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Five undergraduate students named entrepreneurship fellows

Tony+and+Monique+Owen.+The+two+helped+establish+the+Little+Joe+Ventures+Fellowship+Program+in+Entrepreneurship.
Tony and Monique Owen. The two helped establish the Little Joe Ventures Fellowship Program in Entrepreneurship.

Tony and Monique Owen. The two helped establish the Little Joe Ventures Fellowship Program in Entrepreneurship.

Source: Northwestern

Source: Northwestern

Tony and Monique Owen. The two helped establish the Little Joe Ventures Fellowship Program in Entrepreneurship.

Jonah Dylan, Campus Editor

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Five undergraduate students were chosen for the inaugural Little Joe Ventures Fellowship Program in Entrepreneurship, an April 11 news release said.

McCormick sophomore Vishaal Mali, Weinberg sophomores Sam Kim and Drake Weissman, Communication sophomore Rachel Cantor and Medill sophomore Audrey Valbuena were named fellows. The program was funded by a gift from Tony Owen (Weinberg ’97, Kellogg ’03) and Monique Owen.

“Thanks to technology, the barriers to start a business are lower than they’ve ever been,” Tony Owen said in the release. “That has created a fertile ground for students, at a younger age, to pursue their passions. These fellowships provide an avenue for them to begin to put those ideas in motion.”

Kim said he has been involved with The Garage during his time at Northwestern and previously participated in a similar fellowship program. He said he’s excited to use the resources from the program to work toward his goals.

After starting his first business when he was in seventh grade, Kim said he has been interested in helping solve big problems in the world.

“Ever since then, I’ve always had this curiosity and this edge,” he said. “I see this as the next step for me to learn more and solve more problems.”

The fellowship gets its name from an unusual source: a cow. Tony Owen’s mom had an award-winning cow named Little Joe. Owen said in the release that for the fellowship, Little Joe’s story represents creating meaningful relationships in business.

Cantor said because the program is just beginning, she isn’t sure what being a part of it will entail, but added that she was excited to be nominated for the position.

“I’ve been looking for entrepreneurship opportunities on campus and I definitely want to start my own company one day,” she said. “I would love the chance to learn more about entrepreneurship not in a formal, education setting, but more through hands-on experience.”

According to the release, the fellowship will have four key components: training, internship, original work and community building. A committee of faculty and staff members will select fellows each year.

Mali said he was excited to start working with the other fellows, and said one of the main ideas of the program was to bring like-minded students together and allow them to work on projects with each other. He added that Northwestern can be a “pretty risk-averse place,” and stressed the importance of taking chances.

“Certainly there are times to go out and create your own path,” he said. “And if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out, but the experience you’re going to get from it is going to be extremely valuable and can really set you apart from your peers.”

Email: jonahdylan2020@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @thejonahdylan

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