Future Founders is excited to announce the successful conclusion of the pilot for its new collegiate Scholars Program, an initiative of Future Founders Startup, aimed to encourage and facilitate the engagement of college students with the entrepreneurial community.
The Scholars Program is a platform for colleges and universities to complement and enhance their own academic programs’ focus on entrepreneurship. The Scholars Program has an experiential focus, providing a structure to pull together entrepreneurial events, resources and opportunities from a variety of sources (Future Founders, community organizations, local startups, or campus activity). Students make progress in the program by engaging in activities across key pre-determined entrepreneurial tracks (networking, workshops, competitions, mentoring, etc.). Students can achieve levels of recognition based on the extent of their participation. Through the depth and variety of participation, students gain a toolkit of entrepreneurial skills that the Scholars Program helps to manage and recognize in a tangible way.
The pilot run of the Scholars Program took place at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Illinois, and resulted in fifteen undergraduate students receiving recognition for engaging in over 250 entrepreneurial experiences. Sophomore Tony Dykstra, a management major and president of the college’s entrepreneurship club, also received the Outstanding Entrepreneurial Leader Award, reserved for a student exhibiting exceptional leadership and dedication to personal and entrepreneurial development during the Scholars Program. Dykstra attended twenty-five entrepreneurial events during the semester.
The complete list of Trinity students receiving recognition in the Scholars Program pilot is as follows:
Platinum Level (20+ events)
Gold Level (15+ events)
Tanner Van Maanen
Silver Level (10+ events)
Blue Level (5+ events)
Craig Vander Galien
White Level (3+ events)
Keegan Van Maanen
The evening of recognition for these awards in Palos Heights was also highlighted by another entrepreneurial story. Dykstra and the rest of the entrepreneurship club recently completed a series of fundraising projects and events to help finance the purchase of a standing wheelchair for Trinity nursing student Katie Vree. In less than a year, the club raised $25,000 for the Vree family.
“It’s actually pretty incredible to see what these students have accomplished in such a short span of time,” said Ethan Adams, Coordinator, Startups at Future Founders. “They didn’t just get involved for personal gain or to be recognized–they bought into the idea of entrepreneurship and innovation as an agent for social change and achieved something truly astonishing.”
Future Founders will expand the Scholars Program during a second pilot phase this Fall. Colleges or universities interested in participating may contact Katie Sowa at email@example.com.
The Scholars Program is an initiative of Future Founders Startup, a dynamic platform to engage, equip and empower collegiate entrepreneurs. Through the program, Future Founders brings together dozens of universities, incubators, community organizations and businesses and curates resources to help young entrepreneurs succeed. The program promotes cross-school collaboration and increases the capacity of university programs by broadening their reach into the community. Future Founders Startup is generously supported by Capital One, The Coleman Foundation, The John E. and Jeanne T. Hughes Foundation, Keywell Foundation, Motorola Solutions Foundation and Accenture.
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