EEVM: Emory club fosters student-led innovation and entrepreneurship

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Entrepreneurship has become increasingly influential on college campuses, capturing the imagination of visionary students who seek autonomy, financial security, and the power to drive social change. Even for those not pursuing a business degree, learning about entrepreneurship can foster innovative thinking, research skills, and collaboration abilities.

Emory University, in particular, has cultivated a vibrant community that supports both individual innovators and organizations striving to leave their mark on society. Among them, Emory Entrepreneurship & Venture Management (EEVM) stands as one of the biggest players in promoting the spirit of entrepreneurship. EEVM is dedicated to lowering the boundary for building businesses by providing valuable resources for students from all academic backgrounds. Composed of both finance majors and pre-med students, the team seeks to incorporate interdisciplinary perspectives that better understand societal needs and embrace diversity in all aspects.

A group of HackATL participants sit around a table with their laptops.

Participants of HackATL team up to create a business prototype that has the potential of turning into a startup. The business hackathon happens within two days and challenges its participants to think about and address pressing world issues. Photo credit:

In terms of the resources or events they offer, EEVM boasts two major initiatives: the annual business hackathon – HackATL – and smaller events throughout the semester.

  • HackATL is the largest business hackathon in the southeast, drawing hundreds of students across various universities and businesses since 2013. The purpose of the hackathon is to challenge entrepreneurs to craft innovative prototypes that tackle pressing social issues within 48 hours. Each year, the hackathon has an unconventional theme that prompts the innovators to think critically and collaboratively to build projects that benefit the community. For instance, 2023’s prompt is graffiti, where participants need to “think like a graffiti artist by embracing the unconventional and painting their own mark on society.” In the decade since its creation, HackATL has boasted more than 2,500 participants and prizes totaling over $75,000.
  • Additional initiatives of EEVM include the Ignite membership program and Emory Excellerator. The Ignite program simplifies access to resources, enabling students to kickstart their entrepreneurship journey. It offers panel discussions on topics like Angel Investing 101 and Entrepreneurship 101, as well as opportunities for students to grab coffee and chat with Atlanta startup founders and investors. On the other hand, the Excellerator is a selective incubator that guides students in advancing the ideas they developed through HackATL into viable startups. It also provides opportunities to pitch these ideas to investors within the Emory community.

The greatest value EEVM offers lies in its close-knit community, which is welcoming to entrepreneurs of all backgrounds, regardless of their career stages. The organization identifies and addresses the barriers that prevent students from realizing their ideas, including the lack of mentorship, funding, marketing resources, and the confidence to take the first step. To bridge these gaps, EEVM hosts regular, low-stress networking events and provides capital and marketing consultancy to promising startups. Furthermore, EEVM is committed to championing diversity and underrepresented experiences in the field of entrepreneurship. For instance, they have forged partnerships with organizations like the Goizueta Black Student Association to advocate for Black business owners.

With over 300 alumni, EEVM has supported its graduates in launching their own companies or joining early-stage startups. EEVM is an excellent fit for someone who envisions creating a positive impact on their surroundings and the courage to turn their thoughts into action. With EEVM, the dream of embarking on one’s entrepreneurship journey is definitely within reach.

– Samme Xie