Student Entrepreneurs Seek to Profit From Stocks and Stalks
An enterprising freshman is trying in develop a new souvenir--Harvard Ivy on-cased in plastic--for tourists who want to bring back home their very own piece of the Yard.
"I think it would be a great novelty item, maybe sold through the Coop or at Quincy Market," said Peter A. Bonia '86. Bonis said he plans to bring a prototype to University administrators later this month, although he fears they may refuse to let him use the name--much less the Ivy--of Harvard.
Bonis is one of Harvard's growing number of undergraduate entrepreneurs--students who divide their time between their studies and business ventures.
The undergraduate Entrepreneurs Club, new entering its third year, last Wednesday attracted 45 students to its first meeting of the spring term. Members of the club meet twice each month to discuss business ideas and listen to guest lecturers, Edward A. Gazvode '83, president of the club, said yesterday.
About 20 Quincy House students and tutors formed an investment club this year. Members research stocks for club meetings, where all decisions concerning the club's portfolio are voted, weighted in proportion to the number of $100 shares each member owns.
"Ideally, it's a club to teach members how to invest, to invest for profit," explained David L. Belluck '84, a founder of the club.
The successful activities of some Harvard Student businessmen have in the past attracted the attention of local and national media, including. The New York Times and the Washington Pest.
A paperback book about some of these success stories, to be co-authored by Gazvoda and William M. Haney III '84, will be published this fall.
Gazvoda, who two years ago started a company with Haney to sell an energy saving device to industrial consumers, described the still-untitled book as a collection of anecdotes of how the dozen Harvard students interviewed got involved in business. Among the other students mentioned are a real estate tycoon, the marketer of "Impale Yale" and other caps, and a designer of video displays for companies and schools.
Haney said that the book will be a kind of how-to guide. "It demonstrates that almost anybody can start a business of some size, and that capital is not necessarily a large factor," he said.
While club general manager William C. Zachary 86 called the Entrepreneurs Club "a tool to learn a lot about business," Gazvoda supplied a more mercenary motive. "Harvard entrepreneurs do it for cash," he said.