The Business and Entrepreneurship Department is reviving the Entrepreneurship Club, a.k.a. E-Club, in hopes of providing a space for motivated students to grow, innovate, and build on their ideas. The club was last active in 2014. Maura Rapkin, a Graduate Assistant in the department said, “As the B&E Department and student body continue to grow and diversify, there is so much opportunity to collaborate and build experiences and expand the entrepreneurial tool kit.”
E-Club focuses on educating and integrating students into utilizing the core concepts of entrepreneurship. Members of the club take on leadership responsibilities in things they are interested in, work together toward common goals, and build opportunities together. Priorities center on networking, intrapreneurship (innovating and problem-solving within an institution), career development, and extracurricular active learning.
E-club is a great way to learn more about business opportunities and events as well as meet great people! – Nick Kunkel, B. A. Management Information Systems ’21
Initial events ideas include networking mixers with other clubs, hack-a-thons, and interacting in the entrepreneurial community of greater Pittsburgh. The club is also working on collaborations with professors, like Dr. John Stakeley, who teaches Strategy and Entrepreneurial Ventures (BUS357) and Strategy and Entrepreneurship (BUS698), and outside organizations, including YESpgh!, the Young Entrepreneur’s Society of Pittsburgh, to integrate more entrepreneurial events and mindsets. YESpgh! aims to connect area students with the local entrepreneurship ecosystem, ensuring they have access to internships and other professional development opportunities.
E-Club hosted its first co-sponsored event on 31 March, the Entrepreneurship Lunch Mixer at Chatham’s Eden Hall campus. The event was a great success.
It was an incredible experience meeting students from other schools in the area who share the same passions of entrepreneurship and want to bring working ideas to fruition together. – Jeremy Witchel, B.A. Management Information Systems, ’19
E-Club hosted its first speaker to campus on 10 April, welcoming Jordan Robarge from Revival Chili, a local food truck with a focus on second-hand employment (giving work to people recently released from prison). He discussed food entrepreneurship, start-up challenges, and tools for being a successful business owner, especially one that fulfills a social purpose mission.
Jordan was a very inspiring entrepreneur. His story pushed us to believe in ourselves as well as make strong networking connections. We were grateful for this opportunity to meet Jordan and ask him questions about his journey. – Heather Kowalski, B.A. Accounting, ’20
Undergraduates Jeremy Witchel, Trevor Gamble-Borsch, Nicholas Kunkel, and Heather Kowalski, along with graduate student Maura Rapkin, fill the officer positions. Nazli Saka, of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship was the club’s first advisor. E-club hopes to function as a space for individuals as well as other student clubs and organizations to create links with each other under the context of community building and strengthening. Undergraduate and graduate students are welcome!
Maura Rapkin is a first-year dual degree MBA/MAFS graduate student, with an interest in entrepreneurship and sustainable food production. She spent six years cooking in New York City catering companies, bakeries such as Breads Bakery, and fine dining restaurants including The Modern and Blue Hill at Stone Barns. Maura is grateful to join the innovative Chatham community, and be a part of the collective movement focused on growth and learning.