Archive for October, 2008

Iowa Valley Continuing Education

Marshalltown, Iowa—

The Extreme Entrepreneurship Team and keynote speakers from NYC and LA met in the center of the country on October 28, 2008. Our stop: Iowa Valley Continuing Education (IVCE) Center in Marshalltown, Iowa. Our objective: Inspire the next generation of young entrepreneurs.

The night before the conference, we had a great time connecting over dinner and bag stuffing with two of the meeting organizers—Amy Pieper, director of business and industry at IVCE, and Deana Inman, associate dean of student services at Marshalltown Community College (MCC). Amy had ordered really cool drawstring bags to give out to all of the participants, which made our conference giveaways even cooler.

The day of the event, community members and high school and college students from all over the region filled the room. Joel Akason, president of the Marshalltown Economic Development Impact Committee (MEDIC), opened up the conference and introduced Mike Ladehoff, Owner and CEO of Phoenix E Waste Solutions (www. Mike shared about his local start up, and then the tour’s moderator, Arel Moodie (, and the tour’s co-founder, Michael Simmons, pumped up the energy in the room with interactive exercises. Arel also kept the audience engaged by leading the workshop and networking after the first key note speaker.

It was fantastic to have Jake Sasseville back with us as our first key note speaker of the day! He’s incredibly energetic and passionate about growing his late-night talk show The Edge with Jake Sasseville ( Jake refuses to think small or believe small and pushes everyone in the audience—including the other members of the tour—to keep thinking ENORMOUS!

After a quick cookie break, Lauren Berger a.k.a. the “Intern Queen” entertained and inspired the audience with her story of turning 15 internships in college into an internship placement business ( Lauren emphasized the importance of researching your options, getting yourself out there, and having fun in the process. Some of her internship experience even involved following movie stars!

To close out the event (and to give Jake and Lauren a chance to tell a few more celebrity stories,) Elizabeth Grace Saunders, founder of the speaking company Real Life E™ ( facilitated the panel Q&A discussion. The panelists shared about everything from where they plan to be in 20 years to how they recommend picking a college.

We’re so glad IVCE, MCC, MEDIC, the Martha Ellen Tye Foundation,, and Operation Enterprise, gave us the opportunity to spread the message that entrepreneurship can happen anywhere. We look forward to seeing these students start businesses to benefit their local communities and their state.

Until Next Time!

The Extreme Entrepreneurship Team!

Southeast Missouri State University

A rockin’ tent party, loads of door prizes, and action packed presentations turned the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour stop at Southeast Missouri State University into a day-long celebration.
When we rolled up to the university, the CEO club members directed our bus to the center of campus. To attract attention and promote the event, they put on a party around the parked bus. This included complimentary food giveaways from places like Quiznos, Imo’s Pizza, and Jimmy Johns, music from a local radio station, and free beverages by a CEO table where people could register for the event and sign up for a raffle. The Extreme Entrepreneurship Team joined forces with the CEO crew in handing out fliers and talking to students about the event.

That evening, a diverse crowd of students, faculty, and even international visitors from Denmark joined us for a series of speakers, networking opportunities, and workshop activities. As the Director of Entrepreneurial Studies, James Stapleton, opened up the event co-sponsored by Career Linkages—Southeast’s career services department.

Following his introduction, Jake Sasseville, of the late-night talk show The Edge with Jake Sasseville (, entertained the crowd with his stories of relentlessly pursuing sponsors—again and again and again. During the presentation, Sasseville also shared how he turned the personal tragedy of his brother’s death into a positive motivation to make an impact every single day.

The tour’s co-founder, Michael Simmons, then helped program participants think about how they could make an impact on their community through a workshop on business idea creation. Simmons challenged the audience to think of problems that those around them faced and how they could solve them.
Next it was time for networking and fabulous door prize giveaways! The CEO team had collected everything from cafe gift cards to t-shirts to raffle off throughout the event.  Local restaurants also sponsored food during breaks.

Our second keynote speaker, Morgan First, founder of 1st Publications and MAP Boston (, shared about how she turned every challenge into an opportunity. For instance, as a recent college graduate she was younger than everyone else at business networking events. Instead of seeing that as a problem, she turned it into an opportunity to stand out and be different.

Then we wrapped up the high-energy day with a panel discussion facilitated by Elizabeth Grace Saunders, founder of the speaking company Real Life E™ ( During this time, the audience had a chance to ask Simmons, Sasseville, First, and Nolan Brunnworth, career specialist with Career Linkages, about how to protect their ideas, how to find money for starting a business, and how to overcome personal challenges—like being shy. The panelists responded with anecdotes and tips from their personal experience.

At the end of the event, the conversation continued as we packed up and talked with Southeast students. Thanks to the amazing CEO club, local sponsors, and tour sponsors—like and Operation Enterprise—we had a great time and inspired the next generation of young entrepreneurs to start pursuing their dreams—today!

Northland Community and Technical College

Thief River Falls, Minnesota—

Q: What do you get when you mix a tour bus full of young entrepreneurs—including a 22-year-old late night talk show host—150 high school and college students, and a fantastic college and workforce development staff?

A: An awesome Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour event at Northland Community and Technical College on October 6, 2008.

Kirsten Michalke, director of workforce development at Northland College, opened up the day with an intro to the tour and the promotion of the school’s new Entrepreneurial Education Program. Michalke and her team promoted the event, sponsored by Northern State Bank of Thief River Falls, by reaching out to local high schools, colleges, and community members. Publicity included a college radio interview with Michael Simmons, co-founder of Extreme Entrepreneurship Education and bestselling author of The Student Success Manifesto: How to Create a Life of Passion, Purpose and Prosperity.

The first keynote featured Jake Sasseville, the voice of the late-night talk show The Edge with Jake Sasseville ( At the age of 15, Sasseville started his first show in Maine and now hosts an ABC affiliate show that reaches over 30 million households. Sasseville shared about the importance of having tenacity in pursuing entrepreneurial ventures. Despite hearing “No” again and again and again, Sasseville kept at it and managed to get sponsors like Ford Motor Company and to sign on as sponsors to reach the Gen Y market.

Another unstoppable entrepreneur—Ryan Shore—followed up Sasseville’s speech with his story of going from high school drop out to owner of seven corporations by the age of 26. Shore’s businesses include retail and online kiteboarding stores ( and a construction company focused on serving government foreclosure needs (

After hearing from these inspiring entrepreneurs, the audience members had the opportunity to brainstorm how they could solve problems in their community through an entrepreneurial idea generation workshop lead by Simmons. The day wrapped up with a panel discussion facilitated by Elizabeth Grace Saunders, professional speaker and trainer with Real Life E™ ( During this discussion, the crowd had the opportunity to ask Simmons, Shore, Sasseville, and three local panelists about everything from how they got the money to start their businesses to how they developed a business network. Darcy Harbott, native of Thief River Falls and founder of MWG Inc. and EPI, shared from his experience as an owner of everything from a real estate company to a Subway franchise. Matt Winjum and Arron Hendricks, owners of Rhombus House of Pizza LLC ( in the northwestern Minnesota, also shared their stories of opening and reopening pizza places and learning how to be successful along the way.

Students at Northland left the Tour event empowered and inspired to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams and create workforce opportunities in their region.