Next Zuckerberg or Spiegel?

by Jacob Maguire | 1/31/18 1:20am

Dartmouth attracts some students for its business-friendly, entrepreneurial culture and there is no better place to look for evidence of Dartmouth students’ keen business sense. A prime example is the Cornew brothers. Thomas Cornew ’18 and his twin brother, Eduard Cornew ’18, have started their own business together on campus,  Lone Pine Repairs, an iPhone repair company.  Lone Pine Repairs is an evolution of Quick Fix iPhones, which they founded in 2007 in the Silicon Valley community where they grew up.

“We founded the company in seventh grade out of necessity,” Thomas Cornew said. “I fixed a broken iPhone because I really wanted one, and then I started fixing phones for my parents’ friends and the company grew.” 

Now, the company is an official business entity in the state of New Hampshire, Cornew said, and he and his brother now use an automated system for scheduling appointments, rather than doing so manually like they did in high school. 

In addition to running Lone Pine Repairs, which they are in the process of selling to a group of sophomores at Dartmouth, the Cornew brothers are currently working alongside economics professor Bruce Sacerdote on a startup company that focuses on mining materails and improving mining practices abroad. 

Thomas Cornew, a mechanical engineering major, is currently unsure whether he and Eduard Cornew, an economics major, will continue with this business venture after graduation or pursue more traditional job opportunities in business, finance or consulting. 

“I’m currently interviewing and planning for future opportunities,” Thomas Cornew said. “We’ll see what happens.”

Unlike the Cornew brothers, Connor Quigley ’21  and Cameron Roller ’21 have not yet founded any companies of their own, but, as members of the Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network in Residence Living Learning Community, the two first-years are on their way towards careers in business. 

Quigley joined the DEN LLC because he wanted to learn about entrepreneurship.

“I don’t think that I thought entrepreneurially before I came to Dartmouth,” Quigley said. “Being part of DEN has been really interesting. It’s definitely changed my perspective.” 

Similarly, Roller decided to become a member of DEN because he wanted to increase his knowledge about business-related issues. 

“I thought I would always go a business school, and Dartmouth has no undergraduate business school, so this was the next best thing,” Roller said. “DEN is fledgling and rapidly expanding, and alumni are really invested in it. Now is definitely a good time to be a part of it.” 

As members of DEN, Quigley and Roller regularly participate in community dinners with their peers. DEN also hosts speeches with students, alumni and faculty at the Tuck School of Business and plans student trips for aspiring entrepreneurs several times per year. Over winter break, Quigley went on DEN-sponsored trips to Seattle and San Francisco to learn about various business opportunities. 

“Going with other DEN members to Seattle and San Francisco was an eye-opening experience,” Quigley said. “It helped me see what my life could look like down the road.” 

Entrepreneurship on campus comes in several forms. For example, Dartmouth’s campus boasts entrepreneurial ventures that are nonprofits. Lily Zhang ’18, an engineering major, is involved with Dartmouth Bikes, a not-for-profit organization on campus that repairs, rents and refurbishes bicycles for students. Founded in 2011 and overseen by the Office of Sustainability, Dartmouth Bikes also regularly hosts educational sessions about bike repair methods. Zhang, who applied to join Dartmouth Bikes her sophomore year, initially found out about the organization through one of the education sessions. 

“Business isn’t really the focus of [Dartmouth Bikes], but we just happen to run it like one,” said Zhang, emphasizing that Dartmouth Bikes aims to break even between its income and expenses but not necessarily turn a profit. “We’re more focused on sustainability and service than the business aspect.” 

According to Zhang, the six current interns at Dartmouth Bikes specialize in different areas. She encourages students to apply when the application process starts later this year. 

“Being an intern is about more than just fixing bikes,” Zhang said. “It’s about working with other interns, scheduling appointments, brainstorming and solving sustainability-related problems. Our business model definitely requires a horizontal leadership structure.”

As for her future plans, Zhang wants to pursue a career that is related to sustainability and engineering.

“Incorporating human need into design is essential,” she said. “If I go into business, I want to do something that is responsible and ethically necessary.” 

Because entrepreneurship can be challenging, Cornew has several words of advice for students who wish to start their own entrepreneurial pursuits. 

“Be resourceful, and don’t be afraid to fail,” Cornew said. “Also, make sure to ask for help when you need it. No one alone has all the answers.” 

Roller is a member of The Dartmouth.