The Garage x SESP
The Garage is a community and physical space for every Northwestern student interested in entrepreneurship to learn, iterate, and grow. We offer students resources, programming, and mentorship designed to help build the skills and entrepreneurial mindset they need to succeed in any industry.
Students from across the University bring a wide range of diverse academic and personal experiences that enrich the entrepreneurial environment at The Garage through exposure to new ideas, ways of thinking and skill sets.
Since opening in 2015, SESP students have been steadfast members of The Garage community, complementing their classroom learning with building and leading their own organizations. For example, Lucas Philips, SESP ’19 + co-founder of Brewbike participated in programs at The Garage all four years of undergrad, and found early success through school support, opening his first pop-up coffee shop on campus in Annenberg Hall. Matt Zients, SESP ’20 co-founded a nonprofit startup called Connect & Care while participating in programs such as Residency and X-Factor at The Garage.
In Winter 2021, there are 11 SESP students participating in programs at The Garage, working on projects ranging from Buff’d, the second place overall winner at VentureCat, Northwestern’s annual student startup competition, to RollCall, a startup providing transparency and accountability for mail-in and absentee voters. Below are a few student stories.
Joshua Breite, SESP ’22
Major: Learning and Organizational Change
Project / Company: Induction Learning is a platform offering an intuitive and authentic test preparation experience allowing users to replicate the test and receive personalized analyses on performance, empowering them to improve their scores.
Anastacia Chineme, SESP ’22
Anastacia has participated in Residency at The Garage, and was one of the inaugural participants of the Activate program during its summer 2020 pilot. Activate is an 8-week immersive learning experience with the goal of making entrepreneurship more inclusive and accessible to Black Northwestern students.
Major: Learning and Organizational Change, Political Science
Project / Company: Crown Care is a platform that aims to provide a sense of community and education for curly haired individuals.
Caleb Holland, SESP ’21
Caleb is passionate about building businesses with a focus on social impact and social justice. He participated in the summer 2020 Wildfire Pre-accelerator program, winning second place and the audience favorite award at the end-of-program Demo Day, taking home $4,000. Caleb is also a participant in The Garage’s Residency program and offers peer-to-peer mentoring through Office Hours.
Haley Hooper, SESP ’23
Haley participated in the fall 2020 cohort of X-Factor, The Garage’s revolutionary leadership development program for student founders. She has also participated in the Tinker program. During the summer of 2020, she interned for Quicken Loans on the Backbone Technology team as a User Experience Associate.
Major: Learning and Organizational Change, Business Institutions, and Design
Project / Company: HHPearls is a successful online jewelry venture, and Haley is also currently developing an e-commerce and networking app.
Austin Pager, SESP ’22
At The Garage, Austin has participated in Residency and the summer 2020 Wildfire Pre-accelerator program and took home the grand prize at the end-of-program Demo Day, winning $4,000. Austin and his co-founder, Spencer Levitt ’22 pitched at VentureCat, Northwestern’s annual student startup competition, beating many graduate teams and winning second place overall and $59,000 in non-dilutive capital.
Drew Wandizilak, SESP ’22
Drew is participating in the Residency program at The Garage. He spent three years as an Associate at the venture firm Basecamp Fund, investing in and supporting early-stage entrepreneurs. He is also the former director of Northwestern’s student entrepreneurship club, EPIC’s program called Sprout, where he led an immersion trip to San Francisco for students looking for a career in tech and/or startups.