In the midst of a crazy Fall 2017 semester flying around the country attending a ‘mastermind’ retreats and conferences, I noticed the enormous benefit of bringing together entrepreneurs to discuss current problems and potential solutions, learn new tactics, and most importantly, build relationships with like-minded people.
These tactical events are designed for active, implementing entrepreneurs with price points far out of reach of the nominal college budget. Some of the current clubs, student organizations, and campus events are top notch. However, I noticed that assembling entrepreneurs through the standard bureaucracy of the University is quite limiting. Wine, an open forum to discuss the controversial, and space for profit (to incentivizing constant improvements and provide an excellent customer experience) are not part of the University landscape.
As Peter Diamandis says: “Bureaucracy is an obstacle to be conquered with persistence, confidence, and a bulldozer when necessary.”
That’s where I identified a niche that needs filling: a mastermind-like event for actively implementing college entrepreneurs and innovators to assemble, exchange ideas, give and take feedback, and learn new tactics.
On a more personal note – I’ve been struggling to find a group of builders, work-lovers, and productivity aficionados who I can discuss my challenges, new tactics, and fascinating ideas with.
If you can’t find it… build it.
I called up my good friend and past business partner (see SwopShop), Aaron Levin to discuss rapidly experimenting in order to prove my hypothesis a GO. First and foremost, he LOVED the idea.
We assembled a list, created a Facebook event, and sent invites. I reached out to local restaurant sponsors to sponsor food (top-notch sushi and pizza). Aaron and I made a Trader Joes run for wine, cheese, and appetizers.
I interviewed class-act e-commerce entrepreneur, Ben Arneberg about how he started (and failed, then succeeded) several businesses while in the heat of serving as an Engineering Project Manager Officer in the Airforce.
Showtime came and a stunning 50 people (packed house) turned out. The night consisted of relationship building, 2-minute introductions, and elevator-pitch-project-summaries interspersed throughout the night. You can check out the event here.
Everyone who came out LOVED the event. So… hypothesis validated and we are a GO to evolve into the Next Frontier (pun intended) of our little Relationship Building/mastermind venture.
The next iterations of Next Frontier will include the following:
- A monthly intimate dinner of 10-15 active and implementing college entrepreneurs at a TBD restaurant with lots of wine and the best food in Madison, WI. For every dinner, I’ll be interviewing a new entrepreneur who’s built something incredible. I’ll release the interview to the group before we meet for dinner as a means of a potential common-conversation starter. Ideally, our entrepreneurs will join us for dinner to mingle and build relationships with us college-youngins. Keep an eye out for these.
- A 2-day extravaganza of building & strengthening relationships, problem-solving our businesses, and learning new tactics for immediate implementation. You will NOT Want to miss this event. Info to be released by the second week of February. Event to be held in late-March or mid-April.
- Once we solidify the above two points, we’ll look to bring on other cities and ‘franchise’ out the model and we’ll help to onboard these new satellites. If you’re interested in bringing Next Frontier to your City please email email@example.com.
We are driven to provide college entrepreneurs, who are actively implementing their visions, an intelligent forum, community, and experience to build relationships, share ideas, problem solve, and learn new actionable tactics.
If you’re interested in joining Next Frontier for our upcoming events this semester, please shoot us an email through the below form. We’ll send over an application to learn a little bit more about your interests. We’d love to have you :).