Alumni Entrepreneurs to Share Insights in Campus Event Open to Public

Tuesday, March 22, 2022
Logo for Sawmill Society

Innovative and forward-thinking entrepreneurs will share insights, experiences, and inspiration with each other, Rose-Hulman students, faculty and staff, and guests during the inaugural Sawmill Society Weekend on campus.

A network of entrepreneurial-minded alumni are coming to campus April 2-3 to share their insights and experiences through a new dimension to the top-ranked undergraduate science, engineering and mathematics college. 

The Sawmill Society is a group of more than 70 innovative and forward-thinking alumni and friends of Rose-Hulman who know what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. They will share insights, experiences, and inspiration with each other, Rose-Hulman students, faculty and staff, and other budding entrepreneurs. The weekend includes sessions on lessons learned in forming a start-up company, diversity in start-ups, angel investing, and more.

The sessions are free and open to people interested in learning more about entrepreneurship and startups. Advanced registration is required. Register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sawmill-society-weekend-tickets-272922577777.

Sawmill Society members have founded or help lead successful tech and business enterprises throughout the country. 

“Entrepreneurism is part of Rose-Hulman’s DNA for many, and this event is the latest example of how the Sawmill Society is helping facilitate a natural pipeline between our entrepreneurial-minded alumni, students and the local community,” said President Robert A. Coons. “This program is providing 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.”

The event, located in the Mussallem Union, will include entrepreneur-led breakout sessions, networking and mentorship opportunities, and a pitch competition with angel investors providing feedback and possibly support to intriguing business concepts.

Indianapolis’ The Startup Ladies is sponsoring a Diversity in Startups session featuring alumni Dung Duong, co-founder and chief technology officer of Libra Design (Texas); Virginie Adams, co-founder of Kolbus and Adams Holdings (Indianapolis); and Koushik Subramanian, founder of drophouse.art and Kopper Labs (Chicago). Joining the group will be Carla McFarland, a principal consultant at Alrac (Texas).

Alumnus Jeremy Clarke will present lessons learned by a successful entrepreneur that were featured in his book “Bootstrapped to Millions.” He started his first enterprise, Vortex Web Solutions, before attending Rose-Hulman. Then with software engineering and computer science degrees, Clarke took his WebMerge software business from startup to earning millions in annual profits, without any investors or employees. His current venture is Addio, a web source used to save and share important information.

Junior mechanical engineering major Jacob Oblazny will make a presentation on “How I Started as a Student.” He is director of peer mentorship and an officer with the Rose Innovative Student Entrepreneurs Club, an organization dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship on campus. Oblazny has started one enterprise and been involved in making successful pitches to prospective investors.

Members of the Sawmill Society’s Angel Network will discuss “Learning About Angel Investing.”

The full event schedule is listed below. 

SAWMILL SOCIETY WEEKEND

Rose-Hulman – Mussallem Union

Saturday, April 2

9-10 a.m. - "Bootstrapped to Millions": Jeremy Clarke (Software Engineering/Computer Science, 2009), Lake Room

9-10 a.m. - Diversity in Startups: Dung Duong (Mechanical Engineering/Applied Optics, 1998), Virginie Adams (Computer Engineering/Mathematics, 2012; Engineering Management, 2013), Koushik Subramanian (Computer Engineering, 2006), and Carla McFarland, Robert Kahn Room (Sponsored by The Startup Ladies)

10:30-11:30 a.m. - Speed Networking, Lake Room

11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. - Lunch Break

1-2 p.m. - How I Started As A Student: Jacob Oblazny (Junior, Mechanical Engineering), Lake Room

2:30-3:30 p.m. - Learn About Angel Investing, Robert Kahn Room

2:30-3:30 p.m. - Meet a Mentor, Louise Kahn Room

Sunday, April 3

10:30-11:30 a.m. - Pitch Competition, Robert Kahn Room

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For more information contact Christian Shuck at shuck1@rose-hulman.edu.

Launch Root Quad