How Matt Clervi’s past at Columbia College is benefiting future entrepreneurs.
February 1, 2017
Beyond being a committed and community-driven entrepreneur. Beyond developing one of the nation’s fastest growing food service companies. Matt Clervi, Co-owner and Chief Executive Officer at Fresh Ideas, has set his sights on another goal, to train and develop the next generation of entrepreneurs. A member of the Entrepreneurship Board at Columbia College, Clervi has helped with the development of the Columbia College Entrepreneurship Camp. The camp is a week-long program that allows students from Missouri to cultivate and pitch their own business ideas to a panel of owners and entrepreneurs from around the state. Matt credits his time at Columbia College, his alma mater, for helping him turn his big ideas into reality. After graduating in 1995, Matt helped create Fresh Ideas with John Orscheln. After growing the company’s reputation nationwide, Matt now uses his success to support students in his own backyard. “This camp is beneficial and personal to me for many reasons,” says Clervi. “It allows me to give back to the Columbia College, a place that helped me when I was young.” The camp provides the skills and knowledge that Matt has accumulated throughout his successful career, while also providing lessons he wishes he’d known as a student. To assist students from all backgrounds, Matt and others have also created scholarships for students. Matt has helped ensure the students of the camp a well-rounded, yet innovative environment as part of the camp’s curriculum. Recently, the camp employed teaching virtual reality as a marketing tool to help progress the student’s innovation and ideas for a successful future. “Technology is about the here and the now and I view virtual reality as a big piece of marketing that is unexplored right now,” Clervi said. “Virtual Reality is the new horizon of innovation.” Matt knows a thing or two about innovation and success. Fresh Ideas has reached countless milestones in the last decade, including expanding service to 6 states and 33 accounts across the Midwest.