On April 9, 2015, Georgetown Fellows welcomed InSITE Chairman Paul Tumpowsky for dinner and a lively discussion about how to grow the InSITE program. The conversation covered three main topics: 1) the future of InSITE, 2) opportunities for improvement, and 3) how Fellows can best leverage the benefits of being an InSITE Fellow.
The future of InSITE
Paul shared with the Fellows his vision of InSITE as a bridge between the technical world and the business world. InSITE, according to Paul, should be a platform that fosters entrepreneurship and leadership skills by. To do that, InSITE must build chapters at institutions with strong engineering, law and other technical programs, as well as recruit promising fellows from each of those programs.
Opportunities for improvement
By far, the biggest opportunity for improvement discussed by Paul and the Fellows was increasing the connectivity between InSITE chapters across geographies and schools. Fellows discussed ideas such as leveraging better online platforms to foster communication, or creating industry-specific foci groups that incorporate Fellows from different schools. There are inherent challenges to increasing this kind of communication, but Paul put out the charge to any InSITE Fellow who is willing to take up the banner and find a better way to bring Fellows together.
Leveraging the benefits of InSITE
In spite of the great work being done by InSITE Fellows, the feedback coming in from investor partners is that the relationship between VC’s and Fellows is more transactional and less relationship-based. Paul encouraged Fellows to take advantage of the InSITE partner and alumni network as one of the most important benefits of InSITE. According to Paul, a key to benefitting from our InSITE experience is building lasting relationships with partners and alumni and taking advantage of the unique opportunities presented by InSITE.
Erin Rider is a JD/MBA Candidate at Georgetown and an InSITE Fellow. Her background is in health care exchanges.