While the last year brought new challenges and changes across Northwestern, we are inspired by the resiliency and continued growth of the entrepreneurial students at The Garage, and the newest cohort of Little Joe Ventures (LJV) Fellows is no exception. We are thrilled to introduce the fourth cohort of LJV Fellows – five sophomores representing five different schools, all nominated by faculty and staff because of their incredible talent and promising entrepreneurial potential.
This diverse group of Northwestern students bring a range of backgrounds, interests, and projects. Learn more about all of the students in this cohort below.
Jordyn Lemer, SoC ’23
Jordyn, raised in Washington, DC, is studying Communication Studies, Legal Studies, and is pursuing the Integrated Marketing Certificate. Her passion for entrepreneurship sparked when she created SocialCoach, where she teaches and trains senior citizens at no cost how to use social media technology. With 80 Ambassadors and over 1,000 senior students to date, Jordyn is in the process of turning SocialCoach into a for-profit enterprise and launching it across the nation. Jordyn is a participant in the Tinker Program at The Garage and an active member of Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity and Women in Business.
Fardeem Munir, McCormick ’23
Fardeem, originally from Dhaka, Bangladesh is studying Computer Science. In 7th grade, in order to go around his local internet provider who routinely blocked all social media websites, he created his own texting app – which brought him to the word of tech and entrepreneurship. Ever since, he has been passionate about creating great software. He is also very interested in re-imagining the education system and building the schools of the future. During his freshmen year, he worked on student startup DealDock as a founding engineer and currently works as an engineer at Centered.app.
Camryn Smith, SESP ’23
Camryn is native to Brooklyn, NY and is studying Social Policy and Entrepreneurship with a Civic Engagement Certificate. She strives to transform the beauty and wellness industry for Black women by creating more inclusive, knowledgeable, and accessible spaces. Driven by her passion of making self-care less daunting for beginners, she founded “Selfcare Sundays” during quarantine as an opportunity to build internal and external confidence and community care among Black women. Her entrepreneurship interest is consumer driven, adjusting based on the evolving needs of her community and providing support in any way she can.
McKenna Troy, Bienen ’23
McKenna is studying Voice and Opera and Communication Studies in Northwestern’s dual degree program. She loves all things learning, so she’s also working on minors in Entrepreneurship, Design, and Arts Administration. Outside of academics, McKenna pursues a variety of entrepreneurial projects – namely her new business, Troy Gardens, as well as innovation in voice performance with social awareness and accessibility at the forefront. Her latest operatic project, Hansel and Gretel, offered the opera community a new way to engage with and learn from the story. Behind the scenes, McKenna is working on a business model for the project and is looking forward to a public opening in the spring.
Robbie Waxman, Weinberg ’23
Robbie, who grew up in Armonk, NY, is studying Economics, Business Institutions, and Entrepreneurship and constantly seeks innovative solutions to complex societal problems. With involvement in Delta Sigma Pi, Rock Venture Capital, and the Northwestern Business Review, he is immersed in the Northwestern business ecosystem. With a drive to make a positive impact and a desire to do so collaboratively, entrepreneurship is his true calling. This past summer, amidst the global pandemic, he founded his own backyard camp, The Mobile Camp, to combat the need for summer fun while generic day camps were forced to shut down.
Jordyn shared that she is “honored to have been chosen to work alongside a cohort of students who share the same entrepreneurial spirit that [she does] while refining [her] leadership and business skills.”
Robbie said that “being a part of the LJV fellowship is an opportunity to learn from incredible mentors along with my peers, [and] it is a chance to develop my entrepreneurial toolkit and become the best version of myself, and I’m excited to dive wholeheartedly into this opportunity.”
The fellowship is designed to support promising, entrepreneurially minded undergraduates across different schools at Northwestern. The Fellowship provides thoughtful programming, domestic and international travel (when it is safe to do so), and a $5,000 financial award to pursue an innovation project or unpaid professional opportunity, like an internship. The program was developed to help students explore their passions and interests and gain access to a group of like-minded peers on similar paths.
“Every year, we’re inspired and impressed by the volume of outstanding nominees for the Little Joe Ventures Fellowship across Northwestern, and this year was no exception. These promising sophomores have already demonstrated an entrepreneurial spirit and focus on making their dent on the world, and we have no doubt of their limitless potential,” commented Mike Raab, the associate director of The Garage.
The annual Fellowship begins each spring during the cohort’s sophomore years and wraps up at graduation. The length of the program is intended to offer a comprehensive experience with a multitude of opportunities for networking with innovators and meeting accomplished entrepreneurs. During a period of operating remotely to ensure the safety of our community, the Fellows will participate in virtual programming.
Depending on guidelines for travel, the Fellows will have the opportunity to take a trip during their junior year to Los Angeles. Past cohort trips included tours of SpaceX, a small lunch with Gwyneth Paltrow at goop, and a visit and book signing with entrepreneur and model Maye Musk (Elon Musk’s mother). Also dependent on travel restrictions, the cohort will take a trip together during spring break of their senior year.
The Little Joe Ventures (LJV) Fellowship in Entrepreneurship is made possible by a generous gift from Tony Owen ’93, ’03 MBA, and his wife, Monique.
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