Venture Club was founded in 2010 by five entrepreneurial minded students and their professor, Jeff Shay. Initial meetings focused on developing a mission and purpose for the organization, determining what activities to engage in, and leadership structure and responsibilities.
Venture Club aims to promote and project the spirit of entrepreneurship in the Washington and Lee Community through providing a variety of educational and networking opportunities.
The Consulting group in Venture Club provides real world consulting for entrepreneurial firms. This includes: business plans, market analyses, and other services as needed by clients. If you are interested in having Venture Club work on a project for your firm, please contact Dr. Shay.
- Marketing and Communications
The Marketing and Communications group in Venture Club focuses its efforts on reaching out to the W&L community to secure speakers and other opportunities for current students interested in entrepreneurship.
- Edmond Mattioli Project
Edmond Mattioli is a local stonemason who began to build unique metal artwork. One of his early pieces was a 9 ½ by 22 foot Tyrannosaurus Rex. Ed approached the Venture Club for help with his marketing plan. The Venture Club was able to custom design a website for Mattioli from scratch along with providing him with a new marketing approach. Suggestions for his marketing plan included everything from advising that Mattioli make smaller pieces to using his name as the domain name for the website.
In the Venture Club started a project with KYCK.com, which is a digital media platform that serves as a place for users to share and discover personalized soccer content. Venture Club gathered statistical data that will help the KYCK team identify the target market and its specific tendencies. They also gathered in-depth feedback from soccer enthusiasts and other internet users to fine tune some of the features on the website and create a more user friendly interface. The feedback and analysis provided by Venture Club has proven to be very constructive as much of their suggested changes are already featured on the KYCK website.
Venture Club worked on the new venture Udu, which is a clothing line developed by James Williams. During a visit to Kenya while traveling abroad, James came across a unique fabric that he thought would make for great use in apparel. To help get this idea to market, the Venture Club was able to successfully partner with Feed the Children, a multimillion dollar charity, who agreed to help with manufacturing and distribution, and provide advice along the way. With the help of Feed the Children, and the guidance of many local retailers, Venture Club was able to develop a rough business plan regarding cost of production and target sale price. Furthermore, they also built a functional website to sell Udu apparel. As the Venture Club continues to work on this project, their goal is to receive a sample of roughly 100 Livlyhoods to distribute on campus during the spring.