Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology has launched an initiative to help connect alumni entrepreneurs with each other and with current students.  The Sawmill Society Entrepreneurial Network includes a mentor/mentee program that will allow alumni to share knowledge with students who may want to launch their own businesses. The network is an offshoot of the Sawmill Society, a group of Rose-educated entrepreneurs who share business insight and experiences with each other.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Rose-Hulman Vice President for Institutional Advancement Steve Brady said the new initiative will serve as a catalyst of collaboration.

“We have all these successful alums who have started their own businesses. And we see the students on campus who are doing amazing things, creating, innovating, building,” explained Brady. “How do we marry those two. How do we connect our alumni in a way that they can mentor each other, give each other advice, really build that network?”

Brady says mentors will be able to present their areas of interest and expertise, and mentees can identify and contact mentors they feel will be helpful to them. He says the school is seeing a growing number of students express interest in starting their own businesses.

“Entrepreneurism is part of Rose-Hulman’s DNA for many, and the Sawmill Society will help facilitate a natural pipeline between our entrepreneurial-minded alumni and students,” said Rose-Hulman President Robert Coons. “This new program will provide them with a structured and supportive entrepreneurial ecosystem in which to share their innovative ideas, industry insights and expertise, while keeping the Rose spirit of giving alive.”

In addition to the entrepreneurial network, the society has also created the ventureship program which allows Rose-Hulman students to apply for paid positions during summer break to develop and launch startup projects.

Steve Brady is VP for Institutional Advancement at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

 

“That was the same kind of realization that we had alumni who said, ‘I wanted to start my company earlier, but I couldn’t walk away from a paid internship over the summer because I needed the financial support,’” said Brady. “So, the idea of giving them some space to really explore their idea, along with the coaching and mentorship from faculty on campus, that was the idea of the venture ship to sort of build that internship opportunity for the students.”

Brady says the ventureship program gives students the resources and dedicated time they lack during the academic year.

Brady says an angel network of investors is being developed by Rose-Hulman alumni. While not directly affiliated with the school, the members of Sawmill Angel Network want to give back to the institute by  investing in the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators. 

Click here to learn more about the Sawmill Society.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Rose-Hulman Vice President for Institutional Advancement Steve Brady said the new initiative will serve as a catalyst of collaboration.