Julia Cheek’s experience at HBS was an absolute inspiration. Actually, the two unicorns, Coupang, and Grab-Taxi all emerged from her department on their own! When she joined HBS back in 2009 a lot of her students regardless of their previous experiences were interested in entrepreneurial ideas inspired by the current HBS founded companies like Gilt Group and Birchbox.
Julia was a student at Vanderbilt where she earned a degree at Vanderbilt University in Economics as well as Psychology. When she first started at HBS she believed that she’d follow a conventional corporate path, maybe in brand management or even Consumer Packaged Goods. In the first semester studying at HBS, Julia was fortunate to be able to work with the class taught by Professor Toby Stewart for the required course known as the Entrepreneurial Manager (TEM). She was also particularly impressed by an elective Curriculum (second-year) class titled Founder’s Dilemma, taught by Professor Noam Wasserman. While a student, Julia wrote a case study about entrepreneurship with the help of the Rock Center, entitled Earl Martin Phalen”Ready for Roar!”. While she did not launch an enterprise during her time at HBS however, she was in taking entrepreneurship classes.
Julia also did exceptionally academically and when she completed her first year in high school with a distinction She made a firm choice to concentrate on her studies, eventually resulted in the Baker Scholar distinction at Commencement the only honor bestowed to the highest 5% of every graduating class. At the end of HBS, she had completed her second year. HBS The seeds for a business were sown, but she was not at the point of starting an enterprise full-time. Even though Julia doesn’t regret her decision to put her focus on her studies, she is of the opinion that she could had used the time to launch a business instead.
Following HBS, Julia ended up working, and later another, before finally deciding to pursue her dream of becoming an entrepreneur. Once she was finally ready to launch EverlyWell in a couple of years later, the education she received at HBS enabled her to launch the business. Everlywell is a company that is focused on health and wellness that offers at-home laboratory tests and results that are digital. The company provides a range of tested tests that have been validated, including food sensitivity, fertility, STDs, and thyroid. In addition , to appearing as a guest on the ABC show Shark Tank, she placed the first runner-up during the Alumni New Venture Competition which brought her $25,000 in prize money and a significant amount of publicity for investors. Indeed, many of her early financiers came from HBS alumni.
Julia who is from Texas Says that having a close relationship with her family was important to her, and that’s why she decided to choose Austin as the home of Everlywell. In the last year, Everlywell made $40M in sales. Julia discovered Austin to be an excellent area to start building her own network, in addition to having established networks across both coasts. She regularly returns to Boston to participate in events like the rock 100 event, which is an annual event which HBS hosts for alums of start-ups in entrepreneurship. She believes “it is the most beneficial event I have attended at my HBS. It’s an outstanding source for alumni. HBS has been a tremendous help to me.”Julia said there’s “no more ideal time” to launch an enterprise than when you are in or directly after leaving HBS. HBS offers a wealth of resources. The HBS is the perfect location to begin a business and get yourself set to be successful.”