Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, many small businesses, including those owned by Northwestern alumni, have faced challenging circumstances and uncertain futures. In June 2020 the Northwestern Alumni Association (NAA) launched the Northwestern Alumni-Owned Small Business Directory to help connect and support fellow Wildcats.
At just 22 years old, Casey Grage ’19 became CEO of Hubly Surgical, a startup set on revolutionizing neurosurgery. Hubly invented a lightweight neurosurgical drill that Grage says offers key advantages over conventional drills used to access to the brain in cases of stroke, aneurysm, trauma or other emergencies.
Confidence Udegbue cooked up the idea for a kombucha cocktail long before he arrived at Northwestern. He was moonlighting in San Francisco as a personal trainer at the time and regularly heard his clients say they wanted a healthier way to drink alcohol while staying fit.
Thanks to a community of 174,380 alumni, parents and friends from around the world, We Will. The Campaign for Northwestern brought in an awe-inspiring $6.1 billion.
After working for more than a decade in finance, marketing and business development, Eunice Byun ’04 quit her role as vice president of global digital marketing at Revlon to launch Material, a kitchenware company.
After learning that the majority of children’s books feature either white people or animals, Jacob Jordan ’20, ’21 MS launched the Equal Opportunity Book Box, a monthly subscription service that delivers picture books featuring characters of color, LGBTQIA characters, and/or characters with disabilities.
Gabriel Neely-Streit ’16 is co-owner of Colores Mexicanos, an importer of handmade art, clothing and accessories from Indigenous communities across Mexico. By working directly with dozens of artisans and artisan cooperatives across 11 Mexican states, Colores Mexicanos aims to help preserve the cultural diversity of Mexico, which is home to more than 60 living Indigenous languages and a wide variety of folk art.
Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management has received a transformative gift from Ann M. Drake ’84 MBA to establish the Drake Scholar Network — a powerful intergenerational and global network of women students, faculty and alumnae.
Communication studies senior Anna Lise Ericson founded Cerer, an e-commerce platform that offers women’s clothing and accessories from brands committed to ethical and eco-minded practices.
Blip energy CEO Sophia Wennstedt, a second-year student in the University’s MBA and design innovation dual-degree program, and her team of Northwestern entrepreneurs created blipOne, a device that allows users to store electricity when it is cheap and discharge power when it is expensive. Launched through the Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation’s NUvention: Energy course, blip energy is working with an engineering services firm to build a mass-manufacturable prototype of blipOne before launching a preorder initiative.