While in the MMS program at Fuqua, Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship (Duke I&E) stood out as more than just a center or hub—it sparked new emotions for me. Duke I&E became the beating heart of my academic and professional aspirations, igniting a passion for innovation I hadn’t experienced before.

Gaining Insights at Duke I&E Events

In just my first semester, Duke I&E allowed me to immerse myself in a world that transcends conventional learning. Pop-up events like “How do I go from zero to one?” have been pivotal, providing me with insights into navigating the intricate journey of starting a business. The power of networking introduced me to incredible founders, insightful investors, and passionate professionals, reaffirming the boundless opportunities in entrepreneurship. This power was especially evident in evenings spent at the American Underground, a startup workspace and gathering place for entrepreneurs in Durham.

Sakshi VIjay, a member of the MMS: FOB Class of 2024 at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, stands to the right of a man at an event in Durham, NC. The photo is taken outside and night time.
Darren McKee, VP of Sales at Skye, and I (right) networking at an American Underground event

One particularly memorable experience was Fail Fest, a unique event where speakers shared their stories of setbacks and triumphs. It was a powerful and emotionally charged gathering emphasizing the strength of overcoming failure. The event was inspirational, reminding me of the importance of embracing failure as a stepping stone to success.

Tapping into an Innovative Network

As a Duke I&E ambassador, I connected with individuals shaping the entrepreneurial landscape. These interactions have broadened my perspective.

Sakshi Vijay, a student in the MMS: FOB program at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business with, 6 students, professor Jamie Jones and the COO of Nemodata at a restaurant
Enjoying an inspiring dinner with Professor Jamie Jones (second from the left) and Nemodata COO Amy Wyron Robinson (fourth from the right)

The transformative nature of Duke I&E events was further underscored during a dinner with Professor Jamie Jones, director for Duke I&E, and Amy Wyron Robinson, COO of Nemodata. Insights shared during this remarkable evening and inspiring stories left a lasting impression on me. I am genuinely grateful to the Duke I&E team for facilitating such exceptional personal and professional growth opportunities.

Overall, the experience of Duke I&E has not only provided me with a sense of belonging but has also fueled my enthusiasm for the dynamic world of innovation and entrepreneurship. As I continue on this journey, I look forward to further inspiration, growth, and success within the vibrant community that Duke I&E has become for me.