Friday, June 1, 2007

The Summer of Code

My first year at Kellogg is winding down and I have just a final paper and a final to get through. It has been a very interesting year with a lot of learning experiences inside and outside the classroom.

When I first decided to attend Kellogg, I knew that the school was not known for entrepreneurship. Reputation wise, it was a school known to have a strong marketing department, and known to produced a lot of consultants. Those two reputations have definitely held up. But it is also very misleading to place most Kellogg students into these buckets. As with most other business schools, the diversity of the student body -- in terms of interests, backgrounds, work experiences, talents, and personalities -- is simply amazing. That is what has caught me off guard the most. It would take me forever to describe how varied my classmates are, but suffice it to say that if you are interested in anything in the world, there is someone at Kellogg who shares that same passion.

So back to entrepreneurship...I knowingly came here expecting to do a lot of pushing forward on my own. But I actually have not had to do as much trailblazing as I had expected. There is a group of entrepreneurial students at Kellogg (and at Northwestern...which I will talk about in a bit) that share the same dreams. To start something, be our own boss, and take full responsibility for our own successes and failures. Having these students alongside me has opened a lot of doors, taught me a lot about what I will need to do, and most importantly inspired me.

As I hinted at earlier, the community of entrepreneurs extends far past Kellogg and into the Northwestern community. And this larger community of students with law, medical, engineering, and other backgrounds have been an even better resource for me. I have been very active in InNUvation, which is the university-wide entrepreneurship organization, and have been grateful to have found them. I would encourage anyone who is looking to come to Northwestern and is interested in entrepreneurship to get involved with InNUvation.

Looking back at the past nine months, I am definitely glad I chose to come here. Now what is in store in the future...

Well once I finish up with my class-related items, I am going to dive into The Summer of Code. I haven't done full-time coding for a few years, but that will be my main job responsibility this summer. Although creating a Ruby on Rails website is not what I came to business school for, it is something that I just have to do to get this web company off the ground. I could outsource most of the coding, but I actually do like programming. Plus for some reason I have some twisted notion that it wouldn't be a real startup unless I grunged it out for the summer. Maybe its my old MIT masochistic nature coming back -- where we prided ourselves on how much work we had to do -- but I am somewhat proud to be truly bootstrapping this company.

I won't be working in a garage, but I will be a nomadic coder visiting libraries, study rooms, and coffee shops. I am actually looking forward to seeing what other strange people frequent these places in the summer. But that's just because I'm weird like that.

Beyond this coding, I will be pushing forward with Biotic Laboratories. We have a game plan but need to iron out some details such as hiring lawyers and raising a few hundred K in angel to finance the first phase of the company. The goal by the end of summer will be to be in discussions with medical device companies about opportunities for technology licensing. Balancing my time between coding and keeping BL's discussions alive will be tough. But what else do I really have to do this summer?

So join me in a toast to my Summer of Code.

while (code < finished)
int whatIsAndrewDoing = Math.rand(0,2);

summerOfCode[3] = ["eating", "sleeping", "coding"];
print "Andrew is " + summerOfCode[

Boo yah!