There was a lot of stuff going on around Kellogg on Friday, including the alumni reunion and the Special K! show. I got to go to a handful of cool events.

Business Leadership Club Presentation with Andrew Youn ('06)
Andrew Youn talking to students after his talk<

Andrew Youn, the founder of One Acre Fund, gave a presentation about the organization and leadership to a packed room. There were even a handful of faculty members in attendance, including Prof. Kraemer, a big supporter of the organization.

Andrew spent some time talking about the progress the organization has made so far and its plans for the future. They are currently serving ~50K families in Kenya and Rwanda with plans to double that in the next few years. In addition, they hope to eventually influence agricultural policy in the region as another avenue for helping the people there.

Sitting there listening to what they’ve done, it’s hard not to be ridiculously impressed, especially when you consider that he’s been building the organization up from scratch beginning in his 2nd year at Kellogg. I’m always inspired when I hear about people working on stuff like this.

After the presentation, he answered a lot of Q&A from the audience, delivering some useful nuggets for entrepreneurs:

  • Get a pilot program going as quickly as possible to test your concept, determine if it can be operationalized, etc. He started with a pilot program helping 40 families during his second year of grad school.
  • Make fundraising as time-efficient as possible so that you can spend as much time as possible actually developing the business. He started fundraising at Kellogg with the help of his KWEST trip mates, who signed up classmates to contribute $20 a month to start the organization.
  • Don’t be afraid to fail. Try a lot of stuff and see what works and what doesn’t. The organization has developed a lot through this process, learning what they can and can’t do well.
  • Maximize customer value while minimizing costs.

First Nota Bene Lecture: A Look at Macro Trends
Nota Bene activities for Class of 2011
Every year, the school hosts the Nota Bene (“note well” in Italian) series of lectures for graduating students. These tend to be given by rockstar faculty members who impart a little bit more knowledge to us before we leave. The first one, 2020 and Beyond - A Look at Macro Trends, was given by Professor Rebelo, who has made a name for himself delivering amazing/entertaining lectures in his International Finance class, which went for 1400 bid points (out of the 3000 you get for the year) this year. His Nota Bene lecture was no different.

He covered a log of mega trends that should have a significant impact on our careers throughout the next 30 years, including of course, China’s growth into a GDP powerhouse.

Alumni Reunion TG
The Jacob is prepped for Kellogg's 2011 Alumni Reunion

The Alumni Reunion is this weekend, bringing together Kellogg alums across generations. The accompanying TG event was held in a fancy tent that they set up next to Jacobs. It was the first TG that I’ve been to in a while, and it was great to catch up with some folks that I haven’t seen in a long time, including the ‘10 alum that is pretty much responsible for my internship/job at BCG. Unfortunately, I had to bail early on TG to make it to…

The 2011 Special K! Show
There’s not much to say about the show; it was amazing. The quality of the video shorts was phenomenal and the songs and sketches were equally good. They should call this the “I bet you didn’t know how well your classmates can sing, dance, and play music” show. I opted for the earlier screening, but the later one is known as the “rowdy alum” show, in part because it happens after several hours of TG’ing.

P.S. I love this album by The Head and The Heart. Just check out this video that sounds great with just a guitar, some harmonies, and an empty tunnel. Great blog-writing music.