Photograph by Jamie Betts

Spider ventured, Spider gained

May 6, 2021

Business

Julien Wadhwa, ’22, is an entrepreneur among entrepreneurs.

“I saw the need to provide students with an atmosphere to do whatever they want in business,” he said. “To chase their dreams, to be as risky as possible with their business ideas. Because really, now is the time to do it.”

That’s why he started Spider Ventures, the UR’s first business accelerator.

His goal for Spider Ventures was to create an organization that would make a tangible impact at UR and connect students to the real-world tools needed to start a business.

“Our accelerator provides young entrepreneurs with the capital, connections, and resources they need to fast-track their business,” he said. “It breaks down the barriers that might otherwise prevent students from ever pursuing their business idea.”

Spider Ventures connects students to internship opportunities, career advice, professional development experiences, pitch competitions, and more.

Its first 10-week program launched in February, connecting students to virtual workshops with nationally recognized business leaders. Speakers included Google’s CFO, Microsoft’s head of machine learning, and AOL’s former CEO — to name a few.

More than 50 students have already benefited from Spider Ventures’
programming, and Wadhwa hopes that number will continue to grow.

“I’d encourage every student to see the connections and resources we offer. Whether you’re starting a business or furthering your career, there’s a spot for you at Spider Ventures,” he said.

“Oh, and we’re hiring.”