Ryan Allis and Aaron Houghton met at an entrepreneurship club while attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Within three days of meeting, the two had the idea for their company iContact that helps small businesses manage their e-mail marketing. iContact now has 63,000 customers and generated $26.5 million in revenue last year. With the creation of entrepreneurship clubs, colleges and universities across the country are becoming small business development incubators.
Today college students are part of a critical generation that will further economic recovery. The foundational role of startups in this economy makes an entrepreneurship club an asset to any college campus, large or small, state or private, over- or under-endowed.
This was the first year of EC@UMSL took place, and I was lucky enough to become a member and get a first hand look at UMSL new and exciting club.
EC@UMSL is University of Missouri-St. Louis’s first ever Entrepreneur Club. This student organization connects growing UMSL student entrepreneurs to innovation and entrepreneurship resources, connection with the regions successful entrepreneurs, exposure to St. Louis’s entrepreneurship ecosystem, and fun innovation exercises to promote creativity and fellowship to form and improve an idea to a product or business.
The best part about it, the club actually provides a ton of value! With so many clubs on campus, you start to realize that some are for networking, some of are just for going events, and some are just “fillers.” EC@UMSL does a great job with scheduling relevant speakers, incorporating everyone’s opinion, and entertaining us college students. Just take a look at this pic from our second EC meeting with Briana Smith!
I joined EC@UMSL because I wanted a club that provided a welcoming environment for students like me. Those who wish to learn how to achieve their business goals. Instead I found a community that informs, supports, and inspires students to be creative thinkers and seek opportunity through the creation of innovative ideas.
That is exactly why you should join if you’re a student! Being in an environment with like minded college students, insights and advice from professionals, and topics that are so relevant in the market, is priceless.
Being an entrepreneur, young or old, can be a pretty lonely road. But it doesn’t have to be! My advice to you would be take advantage of EC@UMSL. You never know how a contact, idea or particular piece of press, will contribute to your business’s growth!