Entrepreneurial Internships & Ventures
The Burton D. Morgan Foundation established an endowment at Denison to support entrepreneurial internships and ventures. For the student who has identified an opportunity and is ready to test his or her skills in the world of innovation, there is no substitute for an authentic field experience. The Liberal Arts and Entrepreneurship Education Program encourages students to "learn by doing" under the guidance of real-life entrepreneurs, or even to try their hands at launching a business or service themselves.
This initiative was structured to work in partnership with Career Services.
Will Curto `11 conducted an internship with City Farm, a market garden located on the border between one of Chicago’s wealthiest neighborhoods, the Gold Coast, and one of it’s most troubled, Cabrini-Green. In addition to learning some basics of urban agriculture, Will had a first-hand experience with running a small business.
"All summer I was amazed at the dedication of the staff. I felt worn out working five eight-hour days every week, but the staff approached twelve hours per day six or seven days a week. Their dedication was an integral part of City Farm’s existence. In addition, I learned that two of a small business’s marketable advantages are flexibility and responsiveness." - Will Curto `11
Brandon Gill '09 conducted an internship with a Florida company called Tinomics, which specializes in titanium castings for precision manufacturing. Brandon focused on marketing initiatives and also learned about the full range of business expenses for a young company that he recognized was at the "fine-tuning" stage of its life.
Megan Reilly '08 pursued an internship with entrepreneur Paulette Gabriel, owner/ founder of Key Leadership Initiatives, an organizational development firm. Megan commented that "Working with an entrepreneur was an eye-opening experience. I saw first-hand the trial and tribulations faced by a new company...," an experience that "only strengthened my conviction that I one day want to start my own consulting company."
Chris Franco `10 developed a music blog called Hiptics.com. The site features daily updates in the from of new mixtapes, MP3 downloads, concert footage, and exclusive interview with the hip hop industry's brightest stars. Hiptics.com's Hipticr (Hip Ticker) technology functions as an audio stream player providing the social context to any given song by providing related news articles based on the lyrical content of the given song. As a given song plays, news articles related to the song's content/context scroll in a ticker below the audio components, hence the name Hipticr. www.hiptics.com
Michael Candelori'08 and Ryan Ahlrich'08 used venture funds to start Thousandword Films, a commercial video production company that produced promotional videos for the City of Lansdowne and local businesses. The partners remarked in their final report, "What made this summer possible was the Burton D. Morgan Entrepreneurial Stipend...it gave us the ability, as students blessed perhaps with talent but not yet with much experience, to compete with established businesses and, indeed, to begin to establish ourselves. The hardest part of starting a business is earning trust and proving that you have the right mix of competency and passion, and the Burton D. Morgan Foundation's generous stipend allowed us to start off on the right foot - and three steps ahead of where we would have otherwise." You may see examples of their astonishing work at www.thousandwordfilms.com