Similar to most colleges, Duke’s social landscape includes fraternities and sororities. But a unique aspect of Duke’s social scene are Selective Living Groups (SLGs), communities that are usually co-ed and are often associated with a particular theme or interest, such as civic engagement and arts appreciation. Like Greek life, all SLGs organize rush processes to recruit new members during the spring semester.

The Cube was officially formalized as Duke’s entrepreneurship SLG in 2011, when a group of students working on companies felt the need for a peer support system. In its growth over the years, over 40 students have been affiliated and lived in The Cube’s apartment-style residential community, bouncing ideas off of each other and turning them to action. Besides participating in fun group events like night kayaking and nerf gun wars, members of The Cube attend weekly workshop meetings where they discuss progress on their ventures, whether they be in ideation phase or seeking investment. They also receive access to valuable resources—an extensive alumni network and startup internship opportunities.

While entrepreneurship is the core string that ties all members together, a diverse array of interests are represented. Members’ majors range from economics,; to computer science; to visual arts; to literature; to biology. Current projects and companies run by Cube members include a healthy protein powder, a nonprofit aimed at raising awareness about global gender issues, an antiperspirant hand lotion, an e-waste recycling startup, drone technology for farmers, a mobile app providing access to applications while users are offline, an online fashion blog, and a platform for budding artists to print and share their work.

Unlike typical incubators which focus on company growth, The Cube’s main mission is to focus on individual and personal growth. By fortifying each other’s confidences and entrepreneurial skills, members of The Cube come out in four years believing in themselves and committed to their journeys in innovation.

This past January, The Cube held a one month rush process that included visiting the downtown Durham entrepreneurial scene, playing board games with current members, and starting a company in 48 hours. Those who made it past round one cuts were also invited to a dinner event with seasoned entrepreneurs, including Paul Karayan of Addepar, Ben Tuorto of Vesta Toppings, Bradley Rubin of FotoSwipe, Aaron Averill of Zone Five Software, and Alex Carter of Knomad. Cube alumni Alex Browne and Stratten Waldt also attended to meet the rushees and share the experiences.

After four intense weeks of interviews, applications, and events, The Cube invited five freshman members to join the living community. Here they are and the reasons why they decided to rush The Cube:

Adam Taché 

Entrepreneurship allows individuals to use creativity and hard-work to produce innovative products and companies in order to positively impact the world. The Cube appealed to me as it allows like-minded individuals to live together in an environment that fosters productivity and bringing meaningful products into reality. 

Studying: Computer Science

Harini Sridhar 

After spending more than a semester working on creating a social venture based on mentorship for at-risk children in Durham, I knew that entrepreneurship would be an interest that I would want to carry with me though out my life. At Cube, I met so many down to earth people with different interests, yet all tied together by the fact that they worked so hard on their project ideas. From Popsicles and Pitches to the 48-hour challenge, I’ve met so many great people and I’ve already formed a team for a new tech product. The dark, chilly evening that I arrived at Cube, after struggling to find the stop to get off of the bus, was probably one of the best choices I made this semester. 

Studying: Arts & Health

Helen Lu 

To me, entrepreneurship is the perfect intersection of challenge and creative freedom. I’ve always been interested in health care and pharmaceutical development, so how cool would it be if I could take that interest and share it with the world? I rushed for The Cube to find a driven and passionate community where I can bring my ideas to life. 

Studying: Economics and Chemistry

Ade Okunyade 

I rushed the Cube because I’m passionate about problem solving and finding solutions to some of the problems that people face day to day. 

Studying: Economics and Math

Arjun Devarajan

Entrepreneurship, creativity, and innovation drive our world. When I heard about the student group on campus that revolves around these three components, I had to get involved. Limitless in its scope for opportunities, ideas, and motivation, The Cube is something I am proud and excited to be a part of for the upcoming three years. 

Studying: Electrical and Computer Engineering/Computer Science

Many come into the Cube with several interests and a desire to realize them in the form of a company. After four years, Cube members have experienced some level of success with entrepreneurship and are equipped to enter the space more formally upon graduation. We look forward to seeing what Adam, Harini, Helen, Ade, and Arjun bring to Duke and Triangle entrepreneurship in the next couple of years!