Dozens of CEL students at SCH are gaining insight into how to build their businesses through a collaborative partnership with GenHERation® Ventures. The yearlong program will focus on everything from design thinking to financial analysis and culminate in a Venture Exhibition in the spring where students will share their ideas with Philadelphia-based startup leaders.
“CEL has been a pioneering leader in entrepreneurial education,” says Katlyn Grasso, founder and CEO of GenHERation®. “With CEL integrated into SCH's dynamic curriculum, the students are curious leaders who can apply the principles they learn in the classroom to make an impact beyond the SCH community.”
In 2014, Grasso, then a college student at Penn, connected with the relatively new CEL at SCH in an effort to forward her startup, GenHERation®, and further understand the mindset of young entrepreneurs. The connection between the company and the school even played a part in the “fail-forward” story of a CEL student who pitched an idea at a GenHERation® event.
Grasso’s company has grown in the years since, empowering over 500,000 young women and hosting more than 750 events around the world to teach young entrepreneurs. Now, the GenHERation® and CEL relationship has come full circle as Grasso returns to SCH to conduct the program, bringing with her the wisdom of experience and countless connections to company leaders. Students will meet with leaders from more than 25 companies, including Google, NASA, Mattel, Netflix, Paramount, the Los Angeles Lakers, and more.
The first session of GenHERation® Ventures on October 26 featured a Founders Roundtable in which students heard from five entrepreneurs who have collectively raised more than $25 million, managed international teams, and have been featured in 30+ media outlets. They not only talked about establishing their businesses, but they also gave advice and encouragement specifically geared toward young entrepreneurs.
It’s this kind of guidance that will help SCH students and their ideas rise to the next level, according to Ed Glassman ’03, executive director of the CEL. “This program will connect our students with incredible mentors from around the country,” he says. “Our students have a broad set of ventures, from education tech to jewelry companies, and they’ll be paired with mentors with intersecting interests.”
[Top Image: Katlyn Grasso, GenHERation® founder and CEO, conducting the Founders Roundtable featuring Max Friedman, Co-Founder and CEO, Givebutter (on screen); Secondary Image: From left: Katlyn Grasso and Samantha Grasso, GenHERation® Chief Operating Officer/Chief of Staff, at the Forbes 30 Under 30 Conference]