Over the last year, HackCville has dramatically expanded the reach and impact of Wahoowa, our network of entrepreneurial U.Va. alumni. We’ve launched a mentorship program, held tons of networking and educational events, and published dozens of profiles of incredible students and alumni. Our community is now 900+ alumni strong. I’d like to share with you the State of Wahoowa – what we’ve accomplished, what we’ve learned, and where we’re going next.
Wahoowa hosts mixers, panels, and dinners to connect alumni to students and each other for networking, jobs, and skills. These events are run remotely from Charlottesville by the HackCville Alumni Relations Team and by alumni leaders in each city.
Over the last year, we’ve hosted 18 Wahoowa events across 7 cities with more than 1,300 student and alumni RSVPs.
This past November HackCville hosted its fourth annual NYC Startup Trip. We brought 55 students up to NYC for 3 days to tour startups, meet founders and alumni, explore the city, and discover the modern careers available to them. (See our picture album here, video coming soon.) We visited almost 20 startups where U.Va. alumni work. We hosted our first alumni startup trip, and held our largest NYC mixer ever, with 120 attendees!
Back in June, we hosted 7 simultaneous summer meetups across the country that garnered more than 700 RSVPs from students and alumni who work in tech/startups. We learned a lot, which I’ve detailed in a separate blog post. Next year we aim to grow these summer meetups to reach 10 cities.
We’ve learned a lot on how to run more effective and meaningful events. We’re beginning to master the logistics of drink and food orders, venue confirmations, and marketing. But we’re also experimenting with new event formats (panels, dinner parties, etc) to provide more opportunities for alumni to learn, meet, and connect with students.
We launched our mentorship program with promising early results. We’ve published a full breakdown of what worked and what didn’t in a separate post here.
Wahoowa Student Team
Over the last two weeks, we’ve grown our student team from 5 to 12 students, giving us more manpower to run events and create a more effective mentorship program in 2016. I’m super excited about the team we’ve built – it’s some of the most talented, motivated people I’ve ever worked with. I’m excited about what we’ll be able to accomplish next year.
I’ll end by expressing our team’s deep gratitude to all of the alumni who’ve helped us grow Wahoowa over the year. Many of you have helped us book venues, market our mixers, cover costs, and shape our strategy and goals for our programs. Thank you as well to the U.Va. departments and organizations that provide financial and marketing support. It’s humbling as a U.Va. student to see the wahoo community come together to make all of this happen.
If you’re not already subscribed to the Wahoowa Newsletter, you can here. And if you’d like to support our programs or learn more about how you can get involved, please reach out to me at email@example.com. I’d love to hear from you.