25th, 2021 from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Attendees will be given the opportunity to learn more about the organization while networking with individuals regarding entrepreneurial experiences. Over the course of the hour individuals can ask questions and discuss the field of entrepreneurship within breakout groups speaking to both club members and classmates. We hope to see you there! 
Looking for an Internship?
500 Startups is a venture capital firm on a mission to discover and back the world’s most talented entrepreneurs, help them create successful companies.

This summer, 500 Startups is looking for a Programs Coordinator with a strong operations bacgkround and interest in entrepreneurship.

Join 1871 virtually on May 12, 2021 for an exciting lineup of Chicago tech leaders at ScaleUp Chicago. At ScaleUp, you’ll be able to connect with peers, discuss best practices for scaling business, share and hear stories from Chicago tech, and so much more!

This year’s program integrates 1871’s full tech continuum of founders, growth-scalers, and corporate innovators for a day of learning, networking, and sharing stories of success.
2112 is Chicago's first incubator focused on the development of business and entrepreneurs in music, film/video and creative technology. DePaul is a member at 2112 which allows students to participate in their programs for free.

MHUB is an innovation center for physical product development and manufacturing. mHUB's members create breakthrough products in robotics, connected devices, sensors, energy tech, medical devices, smart building / cities, unmanned vehicles, and other cutting- edge innovations. 
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