ReMix hits the road — starting with Chicago
Denison’s ReMix entrepreneurship summit is a gathering of alums and students who are passionate about intentionality, innovation, leadership, and creativity. Launched on The Hill in 2018 — and now on the precipice of its fifth anniversary — ReMix is shaking things up with the launch of ReMix on the Road.
First stop: Chi-town. The inaugural ReMix on the Road, held May 18, 2023, drew a crowd of nearly 80 who came together for a day of design thinking, lightning talks, mastermind conversations, and networking. Chicago-based alums mixed and mingled with a cohort of current Denison students who were participating in the college’s organizational studies certification program, a three-week sprint of networking with and learning from alums and other well-connected professionals.
After some quick introductions, Steve Krak, director of Denison’s Red Frame Lab, led a design thinking exercise that challenged attendees to imagine three future versions of themselves. Within their table groups, participants prototyped and helped one another testing their prototypes. Upon completion, attendees walked away with an artifact documenting these potential future selves.
LaForce Baker ’10 kicked off the lightning talks by sharing his experience of launching a start-up food business in his hometown of Chicago. Following graduation, Baker went to work at a job that left little room for healthy meals, a scenario reminiscent of his childhood on the South Side of Chicago. With an insight that this problem could be an opportunity, Moon Meals was born. Grounded in Baker’s mission to make delicious, healthy plant-based meals more accessible to everyone, the meals are produced at scale and are predominantly sold in “grab & go” delis of Chicago-area major retailers like Jewel-Osco.
Today, LaForce is CEO of World Business Chicago, where he manages economic development for the south and west sides of Chicago.
His words of wisdom to the ReMixers: “You have the permission to bring your whole self to whatever you’re doing. It will change your life.”
To close out the official program, attendees gathered in small, multi-generational groups to share challenges, ask clarifying questions and offer feedback. Grounded in the mastermind framework, these conversations are intended to lead to peer accountability and ongoing renewal of professional and personal goals.
The mastermind conversations morphed seamlessly into the grand finale: networking and dinner.