Entrepreneurs Unplugged: A Monthly Meetup for Founders
This Winter and Spring, early stage Booth founders will convene monthly to advance their ventures, be inspired, and connect with their peers. In these 1-hour long sessions, the group will cover entrepreneurial frameworks, models, and strategies for those students who are in the early stages of their founder journey. It’s lonely at the top and often early stage founders have the same practical questions when beginning to launch a venture. The group will walk through these questions and offer guidance.
These sessions will rely heavily on the value of peer-to-peer sharing, collaboration, and support. There will also be one reading (an article) shared out in advance of each meeting, which you will be expected to read. Those readings will serve as an anchor for the discussion our group has around challenges you are facing with your startup. While there is no blueprint for success, surrounding yourself with founders or founders-to be can provide a sense of community and calm among the startup storm! Guided by Mia Saini Duchnowski, founder of skincare brand Oars + Alps, this Forum aims to foster genuine relationships among students that will give each student the opportunity to learn from, support, and inspire one another both personally and professionally.
By signing up for these monthly meetups, you are committing to:
- Actively participating in ALL of the monthly meetings, which are on Thursdays from 12:00-1:00 p.m. (January 27, February 24, March 31,
April 28, and May 26). The success of these group is dependent on consistent participation, so please only sign up if you are able to commit to participating.
- Completing a short reading in advance of each session, which Mia will share. These articles will serve as an anchor for the group discussion around individual challenges, so it’s important that everyone has read it.
About the Facilitator:
Mia Saini Duchnowski is a journalist, engineer, investor, and a successful entrepreneur who sold her first VC-backed company, Oars + Alps, to SC Johnson. Currently, she serves as the cofounder and Board Member of Oars + Alps, a digitally native skin care brand for people who lead an active, on-the-go lifestyle. The products are made with naturally-derived, premium ingredients and are sold on Target and Amazon to name a few. The company launched in 2015 after Mia quit her high-profile job as a TV reporter/anchor with Bloomberg TV, one of the largest financial TV networks in the world.
Mia spent over three years with Bloomberg TV in Hong Kong and in New York City where she was responsible for global economic, political and business coverage. She was the first person at the network to interview the chairman of Microsoft, John Thompson, after he became chairman. She’s interviewed hundreds of CEOs and heads of states including the former CEO of Burberry, Angela Ahrendts, and Virgin founder, Sir Richard Branson. She’s routinely covered breaking news stories, such as the disappearance of MH 370, Nelson Mandela’s death, and Steve Job’s passing.
Prior to joining Bloomberg in June 2011, Mia served as an anchor and reporter for Forbes TV. She reported from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland as well as interviewed prominent business leaders including Warren Buffett, former FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair, Blackstone co-founder Pete Peterson, former Bear Stearns CEO Ace Greenberg, SAP CEO Bill McDermott and more. Earlier in her career, Mia was a financial analyst at Goldman Sachs, working in hedge fund sales and marketing. There, she helped establish strategic relationships with hedge funds representing over $1.2 billion in portfolio value.
Mia earned an MBA from the Harvard Business School. She earned a double major from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in neuroscience and media studies, and a double minor in civil engineering and management science. While at MIT, she interned at NASA Ames Research Center doing artificial intelligence research. She was featured in Glamour Magazine as one of their Top Ten College Women in 2004.
Mia was named as one of Crain’s Magazine 40 Under 40 in 2020 and was the emcee for the 2020 TedX Wrigleyville event. Currently, she sits on the Board of the Chicago Lincoln Park Zoo. Mia actively interviews high school seniors looking to study STEM subjects at MIT. She is also active in the Chicago startup ecosystem and enjoys mentoring students. She loves cycling and watching film noir movies and lives in Chicago with her husband and their five kids: Tabytha, Thiesson, Kempson, Aubrienna and Sienna.