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 the fall of 2022, there were 18 SESP students participating in programs at The Garage. Below are a few student stories.

Zoe Lewis, SESP ’25

Zoe has enthusiastically participated in multiple programs at The Garage including ResidencyPropel, The Garage’s program for female student entrepreneurs, and Jumpstart, The Garage’s summer pre-accelerator program. She is also a current member of the Fall 2022 cohort of The Garage’s revolutionary leadership development program for student founders, X-Factor.

Zoe Lewis

Major: Social Policy

Project / Company: PETAL Solutions prioritizes equitable, transformative, and active learning solutions.

  • Above all else, I love The Garage. Here you will find a space that welcomes your ideas, skills, and most importantly YOU with open arms. It is truly a community where you celebrate successes and work through failures with one another. While at The Garage, you are never alone. There is no better place for accessible resources and programming in entrepreneurship around.

Jack Ke, SESP ’23

Jack is a member of The Garage’s Residency program, building entrepreneurial and organizational skills through his experience working on Inbound’s growth team.

Jack Ke

Major: Learning and Organizational Change

Project / Company: Inbound connects recruiters with university student organizations.

Skylar Deeter, SESP ’24

Skylar is a participant in The Garage’s Residency program, working as the Marketing Director of Cue the Curves. Additionally, she worked on Cue the Curves through the summer as a member of the Techstars Chicago Accelerator.

Skylar Deeter

Major: Human Development in Context

Minor: Spanish

Project / Company: Cue the Curves is an online platform for plus-size women to find and discuss clothing brands.

  • I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to work in the Garage–it’s such a space of collaboration, and no matter how busy people are, they’re always willing to drop everything and help each other. Everyone seems to feel a real sense of camaraderie and deep friendship beyond school or work.”

Adrian Ayala-Perez, SESP ’26

Adrian is an active member of The Garage’s community, as both a participant in the Tinker program and a student aide that works closely with Garage staff.

Adrian Ayala-Perez

Major: Education and Social Policy

  • I love how The Garage is a space where you can fail. Currently, there is this societal pressure to not face failure because you have to be perfect at everything. At The Garage, you are able to make mistakes and build grit, expand your knowledge, and grow your understanding of complex entrepreneurial problems.”

SESP Students at The Garage

Tinker Program:

Abdel HussienJanie XuAimee Resnick
Caryn TranKhushbu KshirsagarPeri Green
Abby NudellJessica SunKritphong Mongkhonvanit
Adrian Ayala-Perez

Residency Program:

Elizabeth SacerdoteAnna WittcoffJain Rohan
Mikenzie RobertsZoe LewisBryan Sanchez
Skylar DeeterJack Ke

Jumpstart Program:

Zoe LewisMikenzie RobertsAlexis Duran-Aguilera

X-Factor Program:

Zoe Lewis

The Garage x SESP News

Cue the Curves featured on The Garage’s Holiday Gift Guide

Squair One Team Spotlight: Featuring Zoe Lewis ’25

Lucas Philips, SESP ’19 featured on How I Got Here Podcast, Episode 2

Connor Regan, SESP ’16 featured on How I Got Here Podcast, Episode 1

Brewbike, founded by Lucas Philips, SESP ’19, raises $2M


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