If you are a Syracuse University student who has an inherent entrepreneurial spirit, there is an organization on campus that speaks to your passion. Fostering a community of ambitious and hard-working young entrepreneurs, the SU eClub (Website – Instagram – Facebook) grooms undergraduate students to become future business leaders. Bruno Andres Gonzalez Hauger, senior and president of the student-run organization based out of Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management, says that the organization’s ultimate mission is to “inspire, educate and connect prospective entrepreneurs and current entrepreneurship students at Syracuse University.”
When it comes to members that the eClub is seeking, he says that “We don’t want just Whitman students or entrepreneurship majors, or even just entrepreneurs. We want anyone who is interested in this and has something to learn.”
Acting as an intersection between students, faculty and local businesses, the eClub provides professional guidance to entrepreneurially ambitious students in hopes of turning ideas into successful college businesses that can launch post-graduation. However, starting a business is just one of the various paths that members follow. When discussing the different resources available to eClub members, Gonzalez Hauger notes that the organization’s members enjoy listening to dynamic speakers, participating in workshops and getting a job, all of which offer unique perspectives on business and networking that “you can’t always find in traditional academic lectures,” he says.
Amidst the plentiful opportunities available for eClub members, Gonzalez Hauger is not shy about personally advocating for starting a venture in college. “I think college itself is a safety net, and there are so many people who want you to succeed and will help you do just that.” In fact, Gonzalez Hauger, a dual entrepreneurship and advertising major in Whitman and Newhouse, founded ad-tech startup Ambassador Technologies with his brother, and he has relied upon the university’s hub of resources to help them grow the business during the typical stages of venture development. It’s been a great learning experience that you can’t otherwise replicate as a student.
“The worst thing that can happen is that you don’t launch, and then you can still tell an employer that you started a business in college. That is not the worst thing to fail, pause or not launch,” says Gonzalez Hauger. In fact, can be a great conversation starter. Employers are looking for the soft skills that come with being an entrepreneur. And they particularly admire both drive and resiliency.
With the novel coronavirus pandemic impacting the ways students and organizations typically interact on-campus, Gonzalez Hauger says the eClub’s turnout for meetings since the start of the Fall 2020 semester has been a creative challenge. “While it’s not the same initial turnout that we have seen in the past semesters, it is an enthusiastic and committed group that is growing.” And there is no better time to learn the art of entrepreneurship, especially in a world that is demanding innovative thinking and solutions to big problems.
Because of the challenges of the pandemic, Gonzalez Hauger shares how the eClub’s partnership with the Launchpad is even more important than ever: “The LaunchPad is, in a way, the hub of entrepreneurs on campus. The people who go to the LaunchPad actively run businesses, participate in competitions and try to get funding for their ideas. Having this partnership is an excellent resource for members of our community who are doing exactly this.” From cross promoting the eClub’s events to providing of financial support for initiatives like Entrepalooza, the LaunchPad is the organization’s valued collaborator during such unprecedented times.
The eClub hosts Zoom meetings with interesting guests on Monday evenings at 8 p.m. and spreads awareness and interest in inspiring and educating those who are interested in innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. “We welcome everyone with open arms. We want to be a resource for all students,” says Gonzalez Hauger.
To learn more and join the eClub, a dynamic and passionate group that brings students, faculty, and local businesses together to spread entrepreneurship around the SU campus and throughout the Syracuse community, follow them on social media.
Story by LaunchPad Global Fellow Christopher Appello ’21