Skip to Content

2 DePodesta Fellows Receive Additional $75,000 in Funding

October 23, 2023

MINNEAPOLIS - Minneapolis-based ECMC Group, in partnership with the Gary S. Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship at the Carlson School of Management, has announced two recipients of the 2023 John DePodesta Leadership Fellowship Program will continue their entrepreneurial ventures for another year and receive additional funding to support their startup.

Enet Mukurazita, a PhD student, and Zeke Jackson, ’23 BSB, joined the DePodesta Fellowship Program earlier in 2023 and have both won grants of $75,000 to continue their projects.

The DePodesta Fellowship Program provides graduate students in business, public policy, sociology, or education the opportunity to co-design or launch a new venture in partnership with existing educational organizations that seek to improve the quality of postsecondary education. Those in the program win additional grants when they demonstrate strong progress with their concepts, significant potential impact from their venture, and a commitment to operate the venture full-time for at least 12 months post-graduation.

“Through their fellowships, these students will develop their entrepreneurship skills and take their initial steps to become visible leaders in the education community,” says John Stavig, director of the Holmes Center. “We are proud of the evolution of this program, and we continue to look forward to supporting these innovators as they drive change.”

The fellowship was developed in recognition of John DePodesta, a founding board member and immediate past chair of ECMC Group, who has spent the past 25+ years working to help students succeed.

The two entrepreneurs to receive additional funding are:

Enet Mukurazita, PhD student

  • Proposed Venture: Through a digital platform, provide educational services to create a collaborative research network that enhances the inclusive and equal participation of women graduate scholars in higher education worldwide.
  • Mukurazita is a PhD student in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development at the University of Minnesota. She is enrolled in the Carlson School’s Customer Discovery course to conduct additional primary research with researchers in both the United States and her native Zimbabwe.


Zeke Jackson, '23 BSB

  • Proposed Venture: Identify barriers and develop alternatives to better utilize available capacity within post-secondary education institutions for high school students. The goal is to reduce the cost of post-secondary education and increase the access to underrepresented groups.
  • Jackson is a 2023 graduate of the Carlson School and has served as the Executive Director of People for PSEO since 2018. He served as the undergraduate student body vice president and is enrolled in the Carlson School’s Customer Discovery course to conduct additional primary research with high school students, administrators, and state legislators engaged with post-secondary education alternatives.

Back to News