Kacey Wood, a senior from Granger, Indiana, majors in information systems and business analytics in the Kelley School of Business. She has been a Shoemaker Scholar for four semesters.
Crimson Catalyst: What is the biggest impact Shoemaker Scholars have?
Kacey Wood: Shoemaker Scholars are a communicative and collaborative group that promotes news, events and opportunities for students interested in innovation. Our biggest impact is normalizing the idea of building your own startup and promoting that idea to students to pursue their passions. Oftentimes students are afraid to begin a startup project because it might turn out to be too hard or they have little understanding of where to start. But the Shoemaker Scholars provide assistance within this entire process and are willing to answer any questions to help students get started and work on their own innovative projects.
CC: How did you learn about the Shoemakers Scholars program?
KW: As a freshman, I found out about the program through the StartupIU newsletter. I initially used this newsletter to learn about activities and events that were taking place across campus. If you are not subscribed to the StartupIU newsletter, you definitely should be!
CC: What do you enjoy most about being a Shoemaker Scholar?
KW: I enjoy the student interaction during various events that we promote across campus. Being able to hear students’ stories, plans and goals about their innovation and entrepreneurship journeys reminds me of how entrepreneurship can be found anywhere, no matter your major or interests. As a group, the Shoemaker Scholars put special efforts in holding events across the entire campus so that it is accessible for these diverse and bright-minded individuals. As a member of the group, I can certainly say these events are the most enjoyable part for me, as well as meeting any student who utilizes them for networking and an opportunity to grow their innovative ideas.
CC: What is a common misconception students have about entrepreneurship and innovation?
KW: Most students believe that entrepreneurship and innovation only align with business majors. This is 100 percent not true. Innovation is found anywhere. Whether you are interested in music, photography, dance, computer programming, education, or whatever, all areas apply.
CC: How do you share insights with others, as an ambassador?
KW: By spreading the word about the StartupIU newsletter and the spotlight series. On a continual basis, the Shoemaker Scholars share a newsletter featuring stories, news and information regarding events across campus. Another way I like to share insights with others is by communicating to them about the Shoemaker Scholars’ spotlight series. Every month, this series tells the story of one student on campus and their entrepreneurship journey. This series not only opens up discussion about the topic written about in the story, but it inspires and shows potential students that it is doable to start up and run a business throughout their college careers.
CC: What are your own entrepreneurial endeavors?
KW: In the past, I have been involved in a couple of startup projects, but I am currently not working on any entrepreneurial endeavors. Instead, I engage in conversations and chats outside of the group. I love meeting with people and learning about their own journey, giving my own insights, and hearing their short-term and long-term goals. I invite every student to please feel free to reach out if you want to have a coffee chat. I am always available and excited to talk more about entrepreneurship and innovation!
This profile originally appeared on IU’s Crimson Catalyst blog.