Alumni/ae speakers encourage entrepreneurship


Maren Ostrem

Alumni speakers Jory Schwach and Tyler Olson, with moderator Sasha Aslanian, speak on their experience as entrepreneurs.

Almost 40 alumni/ae gathered in Driscoll Commons for an installment of the Alumni/ae Council’s Speaker Series titled “From the Ground Up: Young Entrepreneurship and Work.”

The two speakers Jory Schwach (‘03) and Tyler Olson (‘04), have founded multiple companies. The panel was moderated by Sasha Aslanian (‘86) and ran from 6:15-7 p.m. after time for food, mingling, and networking.

SPA did a great job inspiring curiosity in all subjects.”

— Tyler Olsen

Schwach is the CEO of Andium, an artificial intelligence company that works with large companies around the world. Along with Andium, Schwach founded GlobalRim, a Solar GPS company and MeshMe, a mobile communication app.

Olson is the founder of many companies, including the vacation rental agency Away Agents, and the cybersecurity company SHYLD.

Both entrepreneurs cited the impact that SPA has had on their success.

“The learning how to ask questions… How to think outside the box. The love of questions. I think SPA did a great job inspiring curiosity in all subjects,” Olson said.

When asked how they found their ideas, Schwach said, “Solving problems is definitely at the core.”

“I went to the cybersecurity offices and literally walked up to all the booths, the speakers, and asked, ‘what problems do you have?’” Olson added.

Student entrepreneurs from Start Up club attended.

Junior Levi Mellin said, “I thought that both of the speakers at the event were quite entertaining, enjoyable, and engaging.”

He added that “Tyler Olson had a similar experience as a young entrepreneur to myself. He shared some of his stories from when he was a kid about making a name/brand for himself around his neighborhood as well as the SPA community.”

After the event, Mellin had the unique opportunity to speak one on one with Olson, who provided advice and guidance based on personal experience.

“[Olson] gave me some meaningful insight and information on how lucky I was to be a part of the SPA community and network,” Mellin added.

This Alumni/ae events happened Nov. 6. Although future speakers have not yet been announced, the Alumni/ae Council’s Speaker Series will continue throughout the year.

This article was originally published in the November print issue of The Rubicon.