by Charlotte Oxnam, McCormick ’23
Haley Hooper, School of Education and Social Policy ’23 is the CEO and founder of Clubspot, a startup and online platform dedicated to connecting and informing students about the events, clubs, and organizations at Northwestern. Haley is also a participant in the 2021 winter cohort of Propel, The Garage’s program dedicated to diversity and inclusion in entrepreneurship for female students at Northwestern.
Propel launched in 2018 with the mission to provide an immersive learning experience for female student entrepreneurs, offering networking opportunities, personalized mentorship, and a micro-community of like-minded peers. In addition to these perks, participants also receive a $1,000 financial award to help their entrepreneurial projects progress. Past participants have used this award to build their first prototypes, create a professional website, and more. Previous participants have used their experiences in Propel to help land jobs at companies like The Washington Post and Deloitte, while others are pursuing their startups full-time, like Rachele Louis, the co-founder of LifeWeb 360.
Haley applied for Propel because, as she says, “I wanted to become a part of Propel to connect and surround myself with a network of similarly driven women that want to succeed in a given area of business like myself.”
Her idea for Clubspot was born out of the collective struggle of Northwestern students looking to join organizations but not knowing where to find them or fully understanding the commitments for different clubs. Haley hopes that a streamlined, easy to use online platform will not only help students find clubs and events that they will truly enjoy, but also help organizations better advertise to interested students.
As a participant in Propel during a period when The Garage is operating its core programs in a virtual format to keep students safe and socially distanced, Haley joined weekly online huddles with her cohort where she could check in on the progress of others and share any challenges she faced. Afterwards, small groups of 2-3 students can dive deeper into any topics before the huddle wraps up.
During the quarter, Haley was able to take her concept for Clubspot and pitch it to Northwestern Student Life. Doing this allowed her to gain access to the full Northwestern student organization database - a vital piece of her concept. As a result, Haley is looking forward to launching Clubspot next year in the fall. Haley used her Propel funds to purchase software programs that she needed in order to build her app, including UI, UX, wireframing, and Photoshop, as well as hosting software to create her website, clubspot.info.
Haley’s passion for her startup and enthusiasm for her peers and their projects is a prime example of the tight knit and supportive community that Propel provides each cohort. During a recent outdoor, socially distanced meet up at a coffee shop near campus, Haley learned about a fellow Propeller’s music and YouTube channel. She immediately grabbed her phone and shared both on her own social networks to help spread the word.
Clubspot is continuing to progress, and is on course to grow and thrive upon launch. Propel provided Haley the tangible, necessary resources needed to accomplish that - but also gave her an unparalleled support network and peer group of other female student entrepreneurs.
To learn more about Propel, its participants and program offerings, click here.