NDSU’s Dieumerci Christel Selected as Wefunder Workaway Founder
A beach mansion in Hawaii is a long ways from a refugee camp in Tanzania or a classroom at North Dakota State University (NDSU). Dieumerci Christel is making that trip as one of 12 entrepreneurial fellows chosen from across the nation for the WeFunder Workaway in Hawaii.
Christel grew up in Tanzania before moving to West Fargo. He studies management, computer science and entrepreneurship at NDSU and is active as the president of the entrepreneurship club and member of the Nice Productions team at The Nice Center at NDSU. He recently started his own business, Enlight, which is an app that helps teachers individualize education for their students
To help him improve his business, The Nice Center worked with the Greater Fargo-Moorhead Economic Development Corporation to help him prepare his application to Wefunder Workaway. Based on a series of essays, a video application and a video interview, Dieumerci was chosen as one of the 12 founders to attend the Workaway.
Wefunder Workaway kickstarts innovation and nudges early founders to work on their new ideas. The event invites 12 founders to stay in Hawaii for one week in one mansion with the chance to receive up to $20,000 in funding. There are multiple types of businesses attending this year’s event from hosting creative content, taking people on trips to Africa, to providing an app that helps women take charge of their health.
Jiwon Moon, Head of Community at Wefunder, explains that they chose Hawaii as their Workaway destination because they recently “saw that a lot of mentorship and community were lacking there and they wanted to bring more of that to them.” In addition to that need, they also thought it was a beautiful place for people to enjoy their week to learn from founders!
While in the mansion all 12 founders are visited by different skilled founders to guide a discussion on a specific topic. Moon says,
“Wefunder hopes that the founders will build and maintain lifelong connections with the mentors and other founders from the Workaway experience.”
In addition to the lifelong relationships, Moon explains, the experience holds extremely valuable for founders because it opens their eyes to the entrepreneurial world and a chance to hang out with multiple experienced startup founders for an intense week. Moon says, when the 12 founders return back to their community, they hope they will inspire other people to think bigger and show them that they are capable of accomplishing their dreams.
How Christel Will Use His Hawaiian Workaway
Christel hopes this workaway weekend will allow him to work on his website, marketing strategies, and beta testing aspects of his business. Plus, he’s excited to visit Hawaii, be surrounded by other passionate entrepreneurs, and get closer to launching his app.
Here at The Nice Center, we know that Christel’s participation is incredibly important. During a recent inteview, I noted:
“We are working to build an entrepreneurial ecosystem at NDSU that encourages students to dream big and pursue their ideas. We are thrilled to see how quickly Dieumerci can grow his business and bring back energy and knowledge to share with the NDSU community.”
Christel will be tracking his progress and adventures in Hawaii. Follow his Workaway experience at The Nice Center Instagram page.