Skip to main content

New Northwestern AI Club Wants to Help Launch Startups

There’s a new artificial intelligence (AI) club on campus, and it’s open to anyone interested in entrepreneurship and technical discussions.

Northwestern seniors Isaac Miller and James Kuntz started the Northwestern AI Club over the summer with help from their faculty advisor, David Zaretsky, associate professor of instruction and assistant chair of electrical and computer engineering.

The club has already hosted a couple of events and plans to convene biweekly to organize discussions on AI’s impact, guest speakers, competitions, and hackathons.

Isaac Miller“We are a community for everyone ‒ undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff ‒ to learn what's going on right now with AI,” Miller said. “We are intended to be a no commitment, no experience necessary group. All we ask is that whoever comes is interested and wants to be here.”

The Northwestern AI Club is partnering with The Garage, the university’s startup hub. If someone has a financially viable startup idea, the Northwestern AI Club will work with them before referring them to The Garage’s staff and mentors to further develop the idea.

While Miller is a computer science (CS) major who is enrolled in the McCormick School of Engineering's combined bachelor's and master's degree program, he encourages non-CS majors to get involved in the club. In fact, Zaretsky said students from across the university are enrolled in his NUvention: AI entrepreneurship class, which teaches students about venture creation in the AI space. He also noticed a diverse group attended the Northwestern AI Club’s inaugural event, called the State of AI.

“It's not just students from McCormick,” Zaretsky said. “Students from all over the university are David Zaretskyinterested in AI and at different levels. It could be on the business side, the technology side, marketing, or innovation. I think that is really interesting from a club perspective, having different minds and a diverse set of thinking to one of the biggest areas of innovation in our lifetime.”

The Northwestern AI Club has five undergraduate students on its board. Miller is the president, and Kuntz is the co-president. More than 200 people are on their email list, and more than 50 people have attended their events so far.

Zaretsky expects interest in AI to continue to increase.

“There's certainly going to be a need and a desire for students to dip their toes into it and in different capacities, whether it's through classes, or maybe they're looking to identify some partners to build a business,” he said. “I think that can help to keep the club going for many years.”

Anyone who is interested in the Northwestern AI Club can sign up on their website, join their GroupMe, or follow them on Instagram.


Back to top