“What good is an idea if it remains an idea? Try. Experiment. Iterate. Fail. Try again. Change the world.” – Simon Sinek  

Hello ConVerge Community, 

Like many of you, I am a serial entrepreneur/intrapreneur.  I also consider myself an “accidental academic” as I fell in love with research and teaching later in my career.  ConVerge, North Central College's Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, is in the unique position to bridge the gap between business (e.g. startups and established organizations) and academia (e.g., faculty and students) which is why I am so excited to serve as the new executive director.  

Everyone possesses the ability to be creative. And creativity is what fuels innovation. At ConVerge, our goal is to bring to light the creativity, ideas, energy and passions that are within us and around us and transform them into action – from creating a new business venture, improving a process, bringing a better product to market or solving business problems. We want you to dream big and for ConVerge to provide the resources, education and network to turn those dreams into reality - and ultimately - success.  

Our immediate priority is to develop the 2019 strategic plan for ConVerge. For the entire month of January, we are conducting one-on-one interviews with several individuals from key stakeholder groups (i.e., students, faculty, entrepreneur community, business community, etc.). We want to better understand how ConVerge can add value and serve the entire North Central community – whether it is a student thinking of a new business or an established business looking for new ideas. In addition, the ConVerge website will be revamped to provide an enhanced user experience. Your input is critical to shape the future of ConVerge and we’d love to hear from you! If interested, please contact me directly at  kbartuch@noctrl.edu  to be included. Once we analyze the research and put pen to paper for our 2019 strategy, we will share it with you.  

Bea Rodriguez-Fransen - whom many of you already know - now has an expanded role as Project Manager for ConVerge. We are so happy to have her! We have hit the ground running developing our 2019 strategy and signature programs. Soon, Bea will form the planning committee for the annual Women Entrepreneurship Conference (WEC). If you would like to volunteer to serve on this committee, please contact her at bcrodriguezfransen@noctrl.edu .
  
Over the next several weeks, I look forward to meeting each one of you. Many of you have been engaged with ConVerge thus far, we are so thankful for that and do hope you will continue to be involved. Please feel free to reach out at any time via email or to connect with me on  Linkedin .  

Stay tuned for more excitement to come from ConVerge and happy innovating! 

-Karen