For most college students, finding a secure job after graduation is a clear and formulated goal. After all, with stress, debt and deadlines often looming after commencement, a 9-to- 5 job sounds like a dramatic reduction from the worries of college life.
That is not precisely the vision of Nolan Gouveia. After working in the startup field and creating five businesses of his own, Gouveia, lecturer at California Baptist University and CBU’s faculty adviser for the IdeaLaunchPad club, believes students have the opportunity to work creatively with their own ideas while still supporting themselves.
Gouveia utilizes his experience and connections to cultivate a mindset geared toward innovation and out-of-the-box thinking. After forming the club in 2018, he has worked to use it to attract students to what he calls the “entrepreneurial ecosystem” on campus through brainstorming sessions, guest speakers and a lecture series on formulating business plans.
While the club is business-minded, new and interested members are always welcome and are not required to be involved in entrepreneurship.
“Some students in the club have an idea for a business and some just want to be involved in a startup and team up with other students who are self-starters and hard workers, and they want to build something bigger than themselves,” Gouveia said.
Gouveia emphasized that the students are the ones learning from each other, not simply from his instruction.
Nicholas Harold, junior accounting major and president of IdeaLaunchPad, said he ended up with his leadership role in the club because of his creative past and his own love for creating new things.
After creating an automotive tool in the garage with his father that is now in car magazines, Harold believes that sharing the way he brought an idea to life can inspire and motivate others to do the same.
“As a kid, I wanted to help others invent, create and develop ideas because of the amount of joy it brought,” Harold said. He also said being a part of IdeaLaunchPad is a way to achieve his childhood dream.
Apart from IdeaLaunchPad, new organizations continue to form within CBU to cultivate this same mindset. Luke Bell, sophomore business administration major, recently formed the Business Leadership Society as a way to promote service leadership among business-minded students — an area he says is necessary for cultivating an ethical entrepreneurial mindset.
“I want this club to be a place where people with all business-oriented majors could come and collaborate together to make an impact in the community,” Bell said.
For students on the fence, both Harold and Bell said their clubs serve as a way to bring students together and form a better, more collaborative environment within CBU, and if that means cultivating a successful business idea in the meantime, then all the better.