Energy, enterprise and education

Name: Monica Harvey
Major: Economics
Minors: Management; international business; entrepreneurship; communication
Year: Junior
Hometown: New Palestine, Indiana

Adventurous and energetic: Monica is a Lilly Scholar and attending Purdue on the four-year, full-tuition merit scholarship. She is the president of the Twin Pines Cooperative, a member of the Purdue Student Government and is a television personality for Boiler Bytes on the Big Ten Network.

Entrepreneurial role model: Inspiration is found everywhere, says Monica, and her inventive mind picked a unique choice: Willy Wonka. “I know this sounds juvenile, but when you think about it, his recruiting process is innovative and effective, his outsourcing is just, he’s constantly looking to improve his products to capture a greater market share and his goal is to create quality products.”

Most successful venture to date: Monica was the only woman selected for the Burton D. Morgan Elevator Pitch Competition last spring and won third place. “While my product wasn’t the most technical or life saving, I had facts to back up my product. I knew how I’d outsource, my profit margins, my market and the details on how it would benefit my customers.”

Secret to success: One word sums up Monica’s secret for success: Enthusiasm. “You can have the most innovative product, but if you don’t have enthusiasm, it’s hard to get investors on board,” she says. “If you’re not passionate about your product, you can’t expect others to be either.”

Given $1 million in venture capital: Monica says she would start a micro-loaning company to help women create businesses in developing nations. “By educating women how to develop businesses and providing them with the tools to start out, it would not only stimulate the local economy, but also promote gender equality. And I believe the greatest return on investment is an education.”

What's next: This summer, Monica is working for Bank of America in their Global Markets sector in Chicago. Previously, she worked for an ag-tech start-up firm, LoadOut Technologies, which develops mobile applications for farming equipment. “I'll graduate in May 2012, but wherever I go, I will always work to help Purdue and the state of Indiana because they both invested in my education.”

By Grant A. Flora