Wolfpack Connections Led This Alumnus to Entrepreneurial Success Twice
During a stunning ceremony in Florence, Italy, three weeks ago, Jeremy Wall ’14 tied the knot with his State Mate, Leigh-Kathryn Bonner ’15.
Their wedding day was an absolute dream. Guests explored the grounds of the venue — a 1,000-year-old castle — in the morning; wiped away tears while watching Wall and Bonner exchange vows; enjoyed fresh Italian paninis during lunch; and then danced the night away until 3 a.m.
NC State didn’t only connect Wall with his wife. From the first time he stepped foot on campus to participate in the Summer Textile Exploration Program, he felt an immediate spark with the Wilson College of Textiles. That spirited connection has continued since he graduated eight years ago. In addition to being a proud alumnus and donor, Wall has been a member of the college’s Dean’s Young Alumni Leadership Council (DYALC) for more than five years.
“The DYALC is awesome because I get to read the stories and applications of some of the most amazing graduates who are literally changing the world,” he says. “Rudyard Kipling’s quote, ‘The strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack,’ is a saying that we truly live and breathe as NC State graduates.”
While he was a student at the Wilson College, Wall studied fashion and textile management with a concentration in fashion development and product management and graduated with his bachelor’s degree in 2014. The following year, Wall founded Lumenus, a performance and lifestyle wearable technology brand specializing in enhancing user experience, performance and safety.
“With our first products being tech-laced apparel designed with smart safety in mind and intelligent mobile software, we helped pioneer the space of smart clothing and wearables,” Wall says. “Then our second product, ioLIGHT, helped revolutionize one of the most important parts of a cyclist’s safety systems: the bike light.”
In 2020, Lumenus was sold to a strategic partner based in Taiwan. Wall’s entrepreneurial spirit and self-described “naivety in my own business acumen” led him to found a new venture. Today, he is the co-founder and CEO of GoalMakers, a company that builds, manages and monetizes professional development programs for associations.
“My co-founder Nicholas Cioffi ’14, who is also a Wolfpack graduate, and I have a passion for bringing this training to underserved communities, with a core tenant of our business to do good,” Wall shares. “We partner with organizations that know how this training can change lives. It has been a wild ride, and I am very excited to say that it’s all just getting started!”
To learn more about Wall’s path to success and his strong connection to the Wilson College of Textiles, read his Q&A below.
Degree B.S. Fashion and Textile Management, 2014 (Concentration: Fashion Development and Product Management)
Job Title Co-Founder and CEO, GoalMakers
Current City Raleigh, North Carolina
Hometown Raleigh, North Carolina
Please describe your current volunteer and leadership experience.
As the co-founder of a business, I wear lots of hats. Leadership is a constant aspect of my life. I currently serve as the curator for Raleigh Global Shapers, am a member of the Association Executives of North Carolina and proudly serve on the Dean’s Young Alumni Leadership Council at the Wilson College of Textiles. I am also the captain of an ultimate frisbee team, and it brings me a lot of joy.
Why did you choose NC State and the Wilson College of Textiles?
Since I was 10 years old, I have been a sneakerhead. I would sketch shoes for hours and often created my own designs. One day while sketching away during my high school chemistry class, two reps came in from the Wilson College of Textiles. I pulled my head up from my notebook as they talked about the coolest technologies within fabrics and finished goods. I got really excited. They encouraged us to sign up for the Summer Textile Exploration Program (STEP), so I did. While at STEP, I fell in love with the seemingly endless possibilities this college could provide me!
What is your fondest memory of being at NC State and the Wilson College of Textiles?
As a student, I was quickly put in my place as one of the few people who joined the fashion development and product management concentration who couldn’t sew. But, I worked hard and eventually made it to the Threads Senior Showcase, and that is my fondest memory during my time at NC State. My family came out to watch, and I had my best friends as models walking the runways in my collection.
The wildest part of that story is that my mentor, Professor Kate Annett-Hitchcock, invited an investor to the show who ended up connecting me with my first job out of college. Dr. Annett-Hitchcock helped change my life. That then blossomed into the company Lumenus. It all started from a crazy idea and many sleepless nights in that studio surrounded by other amazing students.
Have you been motivated to give back to the Wilson College of Textiles financially? If so, what led you to make that decision?
Heck yeah. Most recently, I saw the fundraising campaign for the Threads Senior Showcase, which brought me back to the moment when I had the chance to have my clothes on display. I was so inspired that I donated twice because I know how much that meant to me personally and how much those students need to have that experience.
What was your favorite place on campus and why?
Centennial Campus, all of it! I still come to the Achievement Drive fields to play ultimate frisbee. It’s a truly spectacular campus, and I don’t think people understand how blessed we are to have that magnificent piece of land to call home. I graduated before the Hunt Library was finished, but I occasionally will work from there if I need to be on campus — usually after speaking to Professor Blan Godfrey‘s Entrepreneurship class (FTM 310).
How did your education at the Wilson College of Textiles prepare you for what you are doing today?
The college created the opportunity for me to found my first company, and that first company wasn’t a “success” by some standards. But, that was a catalyst for my current company to be the success it is today. I look back at all of my coursework; it was so well-rounded in many ways that it prepared me for the breadth of an agile mindset. Balancing the right and left sides of my brain is critical to running a business.
What advice do you have for current Wilson College of Textiles students?
Realize the network that you have through the Wilson College of Textiles and the entire NC State community. I have friends from Duke, the University of North Carolina, Yale, East Carolina University and Stanford, and I can tell you that none of them have the network we do at NC State. This isn’t just because we are a large university; we support each other in a way that those other communities simply don’t. Never hesitate to reach out to someone on LinkedIn or by email just to introduce yourself as a member of the Wolfpack, and then stay in touch however you can.
To connect with Wall on LinkedIn, you can view his account here.