Tuck Meets the Bayou: New Orleans E-ship Week

A team of eight first- and second-year Tuck students just returned to Hanover from New Orleans.  We particpated in IDEAcorps, a MBA spring break program that was sponsored by the Idea Village (an entrepreneur incubator) and folded into New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (a week-long celebration of entrepreneurship and its role in New Orleans' recovery).  The week was a one-of-a-kind experience, and is something any of us would highly recommend for next year's spring break.  Big shout outs to Dan Ettinger and Parul Shah for organizing the team and leading the trip, and to Joaquin Villarreal for serving as our faculty advisor.  And of course we can't forget Dean Danos, the Allwin Initiative, the MBA Program Office, and -- of course -- the Entrepreneurship Initiative for supporting this venture.

Over the week, we worked with the two enthusiastic and determined founders of ChapterSpot.  ChapterSpot sells "group management made easy" -- an online private social network that is currently used by fraternities and sororities to manage recruiting, scheduling, dues collection, and so on.  We helped them plan improvements to the product and also think about new markets to target.  Being in the trenches with the co-founders for a week was not only inspirational and eye-opening, but also a lot of fun.  We brought our unique Tuck MBA perspective to them, and they helped us think about some traditional business questions in new and interesting ways. 

Outside of the office, we had an unbelievable New Orleans experience -- ranging from following a "second line" (roaming street party) with Wendell Pierce to winning the IDEAcorps competition against the likes of HBS, Columbia GSB, Loyola, Yale SOM, and Duke Fuqua. 

I've asked a few of my teammates to post their reflections from the week.  Look for these to come out over the next week or two.  In the meantime, grab any of us if you're curious about the program.  We were the first Tuck team to attend IDEAcorps and are planning to send another team down next year to defend our crown! 


Tuck IDEAcorps team (L to R): Brendan Finke (ChapterSpot co-founder), Len White T'13, Dan Ettinger T'13, Divya Mani T'12, Spencer Bryan T'13, Parul Shah T'12, Kellie Jo Ciofalo T'12, Joe McMenemom (ChapterSpot co-founder), Ian Warthin T'12, Joaquin Villarreal T'08 (E-ship Initiative), and Brent Dance T'13