Entrepreneurship Club Visits Local Startup

Experience shared by Alexander Christie ’24, Administrative Director of HC Launch.

This week I was one of fourteen Holy Cross students accompanied by the Ciocca Center director and entrepreneur-in-residence, Rob Murner, to get off campus to visit a local stuartup on February 21. HC Launch, the entrepreneurship club within the Ciocca Center, organized a site visit to Geisel Software, a software development company focused on robotics and artificial intelligence located in Worcester.  We were able to hear from a number of different people within this growing company including the office manager, a few engineers, and the founder/CEO, Brian Giesel. Feedback from students was that this site visit was an extraordinarily positive experience. 

Giesel has something for everyone. There were a number of computer science majors in attendance who certainly benefited from hearing about the career experiences of the engineers. Those of us who weren’t specifically interested in software learned a lot about the intricacies of this field, which will only become more important to understand as technology continues to emulate life. Brian also talked about the founding and growth of the company, as well as the challenges that led the company to where it is today.

There are two primary takeaways from this experience for me and according to Brian, these are two of the key ingredients to his company’s success. 

  • The first is about perseverance. Every company must pass through hardship before they achieve success, but it must be prepared for that success to come so that it doesn’t become a short-lived blip. 
  • The second is about the importance of corporate culture. When we walked in, the office manager greeted us with smiles and pointed us to the fully stocked drink fridge and cabinets filled with all varieties of snacks. The engineers, office manager, and CEO all cracked jokes with each other during the meeting. They reminisced over the many NERF gun fights they had in the office. What seemed like a natural, easygoing environment was not an accident. It was a set of deliberate choices by Brian and his team to hire people who fit the company culture. Not only did it make the experience welcoming to our group, but it also makes employees at all levels excited to come to work every day. 

Overall, this was a great experience, and I am really excited about our upcoming events. Join us on March 20 at 6 pm in Stein 124 to hear from Jonathon Lincoln, serial entrepreneur.