After months of preparation, planning and refining business plans, two student groups were selected as winners of Oklahoma State University’s inaugural Riata Reverse Pitch Challenge Nov. 15.
The competition’s semi finals were held Nov. 7 and featured five teams. Nonprofit management and entrepreneurship major Rachel Brown and entrepreneurship major Jake Swanson were selected as the winners for the City of Stillwater/Chamber of Commerce category. The group worked on ideas to improve the process of recruiting and retaining young professionals to live and work in Stillwater. Their major idea was a Payne County Career Fair.
“One reason young professionals, especially those right out of college, don’t stay in Stillwater is because they are unaware of the job opportunities within their reach,” Brown said. “As freshmen, Jake and I went into this competition with the mindset that this would just be a great learning experience. We put forth the best idea that we came up with and hoped for the best, so we are ecstatic that we won.” Continue Reading
Entrepreneurs are used to pitching their ideas to businesses, but the Reverse Pitch competition brings companies in to pitch problems to the students. The students take notes, ask questions during the companies’ presentations and then can choose to either form a group or individually create solutions.
“The purpose of the event is to help organizations in our community as well as show the students the importance of innovation within existing organizations,” said Alexces Bartley, manager of events and outreach for the Riata Center. “People tend to associate entrepreneurship with startup businesses, but you can have an entrepreneurial mindset in an existing organization.” Continue Reading
She’s a 20-year-old brown-eyed Oklahoma State University junior ready to take on the world.
Wichita, Kansas native Ashley Shannon is a management sustainability and entrepreneurship double-major with a minor in international studies. If that wasn’t already enough, she’s also a member of the Entrepreneurship Advisory Board, a member of the Spears School of Business Scholar Leaders program, interning for the Life Out of the Box social venture, starting her own business and visiting four countries within the next year.
“I took the Intro to Entrepreneurship class and realized that my ideas of success were unconventional and different,” Shannon said. “That motivated me to pick up entrepreneurship as a major in addition to my management sustainability major. I then applied for the Entrepreneurship Advisory Board and it basically gave me the opportunity to be a voice for the School of Entrepreneurship.” Continue Reading
Oklahoma State University’s School of Entrepreneurship and Riata Center for Entrepreneurship were selected to receive a $100,000 Service Disabled Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program grant awarded by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The grant assists in providing entrepreneurial training to service-disabled veterans interested in starting or growing a small business. The 12-month grant will aid the Riata Center’s Veterans Entrepreneurship Program (VEP), which is offered completely free to veterans accepted into the program. The “boot camp” program builds on elements of OSU’s entrepreneurship curriculum and helps veterans develop business ideas to implement into their business models. Continue Reading
What do you even expect when you enroll in a class students call “Imagination”?
Entrepreneurship and marketing double-major senior Andy Blye found out when he enrolled in Spears School of Business adjunct professor Tom Westbrook’s class in the spring of 2016.
“We were put into groups to work on two major projects,” Blye said. “The class was full of people from different cultures from across the globe. We worked on feasible ideas for future needs and the return on investment of these ideas. Two major projects my group worked on stuck out to me: using virtual reality to treat patients from long-distance, and the infant mortality rate in the country of Cameroon.” Continue Reading
Air Force 1st Lt. Cale Simmons will soon graduate from Oklahoma State University with a master’s degree in entrepreneurship as a student in the Spears School of Business. He will also add another item to his impressive resume: Olympic athlete.
Simmons is a participant in the World Class Athlete Program in the U.S. Air Force, a program that allows him to train every day for his sport. Once he graduates, Simmons plans to open his own business, but for now he is focused on the pole vault competition Aug. 13 in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST) has awarded a nearly $300,000 grant to Ranji Vaidyanathan, Ph.D., Varnadow professor of materials science and engineering at Oklahoma State University-Tulsa, to develop a lightweight storage tank for low-temperature pressurized fuels.
Vaidyanathan is working with Infinite Composites Technologies (ICT) on developing a “Cryogenic Composite Engineered Laminated (CryoCEL™)” tank.
“The ideal application for this project is for transporting fuels that require storage at low temperatures.” Vaidyanathan said. “The new tank will be more economical because of its lighter weight and ability to conserve fuel by preventing boil-off.”
OSU-Tulsa and ICT (formerly CleanNG) signed a facility use agreement last fall that provides the company access to the Helmerich Research Center’s Next Generation Materials Lab at OSU-Tulsa. Aside from the most recent OCAST award, Vaidyanathan and ICT have been awarded more than $500,000 in research grants from OCAST and the National Science Foundation since 2013.
“This collaborative project between Dr. Vaidyanathan and ICT will have an impact on the state and local economy,” said OSU-Tulsa President Howard Barnett. “At OSU-Tulsa, we are very proud of our research faculty and their efforts to develop and commercialize innovative engineering technology.”
Once completed, the project is expected to generate $8.8 million in additional wages to Oklahoma, Vaidyanathan said.
OSU alumni Matt Villarreal and Michael Tate founded ICT in 2010 while they were students in Stillwater.
“We’re thrilled about this new research opportunity. We’ve been getting cryogenic tank inquiries for a while and now we have the funds to develop it,” said Tate, who also is ICT’s chief operating officer. “This is fantastic timing coming off a $1.5 million investment that closed earlier this year.”
OCAST announced $7.5 million in grant awards last month for 48 Oklahoma research and development projects. The state agency was established to foster innovation in existing and developing businesses in Oklahoma.
The OSU-Tulsa Helmerich Research Center is a state-of-the-art research and education center. The 123,000-square-foot facility was created with a mission to provide research, testing, technology transfer and education to advance the region’s aerospace, energy, manufacturing, transportation, electronics and medical industries. To learn more about the HRC, visit https://www.osu-tulsa.okstate.edu/helmerich/index.php.
Oklahoma State University’s online master’s in entrepreneurship program is being recognized as the No. 1-ranked program in the United States, according to OnlineColleges.com.
The unique methodology used to evaluate entrepreneurship programs by OnlineColleges.com is based on factors that matter to students – like graduation rates and tuition costs.
“We are delighted to see our master’s degree in entrepreneurship receive this ranking,” said Ken Eastman, dean of the Spears School of Business. “Spears Business strives to provide a high-quality, online experience for our students and this ranking reflects our commitment to our online students. Our School of Entrepreneurship does a wonderful job of engaging students and it is great to see them recognized for their efforts.” Continue Reading
The “American Dream” is an idea that most every person in United States seeks out, but Oklahoma State University business analytics master’s student Swapneel Deshpande seeks to redefine it.
Deshpande, along with OSU graduates Ben Loh and Lee Easton, created ModernBlox, a startup that turns old shipping containers into weather-resistant housing. The containers are safe (they can withstand up to 250 miles an hour wind when anchored), modern and eco-friendly and aim to offer affordable housing options at a time when the housing market has skyrocketed in price.
“Owning a house is part of that ‘American Dream,’ and, especially as an international student, that’s a major milestone,” Deshpande said. Continue Reading
Businesses apply to host an OSU student for the paid internship program for 15-20 hours per week during the fall semester. The Riata Center will match a student intern to a business host according to the business’s needs and student skill. The student interns will learn about business models and work on the business’s overarching projects with the direction of the Riata Entrepreneurial Internship Program staff. Continue Reading
Two teams of students from the Oklahoma State University School of Entrepreneurship were among the top winners in the Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup High Growth Graduate Division announced on April 15.
MITO Material Solutions placed first in the competition with its cost-effective nano-filler additive. The additive toughens fiber-reinforced composite structures using an organic polymer formula. MITO consists of OSU students Haley Kurtz and Kevin Keith and is coached by Richard Gajan, Thoma Family clinical assistant professor of OSU’s School of Entrepreneurship. MITO was awarded a cash prize of $20,000 for placing first in the competition.
“Kevin and I are so thankful for the opportunity given to us by the School of Entrepreneurship,” Kurtz said. “Our business venture is absolutely the result of collaboration between the schools of entrepreneurship and engineering, which is highlighted throughout our team makeup and our successes. We are thrilled to be the first-place team in the 2016 Donald W. Reynolds Governors Cup. Looking forward, we expect to meet new challenges and to perform more hard work as we prepare for Tri-State in May.” Continue Reading
A group of Oklahoma State University Entrepreneurship students and faculty were able to experience the history of Israel, including visiting the Wailing Wall and the city of Jerusalem, in a history-making study abroad trip sponsored by the Spears School of Business in March.
Spears study abroad program, now called the Center for Advanced Global Leadership and Engagement (CAGLE), has been sending students on study abroad trips for 25 years, but this was the first time a group traveled to Israel. Continue Reading
A four-member research team of the School of Entrepreneurship at Oklahoma State University has ongoing research in Nicaragua as part of the school’s Global Entrepreneurship Project.
The research team consists of Craig Watters, director of the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship and International Chair for the School of Entrepreneurship; Nathan Richardson, associate professor, AIA and Riata Faculty Fellow; Jake Duke, doctoral candidate for the School of Entrepreneurship, and Adam Cobb, doctoral candidate for Natural Resource Ecology and Management. Areas of research analyze sustainable agricultural production and examine the entrepreneurial ecosystem development of Nicaragua. Continue Reading
The School of Entrepreneurship at Oklahoma State University has three teams in the High Growth division finals of Innovation to Enterprise’s statewide Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup Competition.
The OSU finalists are: Haley Kurtz and Kevin Keith with MITO Material Solutions, coached by Richard Gajan, Thoma Family clinical assistant professor of OSU’s School of Entrepreneurship; Rhyder Robison, Eliot Bush and Santosh Padakanti with Volunteer Me, coached by David Thomison, clinical assistant professor of OSU’s School of Entrepreneurship and George Kaiser Family Foundation endowed chair, and Gabriel Bahr, Sourabh Biswas and Samyukta Koteeswaran with WoodPro, also coached by Gajan. Continue Reading
The Oklahoma State University School of Entrepreneurship, in partnership with the College of Engineering, Architecture, and Technology, has been awarded a $300,000 Innovation Corps grant by the National Science Foundation. The grant provides installments of $100,000 per year through 2018 for the school to assist students in creating startup businesses.
Along with the funds, the School of Entrepreneurship will become part of the “I-Corps family” of universities that are working with the National Science Foundation to support and facility Science Technology Engineering and Math education (STEM)-based startups.
“The universities in the group are among the finest in the country,” said Bruce Barringer, head of the School of Entrepreneurship in the OSU Spears School of Business. “Obtaining this grant is a big plus for us.”
For the seventh consecutive year, the Spears School of Business will host more than 20 military veterans for an intensive, eight-day entrepreneurial boot camp later this month on the campus of Oklahoma State University.
Twenty-two military veterans from all across the United States and representing nearly every branch of the United States military will be traveling to Stillwater to participate Feb. 20-27 in this innovative program.
The Veterans Entrepreneurship Program (VEP) continues to attract national attention as it enters its seventh year in empowering American military veterans as they turn their business ideas into workable business models. The program is designed for veterans who are interested in starting a venture as a means to financial independence or have an existing business that they would like to grow.
The OSU School of Entrepreneurship online master’s is second in the listing of the 10 Most Affordable Online MBA Entrepreneurship Programs, as selected by EDsmart.org.
The purpose of the EDsmart.org ranking is to provide potential graduate students with a list of the most affordable master’s in entrepreneurship degree programs. To rank a college or university as a Top 10 Most Affordable Online MBA Entrepreneurship Program, the site aggregated the following information:
- In-state graduate tuition rates, as listed by NCES College Navigator,
- National and regional rankings from BusinessWeek, Bloomberg School Rankings, Forbes magazine, The Princeton Review, S. News and World Report, and Kiplinger.
“We are pleased that our online entrepreneurship master’s program has been nationally recognized for quality and value,” said Ken Eastman, dean of the Spears School of Business. “We have an outstanding group of faculty in the School of Entrepreneurship who ensure that students get a world-class education at a very affordable price.”
Students at Oklahoma State University recently participated in Startup Weekend, a global grassroots movement of student entrepreneurs who learn the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. Ten teams ranging from five to 12 students were able to work alongside area business leaders at the Kicker World Headquarters in Stillwater.
The program, hosted by the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship in the Spears School of Business, is a startup education program designed for university students with an emphasis on learning by doing.
“We want to provide opportunities for students to implement what they are learning in classes in a creative and innovative manner. Programs like Startup Weekend are meant to do just that while also bringing together students from all disciplines to work side by side and learn from one another,” said Alex Bartley, Events and Outreach Manager in the Riata Center. Continue Reading
Oklahoma State University’s School of Entrepreneurship is being recognized as one of the top schools in the nation for the fourth time since 2012, in rankings published by The Princeton Review and featured in Entrepreneur magazine.
The School of Entrepreneurship is ranked 23rd on the list of the Top 25 Graduate Schools for Entrepreneurship Studies for 2016, placing OSU at number 11 for public universities. The rankings are based on surveys sent to more than 2,000 schools from May to August 2015.
“We are very proud of the work of the faculty and staff of the School of Entrepreneurship whose hard work has resulted in the Princeton Review ranking,” said Ken Eastman, dean of the Spears School of Business. “The Spears School has an outstanding graduate program in entrepreneurship and it is gratifying to see this quality being recognized by others. Students looking for a great experience in entrepreneurship will find what they are looking for in our entrepreneurship program.”
Entrepreneurship students at Oklahoma State University recently had the opportunity to pitch their business ideas to local business leaders, gain visibly and win cash prizes at the third annual Big Idea Pitch & Poster Competition.
Hosted by the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship in the Spears School of Business the competition allows students to pitch their ideas or products while receiving feedback from local professionals.
“The Riata Center is always looking for new ways to expose our students to opportunities that will aid them in their entrepreneurial endeavors. The Big Idea Pitch & Poster Competition offers a unique experience to get OSU’s inspiring entrepreneurs in front of established professionals. We believe that this event is a great stepping stone for future entrepreneurs,” said Misty Stutsman, manager, Events and Outreach in the School of Entrepreneurship. Continue Reading
Two Spears School of Business students are among five from Oklahoma State University to have recently been named University Innovation Fellows by the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter).
Spears School students Kevin Christensen (majoring in entrepreneurship with a minor in marketing) and Luke Janc (marketing) join three others from OSU – current undergraduate Audrey Tompkins (majoring in fire protection and safety engineering technology), doctoral student Salah Hamm (mechanical engineering), and graduate Nathanial Evans (bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and minor in business) – to be recognized.
Only 150 people representing 52 universities across the United States were selected as University Innovation Fellows.
Craig Watters, executive director of the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship, is the newly elected Senior Vice President for Marketing/Membership in United States Association for Small Business & Entrepreneurship (USASBE).
Craig Watters is an accomplished scholar, educator, entrepreneur, manager, and economic development specialist. He is the Norman C. Stevenson Chair in the School of Entrepreneurship and International Entrepreneurship Chair.
He comes to OSU from the top-ranked entrepreneurship program at Syracuse University, where he led a portfolio of educational and community engagement initiatives. He has worked with faculty across an array of disciplines on curriculum development and outreach programs related to creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.
Watters helped conceptualize and launch the highly successful South Side Entrepreneurial Connect Project, which has contributed to the transformation of an economically challenged inner city community. He has served as assistant dean for advancement in the School of Information Studies at Syracuse, and director of its economic stimulus center, the I-Launch Pad. His research and community work led to his nomination for an economic development award from Senator Hillary Clinton in 2003 traveled to Ireland as part of Clinton’s trade mission.
The Entrepreneurs Inspire Bootcamp features lectures and discussions from award-winning faculty in the OSU Spears School of Business, as well as several successful entrepreneurs and local experts. Classes will be held at the Autry Tech campus in Enid for four consecutive Tuesdays on Sept. 8, 15, 22 and 29 from 6-8:30 p.m. Autry Tech’s Small Business Development center will provide further coaching with an additional class.
“The Enid Entrepreneurs Inspire Bootcamp is one of our favorite off-campus outreach programs as it allows our faculty and students to connect with a rural community that otherwise we would not have the chance to work with,” said Misty Stutsman, manager of events and outreach for the Riata Center.
A student group from Oklahoma State University was recently awarded a $5,000 grant from VentureWell to take their entrepreneurial idea to the market. The $5,000 will be used to attend a three-day workshop on how to better articulate the opportunity for innovation in the marketplace as part of the VentureWell E-Team Program.
The project for Materialsient, the name of the OSU group, will develop innovative low-cost methods to improve the impact properties of advanced composites used in the aerospace and automotive industries.
Four OSU graduate students founded Materialsient to enter the competition as part of a new course, Applied Innovation and the Commercialization of New Technologies, taught in the Spears School of Business and the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology. The course is taught by Ranji Vaidyanathan, a Riata Fellow and Varnadow Professor of Materials Science and Engineering; Craig Watters, Norman C. Stevenson Chair in the School of Entrepreneurship, and Steve Griggs, adjunct professor in the School of Entrepreneurship. The course is cross-listed in the Spears School and the College of Engineering.
Darlene Croci and Jennifer Craig of the Spears School of Business were recently recognized at the June meeting of the Staff Advisory Council (SAC). Croci, who served on the Council for five years, received a Certificate of Appreciation for the completion of her term with SAC and Craig received a Certificate of Appreciation for serving as the Awards and Recognition Committee Chair this past year.
The Staff Advisory Council’s mission is “to represent the interests of staff in the development and implementation of policies and procedures that directly affect their morale, well-being, working conditions, and professional welfare,” according to its webpage.
Croci has held numerous leadership positions with SAC which include being the Policies, Benefits, & Budgets Committee Chair (2011-2012), Vice Chair (2012-2013), and Chair of the Council (2013-2014). Craig is completing her first year of a three-year term.