The arc of Laurie Prysock’s career spans the seemingly disparate realms of politics and entrepreneurship. Growing up in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, she studied political science at the University of Delaware and interned in the presidential campaign as a student. After graduating, she soon went on to Washington D.C. to work in fundraising.Prysock was also involved in theatre as a student at UD. Now, her hobbies include playing tennis, hiking, and traveling, with seven U.S. states left to visit on her checklist, including states near and far, from Ohio to Oregon. She has three sons and three dogs, including the most recent addition of a bernedoodle (a Bernese mountain dog and poodle mix) named Carlos. Back in her hometown, she enjoys tranquil walks at Longwood Gardens, the nationally renowned botanical garden, as well as exploring the robust local dining scene at the Mushroom Capital.
Prysock eventually returned to UD, coming to Horn Entrepreneurship last December to work in external engagement. She recognized many overlapping themes between her career in politics and entrepreneurship, particularly regarding the importance of driving innovation and economic opportunity.
“That whole idea that Horn is incubating businesses to help drive the economy, and to just prepare students for, not necessarily just having their own business, but adding value wherever they are,” Prysock said.
What are your responsibilities at Horn’s external engagement?
“So I’m splitting my time about 50% between development and doing fundraising for Horn, and 50% working with alumni, particularly alumni in the business community, to help get more involvement with Horn, either through being a judge, or speaker for Free Lunch Friday, or any of the other programs that Horn has.”
As a Blue Hen and University of Delaware alumni yourself, what’s it like to be back?
“It’s good. Delaware has changed a lot, Horn wasn’t here. Newark’s changed, the campus has changed. It was very vibrant when I was here, but you can definitely feel the forward-thinking sort of mentality now, which is great, so I’m very happy to be back here… I have kind of come full circle, yeah. Coming back home.”
What are some of your ambitions for Horn in 2020?
“We’d like to have all of the Horn alumni participate in supporting the program in one way or another. So whether it’s financially – and obviously, as young alumni there’s usually a financial challenge, but there are ways to be supportive of the university. Small increments, or through donating time to do mentoring. Judging, there’s virtual judging, there’s in-person judging. Really, just continuing that ambassador role for Horn, even though they’re now alumni. So that’s the first thing, to have 100% participation from the alumni who graduated from Horn. And to further expand Horn’s reach with alumni who came through the business program or came through other fields but have ended up in an entrepreneurial world.”
Even though you’ve only been at Horn for about a month, have there been any noteworthy experiences, or events you’ve either attended or been involved in?
“I came to the fall pitch party, actually, before I started. And the energy is just phenomenal. Everybody is just super excited and passionate about what they’re doing. It was just really nice to see the fundamentals of developing a business and removing those barriers as to why you can do this, why you can’t do that, and just putting students in a position where they are really expressing themselves successfully. It’s a life skill that anyone needs, whether or not you’re owning your business or you’re working for someone else. Being able to successfully articulate an idea and advance it is critical for anyone.”
About Horn Entrepreneurship
Horn Entrepreneurship serves as the University of Delaware’s creative engine for entrepreneurship education and advancement. Built and actively supported by successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders, Horn Entrepreneurship empowers aspiring innovators and entrepreneurs as they pursue new ideas for a better world.