It all started with an idea. A need. An obsession. Some might shake it off or shrug it away. Because it would be hard and scary and stressful and expensive. But others—Dickinsonians—pick it up. Run with it. Make it real. With hundreds of alumni in our database listed with titles like founder, owner or entrepreneur, it’s clear our reach in the start-up scene is substantial. So Dickinson Magazine reached out, and we asked alumni entrepreneurs in technology and manufacturing, education, the arts, food and fashion to share their experiences, in their own words. Our goal was to illustrate the breadth and depth of their stories, sure, but we also want to learn what it means to be an entrepreneur and to inspire the next generation of Dickinsonians. The ones sitting in the Idea Fund office wondering if they have what it takes. The ones with a nagging sense that something is missing. The ones with the next big idea.