Class of 2020: For Glenn Feit, entrepreneurship is a calling
“What’s the best way for a person to have an outsized impact on life?” management senior Glenn Feit asked. “Entrepreneurship. Through entrepreneurship, I can build something bigger than myself.”
Building something bigger than himself is something that the 22-year-old Feit has at least a decade’s worth of experience in. “Back in elementary and middle school, my older brother and I would fix computers around our neighborhood,” he explained. “For about $20 an hour, we would help set up our neighbors’ computers and transfer data from their old computer to the new one.”
It was during this process that Feit and his brother noticed that their clients would keep their old computers, but would not know what to do with them. That’s when he and his brother had an idea – one that continues to live on.
“We began a program where we would refurbish old computers and would then donate them to low-income families,” he said. The Northern Virginia native paired the venture with the nonprofit food bank SHARE of McLean, creating the SHARE Technology Program. “I learned early on that you can increase impact by scaling up,” Feit explained.
Though Feit has since moved on from the enterprise, the program carries on its mission to this day, having provided more than 400 refurbished computers to families in need. “There is no other way I could have done what I did in high school without entrepreneurship,” Feit said.
“Anyone can do it – you don’t need to be Elon Musk.”
A focus on entrepreneurship is what ultimately attracted Feit to the management department at Virginia Tech. “Virginia Tech has great entrepreneurship programs – Innovate, Apex, Entrepreneurship Club (or E-Club) – all of which drew me to the university.”
Upon arriving at Virginia Tech, Feit wasted no time immersing himself into the culture of entrepreneurship. “I joined the E-Club within my first couple of weeks at Virginia Tech,” he said. “I started by helping coordinate guest speakers and programs.” Feit would ultimately lead the club as president for over two years.
Feit’s greatest accomplishment as president of the E-Club was the creation of The Clubhouse. Located within the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, The Clubhouse is a 1,500-square-foot space where “individuals and teams working on their startups can get out of their dorm room or apartment, come together, and collaborate.”
“Students need to know that they are not alone in the entrepreneurial process and be able to bounce ideas off of one another,” he explained. “The Clubhouse is the epitome of the community atmosphere that is so important to the E-Club.”
Having raised over $50,000 of in-kind and financial contributions for the creation of The Clubhouse, Feit planned on having an official ribbon-cutting ceremony during the spring semester. Unfortunately, the outside world had other ideas, and the ceremony has been pushed to the fall semester.
“I came back this semester primarily to assist in the transition the E-Club,” Feit explained. “To not be able to see that through is painful.”
Even without an official opening ceremony, The Clubhouse is already producing results. During the Apex-sponsored 2020 Virginia Tech Entrepreneur Challenge, a campus-wide, student startup competition, the top three finishing teams were all members of The Clubhouse.
That includes Feit’s team, whose startup QuickTech won first place and was also selected to participate in the Bangkok Business Challenge, Asia’s longest-running student startup challenge. Unfortunately, that event was moved online, costing Feit an opportunity to pitch his newest venture to a global audience in Thailand. Feit was also selected to present for QuickTech at South by Southwest, an event that was ultimately canceled entirely.
QuickTech produces the world's first digital multijoint phalangeal measurement device used by physical therapists and hand surgeons for goniometric diagnostics. The device, the Gen III Goniometer, is a standalone medical device utilizing an array of photosensors with a machine-learning algorithm to record a dynamic range of motion of a patient’s hand in real-time. This device replaces the time-consuming, and often painful, process that is currently involved in the evaluation of those suffering from arthritis.
Despite the cancellation and rescheduling of numerous pitch competitions, Feit remains undaunted.
“Coming back for this final semester, I wanted to be able to take advantage of opportunities that have now, unfortunately, been lost,” he explained. “I have had to re-evaluate my goals and rethink what I’m going to do with my next several months. Reprioritize what I’m working on.”
One of the things he’s currently working on is his pilot’s license, spurred by his interest in the field of aerospace.
“I am very proud of Glenn and his amazing accomplishments as a management student,” said Devi Gnyawali, department head of the Management Department. “He developed an award-winning new venture while being a full-time student, effectively led the E-Club as its president, and he is now graduating magna cum laude. I truly appreciate Glenn’s wide-ranging contributions and wish him well in his pursuit of the goal to make a positive impact on the world through entrepreneurship.”
As for what he will do after he graduates from Virginia Tech, Feit already has that lined up. “I’ve accepted a position with LinkedIn and will be moving to Silicon Valley in August,” he said. “I will be working in product management.”
Feit explained that, while he was working as a summer intern at Boeing, he gained experience in product management, which he felt shared many qualities with entrepreneurship.
“The biggest reason I took the position was due to the impact I can have straight out of college,” he said. Feit also explained that working for a corporation would assist in his entrepreneurial goals.
“I spoke with dozens of successful entrepreneurs that have come back to campus and noticed a trend – after college, it is important for entrepreneurs to learn structure at large- or mid-sized, fast-growing companies. It also helps to learn how to deal with real-world problems.”
Feit also points to the company culture found at LinkedIn. “At no other place can I meet so many people that are entrepreneurs at heart, and I want to be surrounded by people who are passionate about making an impact.”
Ultimately, that is what is most important to Feit.
“My long-term goal is to make a positive impact on the world through entrepreneurship,” he explained. “What my future ventures will look like exactly, I don’t know. I’m passionate about medicine, aviation, and emerging technologies, among other things.”
He continued, “Whatever it is, entrepreneurship is why I went to Virginia Tech, and I’m lucky to be in the position I’m in today.”
- Written by Jeremy Norman