The 1st Ever Entrepreneurship Fraternity: Epsilon Nu Tau

by / ⠀Entrepreneur Interviews / October 14, 2010

Today we spoke with Rob Starrett who is the CEO and one of the founders of the fraternity Epsilon Nu Tau.  The fraternity was founded at the University of Dayton in May of 2008 with the idea of bringing an entrepreneurial brotherhood to the collegiate level. See what Rob has to say about his experience there and how this organization can help young people at the collegiate level.

Could you explain what Epsilon Nu Tau is?

Epsilon Nu Tau is a professional co-ed fraternity founded in 2008 at the University of Dayton. It currently has four chapters and over 75 active members nationwide.  We are committed to creating a society and community of entrepreneurially spirited individuals to advance the ideals of professionalism and entrepreneurship.  Through our activities we strive for perfection in the art and science of salesmanship while encouraging ethical business practices.  By combining these skills we give back to our community and contribute our time and talents to benefiting the welfare of society. We do not focus entirely on becoming a business owner or how to run a company.  Instead, we focus on having the right mindset in life; to resist fear, create connections, put ideas into motion, and make things happen.

What was the motivation behind starting Epsilon Nu Tau?

In early 2008 a group of eight undergraduate students from the University of Dayton set out to bring entrepreneurial brotherhood to the collegiate level.  We wanted to create a network of entrepreneurs that would be connected by the ideals of brotherhood and who would live by the ideals of a fraternity. Epsilon Nu Tau was founded to promote participation from all majors and backgrounds.  We wanted to be a unique organization that diversified ourselves through three tiers of involvement: Professional, Service, and Social.  Through these tiers we have started building and growing our professional network in order to benefit each brother in the fraternity.  We want to continue to grow in order to achieve our long term goal for Epsilon Nu Tau, which is to create a global network of members that feel connected to one another professionally, as well as socially.

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What are 3 things students can get out of joining an organization like this?

  1. A vast professional network that expands nationwide.
  2. A lifetime brotherhood between the members of the organization.
  3. Professional and personal growth as an individual.

The three things mentioned above all lead to students developing themselves in one way or another.  The hope is once a student joins our organization it will benefit them both professionally and personally.

Why did you choose the fraternity format rather than an entrepreneurship club on campus?

We actually already had a Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization (CEO Club) on campus.  The CEO club meets monthly while hosting local entrepreneurs to talk about start-up and development issues.  While there is a place for an organization such as this, we wanted to create a global brotherhood of individuals that would create professional and personal relationships in a lasting manner.   Below I have highlighted some of the things that differentiate us from entrepreneurship clubs.

  • We are a more committed group:
    • We meet weekly and hold many events outside of Chapter compared to CEO Clubs that only meet once a month.
    • We have a rush and pledge process that requires members to be more dedicated if they want to be part of the organization.
    • We offer first hand managerial/entrepreneurial experience through structured leadership positions, product sales, and business partnerships.
  • We offer a Service and Social aspect
    • CEO Clubs are strictly professional organizations and even though Epsilon Nu Tau is professional in nature we also offer our members a magnitude of social and service activities to participate in.
  • We are open to all majors
    • “Entrepreneurship is a mindset”
    • We stress that all majors are welcome and you do not have to be an Entrepreneurship or business major in order to be part of Epsilon Nu Tau.
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What do you think is the biggest lesson you have learned while running this organization?

I have learned, no matter the type of business I pursue the most important aspect will always be people.   In my position, I not only have to interact with fraternity members, but also administration and business professionals. The ability to effectively work and communicate with others in a variety of different roles and ways is essential for success regardless the exact career path I will have in the future.   Being the CEO of Epsilon Nu Tau has helped me greatly enhance this skill and will continue to help me succeed professionally and personally the rest of my life.

What can students at other schools do to start something similar at their schools?

Since our creation in 2008 we have now expanded to three additional Universities across the nation. In addition to the University of Dayton, we currently have active Chapters at Texas State University, California State University, Fullerton, and Seton Hall University.  We are actively accepting applications to become the next Chapter of Epsilon Nu Tau. We will provide you with everything you need to get started with the process.  If you are willing to put forth the effort, the experience Epsilon Nu Tau can bring to universities and their students will be incredibly rewarding.

Any other information about the organization you want to mention?

The most unique aspect of Epsilon Nu Tau is the ability that each member has to have an influence on the organization.  Since we are such a young organization we are always looking for ways to grow and improve as a fraternity and current members are the ones that see these opportunities and make them happen.

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