Meet the EI Ambassadors
Sean Maroni, President, seanmaroni.com
Good things come to those who wait. Great things come to those who work hard, and sacrifice what they like to achieve what they love. I love learning, creating, connecting, and attacking problems that really matter. I merely like sleeping. In the Entrepreneurship Initiative, I have found a home. We don’t have rules. No prejudices, cliques, no ill-conceived judgments. We are an army of dreamers, fueled by 2 am dorm room inspiration and microwaved ramen noodles. I am humbled by the brilliant students who pass through our doors; they are all visionaries. Young entrepreneurs give the world something to believe in, a freshly blazed trail to follow, a cause to fight for. I believe that together, we can make the world a place to be truly proud of. I challenge any skeptic of these words to come join our ranks, experience the electricity in the air. My only advice is to move quickly, we’re not waiting around.
I’ve always had entrepreneurial tendencies, but the day I learned to define and understand them was when I attended a lecture by Professor Joseph DeSimone of UNC. Following that revelation, I participated in several entrepreneurial competitions, and started two teams that were national finalists for the Conrad Spirit of Innovation Awards Competition, a high school competetion that focuses on taking student ideas and helps them through the process of developing a concept, business model, etc. I regard entrepreneurship and innovation as some of the most important products of society, and I think the EI has helped me to attain a better knowledge of the entrepreneurial world. The EI has helped me to focus on what is actually important to me, while also helping me connect with similar people that foster an environment that helps both myself and others to achieve their goals.
I became interested in entrepreneurship ever since I can remember, from creating companies with my grandfather to making my own jewelry on the side. I love the idea of being innovative and getting my hands on something fresh. The NCSU EI has helped me see the web of people who make a difference in the world of entrepreneurship. Without the EI, I would not have experienced
some once in lifetime opportunities that not many people have the chance to take on. With the EI, I feel that I can do anything and create some of my dreams into reality with the help of those within the EI community. The EI is not only a place to execute new entrepreneurial adventures, but also a place to meet other entrepreneurs who share the same motivation and niche as you.
I cannot name the exact moment I became interested in entrepreneurship, since my childhood I have experienced an extreme dosage in my father’s entrepreneurial ventures ranging from textiles to foodservice. My most recent entrepreneurial experience has been assisting in expanding the family owned restaurant into a second location. I plan to graduate in Spring 2013, with majors in Business Administration with a Concentration in Entrepreneurship and Accounting with a concentration in Financial Analysis. The Entrepreneurship Initiative at NC State has opened the door to new relationships and networking with a diverse and interdisciplinary group of individuals. The individuals I’ve met have ranged from fellow students to executives of elite companies and has led to new perspectives on entrepreneurship. I am still new to the NCSU EI, but I am excited to see what the future has to hold.
Looking back on it, I was demonstrating entrepreneurial traits at a very young age; I just didn’t know there was a name for what I enjoyed. However, it wasn’t until coming to State that I truly realized my passion. I believe taking EI 201 exposed me to all that is going on entrepreneurially at State. Through the EI, I have met people that I may never have met otherwise. People of all skill sets, interests, etc., and I think that’s what the EI is all about. If you need help with a project, someone in the EI can help. In addition, the mentorship and potential to learn from alumni and guest speakers is invaluable! Personally, I am working on a fitness site that allows users to build/customize their “ideal” physiques, and then receive step-by-step instructions for achieving it. We hope to launch in the near future!
Entrepreneurship has always been my motivation behind what I do since I was little. I have always invent new products and wanted to create new technologies, and coming to NC State and taking my first Entrepreneurial class really showed me what I needed to do. The EI has guided me in becoming the entrepreneur I am today, and has given me the skills and networking opportunities I need to be successful. I believe that the EI helps students stay on the breaking edge of innovation and creativity that drives competition in the entrepreneurial and business world.
Entrepreneurship has been evident through my entire life. When I was young I helped my dad with his own business next was doing yard work for the neighborhood then creating ideas in my high school engineering class. When I came to State I was ready to make my next splash. A few buddies and I started, Pulse of the Pack, a student ran sports radio show airing on WKNC 88.1, Wednesdays from 7-8pm. My involvement with the EI began in the fall of 2011, taking EI 201 (a must take) and becoming an EI Ambassador. Being an EI Ambassador I have participated in the Local Tours, the General Hugh Shelton Forum, access to the Garage, member of the Silicon Valley Trip 2012 and more! For now I am learning and soaking in as much as possible but the next splash is starting something of my own!
My name is Ryan Clodfelter, I am from Kernersville, NC and I’m a senior in Agricultural Business Management. I first gained an interest in entrepreneurship as a Cub Scout selling popcorn when I innovated a new sales channel. Instead of going door to door like my colleagues I was the first to sell my neighborhood’s and the surrounding neighborhood’s home owners associations. The top down-approach made me a first place winner. Arriving at NCSU I feel in love with the EI and the people here, and I would recommend it to any potential new candidates. In the EI I have been given opportunities and the freedom to pursue them with the support of a great network behind me.
My interest in entrepreneurship comes from a fantastic series of lemonade stands and garage sales back when I was ten. After realizing I wanted to be an engineer and that I had an awesome problem-solving ability, entrepreneurship became that much more fascinating. Working with the NCSU Entrepreneurship Initiative to provide entrepreneurial opportunities for student and to bring out the entrepreneur in others has been a fulfilling experience. My biggest project now is making the NCSU TEDx event on campus much more recognized. We want the annual NCSU TEDx event to be a destination for every entrepreneur at NC State and in Raleigh.
I became interested in entrepreneurship when I started listening to Ted talks. They have become a symbol for innovation in today’s world of entrepreneurship. The NCSU EI has helped me by helping me network with a group of motivated and talented students and advisers who push me daily to pursue my entrepreneurial endeavors. In spring of 2011, I decided to start start my own non-profit organization called Funding for Equal Education. Without the support of the EI, it would not be anywhere near as successful as it is today.
Tasso von Windheim
Growing up with an entrepreneurial father paved the way for my interest in entrepreneurship at an early age. I entered N.C. State with a desire to pursue my interest but it wasn’t until taking an an intro Engineering and Entrepreneurship class that I realized the opportunities available to me through N.C. State. After that, I was truly hooked and jumped at the opportunity to becoming more involved in EI. As a new member of the EI Ambassador team I look forward to promoting entrepreneurship within our school and giving other students the opportunity to see exactly why entrepreneurship is so exciting.