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A Little Investment Goes a Long Way

**this is a letter from John Tucci (JCU ’19) to the John Carroll University community, sharing his experience as a student engaged in our entrepreneurship program**

Dear JCU Community —

I just experienced a informational few days thanks to the Muldoon Center for Entrepreneurship. You can too — all you have to do is ask. The Entrepreneurship program at John Carroll has opened my eyes to a world of innovation and creativity that I never knew existed. I have never been one to say that I love sitting in a classroom, or love to read. I can promise you, I never missed an entrepreneurship class at JCU.

The opportunities that you have through the JCU entrepreneurship program are unrivaled. The professors know what they’re talking about because they have, and do currently, lived it. The coursework challenges you to think differently, to practice skills that I’m convinced will set me apart in the workplace.

The program pushes you to not only think outside the box — but to question why do you need to box yourself into a corner, and to create something new if that box isn’t for you.

JCU’s entrepreneurship program is rooted in experiential learning — think “learning by doing”. In an effort to boost my business and entrepreneurial acumen, I searched for opportunities off campus and focused on a place where the best of the best would be.

That opportunity was attending Startup Grind’s Global Conference in Silicon Valley.

I was able to hear from the likes of Airbnb cofounder, Joe Gebbia, and Brandless founder, Tina Sharkey, and the community mastermind, Jillian Richardson.

As a Senior, I have been actively seeking new opportunities to learn and grow off campus. Why was I able to go to this experience? Well — frankly — I asked Doan Winkel, the Director of the Muldoon Center for Entrepreneurship, and leader of the entrepreneurship program. I made a case why I thought it would be beneficial for me, both personally and professionally. I am so grateful that he saw the value of this experience, so he was able to have the entrepreneurship program sponsor my conference ticket.

While at the conference I learned from some crazy talented people. Below are my key takeaways from the event:

  1. Make Friends, Not Contacts— Ask people, “how can I help you?” Everyone can offer someone something.

  2. Think of Your Brand as a Human— Who I am? Who you are? What we do? How we are viewed? And what our friends say about us — is our brand. My brand is _______.

  3. Be Grateful — Hug someone, smile at them, tell your mom you love them — gratitude is fuel for success

  4. Alignment is Key — Align Oneself with the People You want to be like, a product you stand by, a company you believe in.

  5. Culture is Caught Not Taught — Community & Culture Over Everything -

  6. Be Intentional — Set Intentions, hold yourself to them.

  7. You. Then Them. Then It. — Take care of yourself, then your team and customers, then your product

  8. Servant Leadership Wins — Work to serve your people, over your profits

  9. Feedback is a Key — The information you can learn about your company from feedback can create more smiles and profits.

  10. Focus. Work. Adapt. Overcome. — That one is self explanatory.

Without the help and support of Doan Winkel and the Entrepreneurship Team at John Carroll I would not have been able to have this amazing opportunity — thank you Doan, Jackie, Tom, Cat and the rest of the Entrepreneurship Team. And thank you Startup Grind.


If you would like to learn more about entrepreneurship at John Carroll University, please contact Muldoon Center Director Doan Winkel at

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