LAMP Alumnus Jacob Babcock - Tech Entrepreneur

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Meet LAMP Alumnus Jacob Babock (B.A. ‘04 Criminal Justice, LAMP Certificate), CEO and Founder of NuCurrent. While in law school at Northwestern University, Babcock started an early version of NuCurrent (then called NeuRDS, Inc.) as a project through the university’s Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. He then practiced law for several years, always with a focus on startups and entrepreneurship. Today, NuCurrent offers wireless power technology to companies and innovators, with experience on hundreds of projects and more than 150 patents to its name.

Babcock started at IU as a direct admit to the Kelley School of Business, and says he chose that path out of high school because of Kelley’s prestigious reputation and the personal validation he felt as a direct admit. When he learned about LAMP, he “got really excited about the opportunity to switch majors away from business without abandoning (a) the business-focused coursework and (b) the relative prestige of the program.” He quickly came to realize he was much more interested in his liberal arts classes, and LAMP was the perfect way to combine his previous commitment to business with his interest in liberal arts. He adds: “In retrospect the ‘prestige’ is so unimportant; it’s the education and opportunity that matter. However, I’m lucky that my naivety led me down a very rewarding path of education and growth.”

As an entrepreneur and now Founder and CEO, Babcock appreciates that “Liberal arts are known to teach people how to think and not what to think. LAMP played an important role in developing my passion for constant learning, critical analysis, approaching challenges with an open mind, and being flexible. All of these elements are critical to starting and leading a business.”

Babcock especially emphasized the way LAMP classes created safe spaces for open discussion and welcomed diverse viewpoints, especially in high pressure and high emotion situations. He specifically noted that while most classes were canceled on September 11th, 2001, his LAMP class decided to meet to discuss the magnitude of the events unfolding before their eyes. He recalls that day, saying: “I heard some wildly different points of view that have stuck with me. To be a business leader, you have to be comfortable with different viewpoints and you have to invite them into your life. So much of society is closed off in an echo-chamber full of confirmation bias and I’m very grateful for the lasting impact that LAMP has had in shaping my appreciation for diverse viewpoints.”

Lastly, Babcock tells current LAMP students to “Recognize how special this moment is in your life. Being at IU. Being in LAMP. You have virtually unbounded opportunity to explore your curiosities and passions.” He quotes Andy Bernard, a character from the show “The Office,” and also a big Liberal Arts proponent, who said ‘I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them’ and adds “Let me tell you… you are in the good old days right now!”

Thank you to Jacob Babcock for sharing about how LAMP has had an impact on your career and offering wise advice for our current students. We always love hearing from our alumni. We invite all of you to fill out the “Stay in Touch” form on the LAMP website.

 Feature compiled by LAMP intern Mary Kate Ausbrook; edited by LAMP staff.