club creates bond and student sounding board
Kellogg students can't wait until graduation to get their
business ventures running.
fact, some MBA candidates already got started — before
enrolling in school – and they meet regularly to discuss
their entrepreneurial experiences. Under the guidance of the
Levy Institute, the Kellogg Entrepreneurs Organization
(KEO) offers these students a forum to share stories,
best practices and new ideas, and to talk about the challenges
they face as entrepreneurs.
member Meredith Wilson '07 says the participants encourage
one another in ventures and offer insights about raising capital,
managing personnel and weighing tradeoffs with limited financial
resources, for example. "While anyone with creativity
and vision can develop an idea for a new business or be a
market innovator, there are many skills that come only after
having been in the trenches. KEO has given me a tremendous
network ... and some great friendships," she says.
Kellogg, Wilson was COO of start-up hedge fund Trail Ridge
Capital where she oversaw the legal, audit, regulatory, accounting
and personnel functions of running a small company.
"I felt inspired by the freedom to come up with an idea
and implement it," she says. Conversely, she also
felt the anxiety associated with being an entrepreneur. "I
know intimately the downside of long hours, fear about funding
sources and deal flow, worry about liability and risk management."
experience taught her that entrepreneurship demands focus,
rather than taking any clients that come along and risking
spreading resources too thin.
you start your business, pick a small segment and go after
it with a single-minded focus. Once you have fully penetrated
that segment, then move on to other areas."
keep bouncing those ideas off your entrepreneurial peers.