Kairos Society to Launch PSU Chapter

Brett Bergen, a Penn State finance student, is starting a Penn State chapter of the Kairos Society.

The Kairos Society “was founded because no other organization exists to bring together top caliber students from universities both with each other and with firms that foster this entrepreneurial spirit.”

To that end, the organization sounds like a good thing. Penn State has not fully tapped its potential as a startup incubator. This is partly because the State College startup network has endured a few tumultuous incidents, but also because there isn’t a lot of available capital in the Central PA region.

However, Daehee over at IT Milk has questioned Kairos’ motives.

Brett seemed to be going forward with the best intentions, but the entire basis of the organization seemed fishy to me. It could very well end up being another marketing scam.

Our understanding of Daehee’s criticism is that he thinks Kairos takes advantage of the instinct people have to buy their way into elite organizations. He also cast doubt on the organization vis a vis the group’s founder, Ankur Jain.

Brett Bergen didn’t take Daehee’s skepticism kindly– though to be fair to both of them, Bergen misinterpreted Daehee’s comment about Ankur Jain and thought it was in reference to himself . Here are some excerpts from a comment he left on Daehee’s blog.

I understand why you might accidentally think this is a MARKETING SCAM (though I do have to laugh about it). First, there’s the “prestige” of the society. Well, I wasn’t kidding about what I said with the school’s connected, and the people we’re connected to. Forgive me for being excited about it. On Monday or Tuesday of next week (Februrary), look in THE COLLEGIAN for an article about us. You’ll notice that the writer contacted Bill White (http://www.intrepidmuseum.org/About-Us/About-The-Museum/President-s-Message.aspx) through Kairos. Obviously, a man like him wouldn’t have spoken to her about anything, let alone endorse our organization.

There was also mention of membership dues. Membership dues GO TO OUR PENN STATE ASA ACCOUNT (once it’s created — we will not take dues until then), and NONE OF IT goes to the National Society.

The Collegian article Bergen mentioned was favorable of the group to the extent that it had no interviews with people skeptical about the group’s intentions.

We think the truth, as in most things, falls somewhere in between both viewpoints. While the group might not be a golden ticket to entrepreneurial freedom, it could help students meet other like minded students at Penn State and throughout the country. Let us know in the comments if you’ve been extended an invitation to join, or if you’ve heard anything else about it.

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