The 2022 Lauder Entrepreneurship Lunch and Learn Series provided Lauder students with the opportunity to engage directly with business leaders, alumni, and academics about entrepreneurship in different regional, economic and historical contexts. This series, led by Dr. Sudev Sheth and moderated by students from the Class of 2024, highlighted the ways in which entrepreneurial initiatives further the greater good.
Meritocracy & Entrepreneurship: India and China
Tarun Khanna, the Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor at the Harvard Business School discussed his latest book “Making Meritocracy: Lessons from China and India, from Antiquity to the Present”. The book seeks to answer the question of how societies identify and promote merit. It argues that finding and advancing competent and capable leaders based on talent, and regardless of social status, have long been central challenges for any society. Khanna, a successful entrepreneur in his own right, discussed entrepreneurship in the context of developing countries, particularly where the surrounding hard and soft infrastructure makes it difficult to launch ventures. Khanna noted that although meritocracy-building in China and India has distinctive local inflections, these countries’ attempts to prioritize merit-based advancement offers rich lessons for the rest of the world—including the United States.
This session was moderated by Dr. Sudev Sheth.
Shaping the Future of Mobility: Autonomous Freight Pods & Electric Mobility Ecosystems
Students learned about the future of mobility as companies move towards more sustainable and ecofriendly methods of transportation. We were joined by Abhishek Gupta, Project Lead in Resilient Automotive Value Chains (RAVC) at the World Economic Forum and Edward McGlone at Einride.
Gupta discussed the RAVC project which brings together policy makers and industry leaders to improve automotive value chain resilience and supply chain transparency, especially across critical materials and resources (eg. metals, rare-earth semiconductors).
Edward Mcglone, Senior Director of Government Affairs at Einride discussed how Einride, an entrepreneurial venture in the freight technology space, is using Autonomous Electric Transport (AET) and an intelligent freight mobility platform to ensure a more ecologically-friendly road freight industry.
This session was moderated by Franck Ouattara (G’24, WG’24) and Marisa Salatino (G’24, WG’24).
Verónica de la Cerda
The Circular Economy: Local Impact in Latin America and Asia
In this session, students learned about circular economy innovations in Latin America and Asia and how governments and major companies are committing to sustainable production and recycling in these regions.
Verónica de la Cerda (G’12, WG’12), Board Member & Former CEO of TriCiclos discussed the place of TriCiclos in the production, consumption and waste disposal chain. TriCiclos is a Latin-America-based engineering and consulting company with a goal to eliminate ‘waste’ by designing the most circular trajectory possible for a product. This process involves determining and executing the most economical and sustainable method for a product’s distribution, return, recycling, and reuse.
Ming Khor (G’16, WG’16), Founder and CEO of Keru, discussed Keru’s place in the world of social impact education, and how Keru brings together high school students and professionals from various industries to partner in transformative project-based educational experiences that promote sustainable development.
This session was moderated by Anna Louise Breu (G’24, WG’24) and Karim Stinner (G’24, WG’24).
Steven S. Rogers
The Black Entrepreneur in America
Steven S. Rogers discussed the opportunities and challenges for black entrepreneurs in the United States in an inspiring talk that marked Rogers’ second visit with Lauder students. Rogers is a retired Harvard Business School (HBS) professor, entrepreneur, and author of multiple books. His latest publications “Successful Black Entrepreneurs: Hidden Histories, Inspirational Stories, and Extraordinary Business Achievements” and “A Letter to my White Friends and Colleagues: What You Can Do Now to Help the Black Community” focus on recognizing and celebrating Black entrepreneurial excellence. Rogers explained how the history of slavery, racism, and public policy in the US has led to a significant wealth gap between blacks and whites and the importance of black entrepreneurs in this context. He discussed the contributions of black entrepreneurs to both the economy at large and as job creators for their communities, and how highlighting and supporting black-owned businesses can help to alleviate this wealth gap.
This session was moderated by Maithili Appalwar (G’24, WG’24) and Matthew Cullom (G’24, WG’24).
Breaking Out of Business School
Launching an entrepreneurial venture while still in school is never an easy journey but it has ultimately been a rewarding one for Júlio Erdos (G’19, WG’19). Erdos is the COO and co-founder of Sigo Seguros, a company focused on serving the Spanish-speaking community with fair-priced auto insurance. He detailed the ups and downs of getting Sigo Seguros off the ground with his co-founder and fellow Lauder alumnus Néstor Hugo Solari (G’19, WG’19). Erdos’ wide-ranging talk addressed different ways Sigo Seguros raised money, the pros and cons of different funding sources and the value of SAFE notes for early investors. Erdos, a Jacobson Global Venture Award winner discussed the importance of the award alongside the resources available to Lauder/Wharton students as critical tools in successfully launching a startup. The candid conversation provided valuable insight for our students, many of whom are budding entrepreneurs.
This session was moderated by Megan Burton (G’24, WG’24) and Bonnie Young (G’24, WG’24).