February 07, 2018
Lewis & Clark has always been home to innovative leaders. Utilizing academic and programming engagement, our newly renamed John E. and Susan S. Bates Center for Entrepreneurship and Leadership invites students, faculty, alumni, and professionals into meaningful and creative collaborations to define problems, create opportunities, and invent solutions.
Our entrepreneurship program helps students take the essential liberal arts base of writing, analysis, and problem solving, and collaboration, and apply it to their career. We combine academic rigor with active exploration into trending topics in technology, health care, marketing, education, environment, and philanthropy.
This winter, 30 students hailing from all corners of the globe—from Bend, Oregon, to Kigali, Rwanda—attended Winterim, the annual weeklong entrepreneurship workshop that brings students, faculty, and volunteer mentors together to learn what it means to be an entrepreneur.
In between generating startup ideas and putting together business plans, the students heard from Lewis & Clark alumni who started businesses while they were still in college. One such guest speaker was Jeff Cruttenden BA ’12, who created a popular personal finance app, Acorns, while a math major six years ago.
“Winterim really challenged me and gave me a chance to build my confidence,” said Economics and Psychology major Joyness Byarugaba BA ’19.
At the end of a stimulating week, judges and mentors lauded the students’ drive and creativity. Internships and job offers were extended; lifelong contacts were formed. The winning team pitch was GetTurf, which styled itself as “the Airbnb of unused athletic fields and gyms to service the market of traveling sports teams.” The grand prize: a tour of product design and engineering firm (and mentor participant) Uncorked Studios, which will create an action figure of each team member.
“After going through the program I firmly believe that entrepreneurship and leadership go hand-in-hand with the liberal arts experience, and the skills that I gained throughout the program have broad applications that I will use in the rest of my life,” said Jackson Thein BA ’18. “Whether it is sitting on a nonprofit board, interviewing for a future job, or simply entering the world of business, I am certain that what I learned in Winterim will benefit me for years to come.”