The Garage x The School of Communication

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.

In spring 2021, there are 21 SoC students participating in programs at The Garage, working on projects ranging from Breakthrough, a non-profit for underserved students to pursue the arts to Cerer, a sustainable fashion platform, to FILO, an internet-based collective that serves as a creative agency. Below are a few student stories.

Nolan Robinson, SoC + Weinberg ’21

Nolan participated in the summer 2020 pilot cohort of Activate, a program with the goal of making entrepreneurship more inclusive and accessible to Black Northwestern students. He received mentorship from John Franklin, McCormick ‘17, an associate product manager at Google. Breakthrough is targeting an early 2021 launch.

Major: Theater

Project / Company: Breakthrough is a not-for-profit mentorship program designed to give students from underserved communities pathways into pursuing careers in the arts.

  • “[Through Activate’s programming] I gained confidence in myself and discovered that although what I do may not ‘look’ like a typical startup, I am indeed an entrepreneur.”

Katie Hoffman, SoC ’21

Katie participated in the Winter 2020 cohort of X-Factor, The Garage’s revolutionary leadership development program for student founders. After graduation, she will be an analyst at Marcus by Goldman Sachs, the most innovative division of the company.

Major: Communication Studies
Minor: Entrepreneurship

Project / Company: Network, Naturally, a podcast where she shares evidence-based research and interviews with ultimate connectors on how they network authentically and effectively.

  • “X-Factor taught me more than I could have ever expected. It gave me the self-awareness and confidence to really put myself out there and publish my own podcast. I finally learned what my strengths and weaknesses are in a meaningful way.”

Anna Lise Ericson, SoC ’22

Anna Lise has been involved in several programs at The Garage including Propel and Residency. Most recently, she participated in the summer 2020 Jumpstart Pre-accelerator program and received $10,000 to work full-time on Cerer with fellow SoC student Katie Karmin ’21.

Major: Communication Studies
Minor: Environmental Policy + Entrepreneurship

Project / Company: Cerer, an e-commerce platform dedicated to revolutionizing the fashion industry and shifting it towards a more sustainable environmental and economic path.

  • “My communication studies classes have been vital in running my business. They have given me a different perspective on the media and exposure through different social channels.”

Lauren Washington, SoC ’22

Lauren participated in The Garage’s Jumpstart Pre-accelerator program during the summer of 2020 and received $10,000 to work on Project FILO with her co-founder (and brother), Brandon Washington, a student at Rockhurst University.

Major: Radio / TV / Film
Minor: Entrepreneurship

Project / Company: Project FILO, a creative based organization by artists and for artists that exceeds the vision of an artists future self.

  • “I’ve had numerous professors inspire my vision towards Project FILO, but in particular, my “One-Person Documentary” course with Professor Danielle Beverly really opened my eyes to realize how much us as artists can accomplish. Even if the odds may be against so many of us in these creative industries, there’s no reason not to try and build your own table.”

The Garage x SoC News

Adala Makhulo, SoC ’23 featured in Opportunity Fund Update

Jordyn Lemer, SoC ’23 selected as Little Joe Ventures Fellow

Northwestern startup Project FILO aims to redefine media industry

Mike Raab, SoC ’12 named associate director of The Garage

Propellers visit Stephanie March, SoC ’96 in NYC

Rachel Cantor, SoC ’20 reflects on her time at The Garage upon graduation


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