From Enactus to Startup Life

Local startup company hires multiple grads from UMKC’s Enactus program

Andrea Savage (B.B.A. ’19), Chad Feather (B.B.A. ’17), Brad New (B.A. ’13) and senior Riddhi Sharma all became involved in Enactus during their time at UMKC, and it led them to another common experience. They all now work for Daupler, a Kansas City-based startup company that uses intuitive technology to streamline internal and external communication for public utilities.  

Working in a startup means frequently drawing upon knowledge about a wide range of business disciplines and, at the same time, leveraging entrepreneurial skills. The “Bloch team” now at Daupler all agree that Enactus helped them prepare for the challenges and opportunities offered at a new venture.

“The ability to identify a need, dissect a problem and figure out the resources and people you need to get the job done is something that Enactus really thrives at,” said Feather, currently director of operations at Daupler.

“One of the biggest things I learned at Enactus was how important it is to take initiative,” said Savage, a project manager. “You never know what you’ll need to do at a startup, so you might as well be a jack-of-all-trades.”

“I’ve worked with people from different backgrounds and cultures,” said Sharma, a former Daupler marketing and sales intern. “I’ve worked with people and on projects I never would have if it weren’t for Enactus.”

Ben Williams, faculty advisor for Enactus, said the organization encourages students to engage with the full entrepreneurial process, from inception to execution.

“It gives students a tremendous opportunity to make a real, sustainable impact on the world while building skills across many disciplines,” Williams said.

Brad New, a senior client success specialist at Daupler, agrees Enactus instills valuable, transferable skills in its members.

“Enactus helps prepare you to problem solve with limited resources,” said New. “In a startup environment, you might have to ‘fail fast’ to determine if an idea works or not, so you can focus on what will help reach your goals.”

Savage was Daupler’s fifth hire. She learned of the company after receiving a message from CEO John Bertrand on LinkedIn.

“I thought it was spam,” said Savage. “I didn’t reply at all the first time he messaged me, but after the second time I realized it probably wasn’t spam and decided to talk with him.”

Savage was considering the job when she heard from Feather, her former Enactus teammate. He encouraged her to take the job.

“I had done some research on Daupler, so I knew they were a great organization,” said Feather. “I didn’t know at the time that I’d end up joining the company nine months later.”

“I’m still close friends with a lot of my friends from Enactus, and occasionally we work on projects together,” Feather added. “It’s a great network beyond college.”

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