In 1819, a young Chauncey Rose started his first business – a sawmill serving settlers in the wilds of western Indiana. Fifty years, and many successful ventures later, Rose laid the foundation for the first private engineering college west of the Alleghenies.

Like all skilled entrepreneurs, Rose had a knack for seeing a need and filling it--including the needs of the less fortunate. In Terre Haute alone, Rose endowed an orphanage, a charity hospital and a ladies’ aid society, and founded The Terre Haute School of Industrial Science (later renamed Rose Polytechnic in his honor), making him one of the most generous philanthropists of his day.

The Sawmill Society gives Rose-Hulman entrepreneurs a forum for sharing insights, experience and inspiration with each other, while keeping the Rose spirit of giving alive.

Meet the members

The Sawmill Society is a group of innovative, forward-thinking Rose-Hulman alumni and friends who have come together to share insights, experience and inspiration with each other and the Rose-Hulman community, while keeping the Rose spirit of giving alive.

Sawmill Mentor Network

The mission of the Sawmill Mentor Network is to foster and facilitate the connection between mentor and mentees in the Rose-Hulman community, beyond the traditional and successful ad hoc approach, in a structured and systematic way. Mentors present their areas of interest and expertise. Then, mentees can identify and contact mentors they feel will be helpful to them. Meet the Sawmill Mentors.

Sawmill Angel Network

Although not directly affiliated with the institute, the Sawmill Angel Network was formed in 2021 by Rose-Hulman alumni seeking to give back to the RHIT community by encouraging and investing in the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovations.

Sawmill Society Ventureship

The Sawmill Society Ventureship is a paid opportunity for Rose-Hulman students to live on campus during summer break with access to institute resources to launch their startup projects.

Tim Sublette, CS 1995
Chief Technology Officer, OneCause

I’m excited we have the Sawmill Society where Rose-Hulman entrepreneurs can learn from each other, share our experiences with up-and-coming entrepreneurs and give back to Rose.

Minor in Entrepreneurial Studies

In a globally competitive environment, the need to rapidly transition from an innovative idea to a viable product necessitates that 21st Century engineers and scientists think and act in an entrepreneurial manner and understand the business requirements of technology commercialization. Refining these skills through a Minor in Entrepreneurial Studies can help students become leaders.


The Engineering Student Community Actively Learning Advanced Technical Entrepreneurship (ESCALATE) program is a living-learning community for first-year students that focuses on cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset.

Rose Innovative Student Entrepreneurs

Rose Innovative Student Entrepreneurs (RISE) is a club dedicated to promoting innovation and entrepreneurship among Rose-Hulman students, empowering them to make their ideas into reality by giving them the tools to start, refine, and realize the visions that will shape tomorrow.

Chris Piedmonte, EE 1985
Managing Director, NeoTerra Capital

Entrepreneurial discovery, invention and commercialization have been the cornerstone of American leadership in technology for the last century.  Rose-Hulman must promote and foster these entrepreneurial qualities if we wish to maintain our continued leadership and preserve our country’s legacy and future.


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New Innovation Grove District to Expand the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem at Rose-Hulman

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Image collage showing participants speaking and engaging at 2023 Rose-Hulman Sawmill Society weekend.

Sawmill Society Encouraging Growing Entrepreneurial Spirit on Campus

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A group of individuals stand before the crowd at the Sawmill Society weekend event at Rose-Hulman.

Alumni Entrepreneurs Share Insights During Inaugural Sawmill Society Weekend

Launch Root Quad
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