Entrepreneurship at Olin

There is a spectrum of definitions of entrepreneurship at Olin. One way to define entrepreneurship at Olin is involvement with a student venture.

I personally consider a student venture to be anything from selling handmade knives (www.etsy.com/shop/CarleyCloptonKnives) to a VC backed biology company (http://radix.bio/).

However, there are also many students interested in entrepreneurship who have not started a company. Seeing that being both an Olin student and a founder is a tricky double life to live, Catalyst, the entrepreneurial club on campus has recently shifted its mission to better fit the interests of the students.

History of the Foundry
Back in the day, the entrepreneurship club at Olin was called the Foundry and was located in the Edison building along Great Plain Avenue.

This may sound luxurious, but it was horribly inaccessible as Oliners would have to make a trek farther away than the Academic Center! Having an inaccessible location also enhanced the “bro culture” that can form in entrepreneurship. Since then, we have moved to a closer location in CC300.

The Foundry also used to give money to student ventures. However, it was quickly deemed unsafe and against Olin’s egalitarian culture for students to give large sums of money to each other. We instead shifted missions to support all types of entrepreneurship at Olin.

What is Catalyst?
Due to the increasing number of other Foundries in the Olin sphere, we decided to change our name and rebrand to Catalyst.

We also added “to spark students interest in entrepreneurship” to our mission to support the many members who are not currently working on ventures.

Catalyst meets on Monday nights in CC300 from 7-8 PM. We often bring in speakers in the entrepreneurial space and have monthly standups where we can ask each other for help on things we are blocked on with our own passions and ventures.

Looking for an Internship?
Another way to learn more about entrepreneurship is by working for a startup over the summer.

Catalyst also coordinates the Startup Fair which will be on November 7th from 11-2 on the Mezzanine.

Working at a startup can be different than working for a large company as you will likely have more autonomy in choosing what projects you will work on.

Also, startups often care more about an individual’s drive and passion over prior work experience, so working for a startup makes a great first job! You can check out the companies coming to the Startup Fair on Handshake.

With a mission to support entrepreneurship at Olin, we would love to hear your ideas on how to help you. Share us your ideas at https://goo.gl/wnCSas

If you are interested in helping with the Startup Fair or becoming a part of Catalyst or Catalyst Board, please reach out to me at rdunoff@olin.edu or message me on Facebook Messenger.