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i2E college fellowship creates opportunities for young entrepreneurs

Claire Trump is one of the college students in the Oklahoma i2E Fellows program taking opportunities with entrepreneurial companies to apply and amplify what they learned from textbooks and in class.
Oklahoman Published: August 26, 2014

Claire Trump, i2E Fellow and college junior, is one of the lucky ones. Trump, a Tulsa native, has always been interested in numbers and math.

As a finance major in college, Trump is pursuing a degree that is in high demand. The Department of Labor expects financial analyst positions, for example, to grow by 23 percent to 2020.

But it isn’t luck that made Claire Trump such an asset to Oklahoma entrepreneurs for the last 10 weeks.

It is her ability to find a different path when the solution she had learned in class didn’t work, her tenacity, and her willingness to ask for help and put the suggestions she receives to work for startup companies.

Were we surprised by the level of Trump’s contribution? After all, she’s only two short years out of high school and was tasked with research, deal meetings, and even with sections of due diligence that informed investment decisions.

No, we weren’t surprised.

We are in our sixth year of the paid Fellows program, and if we’ve learned anything, it’s that our state’s college students who become Fellows hit the ground running; they are consistently creative and can-do assets to entrepreneurs starting companies.

“The summer exceeded my expectations,” Trump said. “Every single day I had something different to do. It’s different seeing the questions investors really ask. It’s a whole different environment at i2E compared to the classroom experience. When it doesn’t work exactly like you expected, you have to think on your feet.”

That’s the whole idea of the Fellows program — creating opportunities with entrepreneurial companies for Oklahoma’s young people to apply and amplify what they learned from textbooks and in class.

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by Scott Meacham
President and CEO of i2E Inc.
Scott Meacham is president and CEO of i2E Inc., a nonprofit corporation that mentors many of the state’s technology-based startup companies. i2E receives state appropriations from the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology....
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Did You Know?

i2E Fellowships are open to Oklahoma college students, both from Oklahoma and out-of-state colleges and universities who work with entrepreneurial companies in Tulsa and Oklahoma City. More than $220,000 has been paid to 41 students since inception.


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