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We Are Risk-Takers, We Are Fearless and We Are Starters

Entrepreneurship Living-Learning Community Mentor Nigel Coelho reflects on the ELLC's inaugural class.

June 23, 2014

Nigel Coelhoby Nigel Coelho

It’s not often that you see starry-eyed freshmen embark on the journey of college with even bigger ambitions ahead of them. This year marked the first year of the Entrepreneurship Living Learning Community. Aspiring freshmen would apply to this selective program to gain access to mentorship and resources to help them flourish as entrepreneurs. 

The opportunity to meet likeminded peers seemed too fascinating to pass up, so I applied as a mentor. Having been in Philly for about a year starting ventures of my own, I had immersed myself in the city of Philadelphia and felt it truly had an immense array of resources for entrepreneurs to thrive on.

However, nothing could prepare me for the caliber of talent and ambition that moved into Myers Hall. Here were a group of determined freshmen with seasoned interests of their own. Their thoughts on several industries gave me a sense as to the variety of problems in engineering, arts and business that were unsolved — problems that I would have never seen on my own. 

Each ELLC member augmented the thoughts and ideas of another, making for far more sophisticated solutions problems. It was this collaborative nature that created an environment of innovation at the Close School.

The year culminated in an all-expenses-paid trip to Silicon Valley, the entrepreneurial capital of the world. The ELLC members got a glimpse of the inner workings of tech giants, clashing minds with the likes of Apple, eBay and several early-stage startups.

The marrying of technology and industry never ceased to amaze us. The flight back was filled with recollections of the innovation we witnessed on the West Coast, and with newfound perspectives on how we could incorporate the Valley’s close-knit ecosystem into Philly.

I have learned quite a lot from the inaugural ELLC class. As a mentor, I expected to impart wisdom onto these aspiring freshmen. The result was more of a reversal of roles, as I gleaned so much from a diverse group of entrepreneurs.

Without an iota of doubt, I can say that these ELLC members will go on to become great leaders and proud company owners. Their execution of ideas and intuitive nature prove that they will not fail to impress. It just goes to show the caliber of the Close School of Entrepreneurship and its initiatives, including the Entrepreneurship Co-op and the Launch It! class

It speaks to the universal language that all of us entrepreneurs around the world speak, that we are risk-takers, we are fearless, and ultimately that we are starters.

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