The Lab for Entrepreneurship and Transformative Leadership at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG) is pleased to announce its inaugural Social Impact Fellows this semester.
The program is designed to give an immersive, hands-on learning experience for the Fellows to understand the inner workings of impact investing and social entrepreneurship. Impact investing is the act of providing resources, funding or otherwise, to businesses or startup ventures that are mission driven and are working towards positive change for a societal or environmental issue. The Social Impact Fellows will learn from professionals in the field, including representatives from the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), the Maryland Momentum Fund, and Revolution.
After a competitive application process with over 10 applicants from students in a variety of academic programs at USG, the following three students have been selected:
- Brayden Brinson, University of Maryland, College Park, B.S. in Accounting;
- Lakshmi Nagireddy, University of Maryland, Baltimore, Masters in Social Work - Behavioral Clinical Health; and
- Niyati Shelat, University of Maryland Baltimore, M.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences
Brinson is using the Social Impact Fellows program to further develop his entrepreneurial mindset and prepare for an upcoming employment opportunity. “I have an internship lined up for a venture capital firm in the summer, and I’ve always been interested in entrepreneurship and how early stage companies are able to develop,” said Brinson .
Nagireddy has taken an entrepreneurship course before and is currently developing her own prototypes for a board game. She hopes to pursue this in parallel with one day opening a private practice for one-on-one therapy. “This experience can teach me how to avoid some of the pitfalls that first time entrepreneurs fall into,” said Nagireddy.
Shelat has some experience with entrepreneurship, but was looking to dive in more and was excited by the opportunity to get involved with the Entrepreneurship Lab at USG. Shelat shared how impressed she was with the great work being done by the Entrepreneurship Lab, and expressed her appreciation for having access to such labs or platforms to further explore her interest in entrepreneurship — an opportunity that was not readily available where she earned her undergraduate degree in India.
In addition to learning from professionals who have experience in the industry of impact investing, the Fellows will also have the opportunity to showcase their knowledge by advising two student teams in IDEA430: Creating Your Own Venture. Each Fellow will develop an evaluation tool of their own and coach the student teams on how to achieve sustainable impact through a business model. The student teams will compete on May 6, 2022 in a shark-tank style pitch competition.
The Fellows will each receive $2,000 stipends to present their evaluation tool, as well as a personal reflection portfolio at the end of the semester.
To learn more about USG’s Lab for Entrepreneurship and Transformative Leadership, visit their webpage.
The Entrepreneurship Lab at USG was founded through a grant from the David and Mikel Blair Family Foundation. For more information about the Social Impact Fellows or the Entrepreneurship Lab at USG, contact Katherine Zmoda at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-738-6212.