Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown Entrepreneurship Program Welcomes New Mentors

The Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative welcomed three new entrepreneurs-in-residence (EIRs) to its industry mentorship program as part of its twelfth cohort. 

The Entrepreneurship Initiative at the McDonough School of Business (MSB) provides students with opportunities to learn about entrepreneurship and apply those skills through pitch competitions and events with distinguished visiting speakers. The new EIRs are Karima Ladhani, David Goldberg (GRD ’94) and Nkechi “Payton” Iheme, all of whom will advise and mentor students, alumni, faculty and administrators in the Georgetown community.  

The EIRs’ diverse expertise is a valuable resource to the Georgetown community, according to David Lange, the initiative’s program manager. 

“We have assembled a team of incredible entrepreneurs from a wide variety of backgrounds and industry experiences who together have combined experience of hundreds of years spanning everything from health to tech to finance to real estate to consumer packaged goods,” Lange said in an interview with The Hoya. “They are here to help our students with any questions that they may have.” 

Kirk Zieser/The Hoya | The Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative welcomes 3 new Entrepreneurs in Residence who will support students in networking and industry advising.

Students can connect with EIRs by attending weekly Chalk Talks or by browsing through entrepreneur biographies and messaging directly through the initiative’s website, Lange said. 

Ladhani is the founder and chief executive officer of Barakat Bundle, a nonprofit that works to provide health and education packages to mothers and newborns in South Asia. Although it primarily partners with communities in India, Barakat Bundle also has a branch called Giving Cradle, which sells cribs in North America to expand the organization’s market. 

Ladhani developed Barakat Bundle when she was a student and encourages students to take advantage of the resources available to them in college. 

“Knowing how to leverage those opportunities is really important, and as an entrepreneur, you don’t know what you don’t know,” Ladhani said in an interview with The Hoya. “As an entrepreneur-in-residence, I hope I can shed some light on those things that students may not even know to ask about or have the foresight to see. Hopefully that can allow them to be even more prepared as they move forward with their ventures or ideas.”

Ladhani’s goal as an EIR is to advise each individual student with entrepreneurship projects that they are passionate about. 

“My role as an entrepreneur-in-residence is in many ways directed by students. I’m here to be able to advise students on thinking through the ideas they may have to solve a particular problem, whether that is creating a startup or facing a community-based challenge,” Ladhani said. “We’re here to be able to provide advice based on our experience.”

Iheme is the head of public policy for North America, Latin America and the Caribbean for Bumble Inc., a social network for dating, looking for friends or growing one’s professional network, and will also serve as a new EIR. 

Goldberg, who has leadership experience in the education, hospitality and franchise industries, recently retired from his position as president, chief executive officer and board member of Cadence Education, the fourth largest provider of early childhood education in the nation. 

The scope and convenience of the EIR program for aspiring entrepreneurs is a testament to Georgetown’s prominence in education, according to Goldberg. 

“In my short time with the program, I have been incredibly impressed with the faculty, the entrepreneurs-in-residence that I have met, and the program itself, which is incredibly well-organized, expansive and accessible,” Goldberg wrote to The Hoya. “This is an incredible resource for students and alumni of smart, experienced, dedicated people who are giving their time and expertise back to the Georgetown community. It’s a great example of what makes Georgetown such a special place.”

Mike Malloy, who is in his seventh year as an EIR, said that EIRs play an important role in assisting students with entrepreneurial research and implementation of ideas. 

“EIRs give students advice on how to navigate the lean startup methodology to bring their ideas to reality,” Malloy wrote in an email to The Hoya. “We help students identify hypotheses about the problems they wish to solve, and then encourage them to conduct customer discovery interviews to (in)validate their hypothesis. We also help students pitch and present their ideas.”

Goldberg aspires to support students as they realize the potential of a variety of entrepreneurial opportunities. 

“The most important skill for young people to develop is the skill in being able to ‘figure it out’, which means finding a way to solve a problem or take advantage of an opportunity – through research, seeing advice from the right people, trial and error, or just being persistent,” Goldberg wrote in an email to The Hoya. 

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