The Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics
The Venture Club hosts the Entrepreneurship Summit during fall term, an event involving over one-hundred alumni. Venture Club members form committees at the end of winter term to plan and organize different aspects of the Summit. The two-day event includes keynote speakers, workshops, students/alumni pitches, and networking opportunities. Students from all backgrounds and majors are encouraged to attend any of the events.
For more information, please visit the Entrepreneurship Summit page.
The Venture Club fosters an entrepreneurial spirit in its members and gives them fundamental knowledge integral to success. Throughout the semester, Venture Club members participate in projects throughout the semester to strengthen and hone their skills. Projects include business pitches, case competitions, slide deck presentations, and ideation sessions. The club also invites professor and alumni speakers to discuss their experiences in entrepreneurship and provide the club with key business lessons.
The Venture Club assists alumni, local Lexington, and other startups achieve their goals. Below are recent businesses Venture Club has consulted with.
Beacon Me, founded by Matt Mason '10 and Colton Payne '10, is an emoji-driven discovery platform that visually connects travelers with the world around them. At the time of the consulting project, Beacon Me had fully developed their app, but had not yet launched it. The Venture Club conducted market research to develop customer profiles and identify target cities to first launch the company's platform. The team also developed a pricing model based on various key tourism and economic metrics.
Potluck, founded by Dillon Myers '14, Alan Gibson '70, Jim Matthews '70, is a video chat platform that fosters a more meaningful way to connect online. Venture Club conducted primary and secondary market research for Potluck. The team specifically investigated potential use of Potluck as a forum to help musicians and entrepreneurs connect with each other through the shared experience of a Potluck event.
LinkMD is a cloud-based software for medical networks that links physicians, patients, and administrators. The software reduces network inefficiencies in areas such as physician reputation management, referral tracking, HIPAA compliant appointment requests, and prescription refills. The Venture Club conducted market research to analyze trends in the medical industry, particularly focusing on cardiology and orthopedics, and defined buyer personas. The team researched employee needs and pain points in their work and identified the most effective channels to reach these employees.
SourceFuse, founded by Kelly Dyer '98, is a digital product and technology development company that works with startups and brands to design web, mobile, and social software solutions. The company operates globally with offices in the United States, United Kingdom, and India. The Venture Club conducted market research to determine optimal industries for SourceFuse to expand its services. The team determined the healthcare industry offered the most attractive opportunity for SourceFuse based on identified long-term technology needs.
North Sails is a leading sailmaker that designs, engineers, and manufacturers sails for various size sailboats. The company, like other competitors and suppliers of complementary products in the industry, was concerned about the stagnant level of participation in the sport of sailing. The Venture Club conducted sports industry research and found similar stagnant participation trends with other sports. The team made recommendations to North Sails on how to increase and sustain participation in the sport of sailing.
Big Sky Brewing Company
Big Sky Brewing Company is a brewery located in Missoula, Montana and is the largest brewery in the state. The company was selling west of the Mississippi and wanted to expand eastward. The company engaged Venture Club in a research project to determine which markets east of the Mississippi provided the best opportunities for expansion using existing brands. The team also began to assess which mode of production and distribution would be most effective for the company.
Icebox Coffee, founded by Bebe Goodrich '07, crafts prepackaged high-quality cold brew coffee and coffee concentrate. The Venture Club developed a sales and marketing strategy to acquire new customers in the most cost-effective way. The team also advised the Icebox Coffee on branding and conducted market research to determine potential product expansion.
Hero Me, founded by Josh Bryan '07, is a customizable action figure startup that wants to inspire creativity in children. The company is built on the mission of helping children of today create an even better tomorrow. The Venture Club engaged in market research, specifically focusing on market dynamics and explored manufacturing opportunities. The Venture Club developed marketing strategy, focusing on researching market dynamics, customer preferences, and strategically differentiating the product in the marketplace.