Archive for September, 2008

Stark State College

North Canton, Ohio—In a live-action demonstration of the power of teamwork, Stark State College faculty and staff came together to promote and to put on the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour on September 25, 2008.

To divide and conquer the different tasks, the business department broke into committees. These groups then took on responsibilities like recruiting local exhibitors for an entrepreneurial fair, which included local entrepreneurs, a CPA group, a credit union, Office Max, and other business support resources. Tour sponsors, VenturePort.org, Operation Enterprise, and Inc. Magazine were also featured at the event. The Stark State team also recruited many local sponsors, including: Alliance Area Chamber of Commerce, Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, Canal Fulton Area Chamber of Commerce, Jackson-Belden Chamber of Commerce, Lake Township Chamber of Commerce, Louisville Chamber of Commerce, Massillon Area Chamber of Commerce, Massillon Development Foundation, Minerva Area Chamber of Commerce, North Canton Area Chamber of Commerce, Stark County Chambers Development Board, Inc.

After an introduction by Jerry Myers, department chair of the Management and Marketing department, the college President, Dr. John O’Donnell, spoke about the importance of considering entrepreneurship as a career path. Then keynote speakers, Jason Duff, owner of Community Storage & Properties, Ltd. (www.communitystorage.com), and Morgan First, co-founder of 1st Publications and MAP BOSTON (www.motionaffairplanner.com), revealed what qualities helped them to succeed as young entrepreneurs. During a goal setting workshop later in the evening, the hundreds of individuals in the audience had a chance to think about their goals and dreams and passions and how they could start pursuing them today.

Not only did the Stark College team unite to maximize the professionalism of the event, complete with information folders for each person, but also they pumped up the fun! During one of the breaks, they served a cake with the Stark State and Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour logos in the icing. After a panel discussion including two local entrepreneurs, William Flood, owner of Horizon Business Services, and Jane Rowe, owner of Jane’s Virtual Office (www.janesvirtualoffice.com), it was time for door prizes! Dr. Glenda Zink, dean of business technologies, helped distribute fabulous raffle gifts, including gift cards for hundreds of dollars.
At Stark State, teamwork isn’t just a classroom concept but a practical strategy for success!

Lake Erie College

Painesville, Ohio—In just two short years, Lake Erie College has developed a thriving entrepreneurship program that includes all types of students from farmer’s market owners to horse trainers. The Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour made a stop at this wooded campus on September 24, 2008, to create a forum for the college students to network with one another and to learn from top young entrepreneurs. The activity-filled day also included local high school students and community members that could benefit from an introduction to Lake Erie College’s campus and to youth entrepreneurship. As a way to collect information for their program, the college put a small personalized survey into each attendee’s bag that they filled out and turned in during the event.

The day began with Ohio born and raised, Jason Duff, owner of Community Storage & Properties, Ltd. (www.communitystorage.com). He shared his story of small business ownership beginning with selling candy bars and currently encompassing storage, real estate, and billboard holdings in an energetic key note presentation. Morgan First, co-founder of 1st Publications and MAP BOSTON (www.motionaffairplanner.com), talked about how she didn’t let her challenges—like being dyslexic—keep her from pursuing her dreams of working in publishing.

After a goal-setting workshop, networking breaks, and a panel discussion that included the director of the Center for Entrepreneurship, Dr. Tom Lix, a local entrepreneur, Brad Kleinman, presented a special eMarketing workshop. Brad runs BSK Consulting (www.bskconsulting.com) and shared his knowledge of how to effectively use this new media in an hour-long presentation.

By inviting in high school students and community members, Lake Erie College created an event that not only benefited their students but also brought together the community in support of the campus and entrepreneurship.

Lehigh University

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania—Turning innovation into entrepreneurism was the theme of the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour stop at Lehigh University. This research university attracts many students interested in achieving advanced degrees and working in academia or the corporate world. But the Lehigh Entrepreneurs Network and the Eureka Series of Student Competitions aim to encourage students to also consider small business.

To kick off the university’s 2009 competitions, Director Lisa Getzler-Linn brought the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour to campus on September 22, 2008. The students at the event had a diverse set of interests, including those who wanted to pursue social ventures and those interested in capitalizing on their medical expertise.

Michael Simmons, co-founder of the tour, and Jason Duff, owner of Community Storage & Properties, Ltd. (www.communitystorage.com), gave the two keynote addresses. Michael shared how his first business successes and failures—including hiring a partner without a contract—prepared him for his later ventures. Jason shared tips and stories from his experience developing storage facilities and billboards and redeveloping downtown areas in rural Ohio.

To promote the event, Lisa visited classrooms and talked to hundreds of students about attending the tour and entering the competitions. The school also did new media marketing through a Facebook advertisement. In addition to tour sponsors Venture Port and Operation Enterprise, Lehigh Valley Grand Prix (www.lehighvalleygrandprix.com) zoomed into the event with a mini racecar that sat outside the auditorium. The owner of LVGP, Mike McCreary, and two other entrepreneurs and Lehigh University grads sat on the panel discussion: Tim Marks, director of production and president of EcoTech (www.ecotechmarine.com) and Brad Bartowski, co-founder of Orion Security LSP (http://orionlsp.com/).

The panelists acted as walking testimonials that you can start businesses during college and that Lehigh’s programs, such as Integrated Product Development, can launch you to success. At Lehigh, the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour helped supercharge the school’s efforts to develop the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Hamilton County Alliance

The Hamilton County Alliance delivered on its promise to foster the entrepreneurial spirit in local students by bringing the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour (EET) to Carmel, Indiana, on September 4, 2008. Around two hundred local high school students got to hear from young entrepreneurs about how to set goals, pursue their dreams, and deliver on their promises.

The event kicked off with Gerry Dick, owner of Inside Indiana Business, and Duane Hazelbaker, representative of event sponsor AT&T Indiana, talking about the importance of entrepreneurship to creating opportunity in the region. Then, the event continued with EET co-founder Michael Simmons talking about what he learned through successes and failures as a young entrepreneur, and Arel Moodie, president of Arel Moodie International, leading a workshop on goal setting.  Josh Kowitt, former owner of Collegeboxes, the nation’s largest collegiate shipping and storage company, gave the second keynote address about the importance of always delivering on your promises—in business and in life.

Then the event wrapped up with a panel of four entrepreneurs, including local entrepreneurs, Angie Hicks who owns Angie’s List and Scott Abbott who inspires young adults as an innovator, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and author of Pocket Porchlights. Elizabeth Grace Saunders, CEO of Real Life E, facilitated the Q&A session where students asked questions about everything from how to raise money to what sacrifices the entrepreneurs had to make.

Throughout the event, the students also had the opportunity to visit with exhibitors, including DeVry University, Butler University, Purdue University, Ivy Tech, College Network, TrackPack Coolers, Ritz Charles, Indianan INTERNnet, and BitWise Fellows. The exhibitors had the opportunity to connect with many high school students who might be interested in their products or services.

All in all, the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour more than delivered on its promise in creating an inspiring event for future Hamilton County entrepreneurs.

Maysville Community and Technical College Event

Five entrepreneurs, five high schools, Maysville Community and Technical College, and Morehead State University combined to make one hot event on September 11, 2008. The Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour presented to around 500 students in Maysville, Kentucky, at a half-day program sponsored by Maysville Community and Technical College, Morehead State University Small Business Development Center, Maysville Regional Entrepreneur Center, Tenco, Kentucky Small Business Development Center, Kentucky Entrepreneur Coaches Institute, and Fleming Mason Energy.

SIFE volunteers helped welcome the hundreds of students streaming into the event introduced by Dr. Ed Story, president of MCTC, and Dr. Michael Seeling, assistant to the provost from Morehead State University.
The flame then passed to Arel Moodie, president of Arel Moodie International, who ignited the crowd with interactive exercises and contagious enthusiasm. Michael Simmons continued the event with an overview of the ups and downs of being a young entrepreneur before Arel lead the students through a goal-setting workshop. In the workshop, the attendees received the challenge to ignite a fire of passion in their own life.

This then lead to a keynote speech by Elizabeth Torres, renowned Columbian born poet and author of “Because the Flame is Alive.” She was selected by CNN’s Young People Who Rock in 2007 and by American Eagle Outf”Live your Life” campaign as a role model.  Elizabeth shared on the importance of being true to your core, which allows you to achieve amazing feats in your life at any age.

The event wrapped up with a panel discussion moderated by Elizabeth Grace Saunders, CEO of Real Life E. One of the panelists was Mike Jackson, a local entrepreneur and management consultant with Maysville Kentucky Small Business Development Center. The panelists shared their perspective on how to make it in business to help spark ideas in the minds of all those who attended the event.