EHS Connect: Entrepreneurship Workshop with Humble Ventures

Before the winter holidays, Episcopal continued its series of EHS CONNECT events with a virtual gathering to explore entrepreneurship as taught at the School and practiced by its alumni. EHS hosted the event with humble ventures, a Washington, D.C.-based venture development firm that focuses on diverse entrepreneurs and audiences. 

Jeremy Goldstein, executive director of the McCain-Ravenel Center for Intellectual and Moral Courage, opened the evening by introducing the Center and providing an overview of its work with entrepreneurs and humble ventures. Teachers Matt Fitzgerald and Boota deButts ’76 then discussed how entrepreneurship is taught at EHS. Entrepreneurial Studies, a course geared towards seniors in their second semester, focuses on the experiential elements of entrepreneurship. Students learn how to create business plans and pitches for real-world entrepreneurs, and the course ends with a pitch competition in which students deliver pitches for companies or products of their own design. 

The group also heard from Tre Simmons ’20, who participated in Launch 2020, a new entrepreneurship course EHS began with humble ventures as an offering during senior externships last spring. Students worked with humble ventures to analyze and create business models for existing businesses and to create a pitch for those businesses. 

At the CONNECT event, humble ventures co-founders Harry Alford and Ajit Verghese led a group of Episcopal alumni, parents, and friends in a workshop on creating a one-page business plan using Lean Canvas, a business plan template the two use to create their own business plans. The group then worked together to create a model business plan for an example organization, the nonprofit World Central Kitchen, using the Lean Canvas template. 

“Episcopal's partnerships with companies like humble ventures are exciting because their perspectives help our students translate the critical thinking skills they learn in class to real world experiences and problems,” said Director of Annual Giving and Special Programs Margaret von Werssowetz Waters ’06. “This CONNECT event allowed us to bring our alumni and parents into the conversation, which was fun because the group included both experienced entrepreneurs as well as young alumni ready to get their feet wet.”

The EHS CONNECT program is an initiative developed to celebrate, promote, and strengthen our alumni community while providing the opportunity to connect alumni across career fields and geographic locations. Episcopal has hosted CONNECT events virtually and in several cities across the country on the topics of entrepreneurship, finance, art, fashion, and more.