Creating an environment with education about entrepreneurship is beneficial for students from all backgrounds because it teaches them to think outside the box and enhance their unconventional talents and skills. As a young Hawk, I would like to talk more about how Illinois Tech is providing unconditional love towards students’ entrepreneurial journey.
On September 24, 2020, the Illinois Tech chapter of Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization (CEO) hosted a live panel consisting of three young entrepreneurs:
- Dane Christianson – Illinois Tech alumnus, inventor of the X-Cube, and founder/CEO of Block Bins
- Vinesh Kannan - Illinois Tech alumnus and founder of Omnipointment (which got acquired by Mimir)
- Asma Shuaibi - Current student and founder of Omnus Co.
Christianson prototyped his innovative X-Cube in the Idea Shop, which also launched in the market. Later on in 2017, he moved into sustainability business mindset and started his latest company, Block Bins. Kannan graduated from Illinois Tech in 2019 and he founded his startup, Omnipointment, to help professors and students with their line of work and schedule appointments. In 2018, Omnipointment was acquired by Mimir (a software company that grows the software workforce for educators). Kannan currently works at Google as a software engineer. Shuaibi is a fifth-year chemical engineering and biomedical engineering student. She launched her business, Omnus Co. in October of 2019. Omnus Co. is a clothing brand focusing on raising awareness of social justice issues in the U.S.
We asked them how Illinois Tech helped these young entrepreneurs to be successful.
“IPRO courses and the independent study with Professor Nik Rokop helped me a lot,” says Kannan. In addition to that, he mentioned how affiliated university programs such as the Future Founders program helped him with technical mentorship for his entrepreneurial journey. At the end of his student entrepreneurial journey, Illinois Tech also supported him by becoming a customer of Omnipointment.
Christianson used Idea Shop heavily where he created the X-Cube. He was able to hire Illinois Tech students for the production and distribution process of his startup. “Illinois Tech helped me to get more media attention. When I went to the Steve Harvey Show, one of Illinois Tech's professional publicists helped me out,” he says.
It is really inspiring to work on startup ideas when one has a great support system, as demonstrated by these young entrepreneurs.
In this case, I would like to highlight following current programs that Illinois Tech offers when providing more resources to help students get connected with the entrepreneurial mindset.
- Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization Illinois Tech Chapter: https://bit.ly/33qG6G9
- Intinium: intinium.org
- Kaplan Institute’s membership program: https://bit.ly/2Ve5kD0
- Master of Technological Entrepreneurship Degree: https://bit.ly/33sVTEd
Additionally, you can view the CEO event featuring Shuaibi, Kannan, and Christianson at https://bit.ly/3mhFmdz.