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.
Plasma Bionics, a business formed by students in the Student Startup Central at Oklahoma State University, was recognized as one of the top teams at the Baylor Entrepreneurship New Venture Competition on Feb. 27-28.
Plasma Bionics received $7,500 by placing third out of the 85 teams participating in the business plan competition. Kedar Pai, a doctoral student in mechanical engineering; Chris Timmons, a doctoral student in plant pathology, and Rohita Mal, a former master’s student in MSIS, made the trip from Stillwater to Waco, Texas for the competition sponsored by the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University. Two other members of the team, Anuashka Sharma and Prateek Khare, were unable to make the trip.
“It feels great to have participated and placed third in a nationally reputed business plan competition, especially among some very competitive companies with attractive business ideas,” Pai said. “Winning this award doesn’t just give us a monetary benefit but also additional in-kind services like legal assistance and web resources which are very helpful to a new startup such as ours.
Videos by Jordan Pfeiffer, Spears School of Business
John Register shares his experience with the OSU National Veterans Entrepreneurship Program
Paralympian silver medalist John Register participating in OSU VEP Program
Story by Jenni Carlson, The Oklahoman/NewsOK
Story link: No hurdle has been too great for John Register
The hurdler who lost a leg hasn’t stopped jumping over obstacles.
John Register lost his leg while serving in the Army.
It didn’t happen the way you probably think. Continue Reading
The Spears School of Business will host 31 military veterans for an intensive, eight-day entrepreneurial boot camp Feb. 7-14 on the campus of Oklahoma State University.
The Veterans Entrepreneurship Program (VEP) continues to attract national attention as it enters its sixth 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.
“As a land-grant university, we are called to serve veterans,” said Misty Stutsman, manager of events and outreach for the OSU School of Entrepreneurship. “The Riata Center for Entrepreneurship takes a lot of pride in VEP because there is no better way to thank them for what they have done than to teach them about the significance of being entrepreneurs.
“We believe in teaching them practical skills to become self-sufficient and in turn, helping other fellow veterans. An important part of the program is the network of veterans that we’ve built, all who have similar passions and goals that can support each other from a personal and a business resource standpoint.”
(Editor’s note: This story on School of Entrepreneurship master’s students Quinn Vandenberg and Jonathon Button appeared in the Tulsa World on Dec. 25, 2014).
Story by Sonya Colberg
Entrepreneurs and best friends Quinn Vandenberg and Jonathon Button recall the exact moment they knew they would never turn back.
It was the afternoon Naomi’s big brown eyes lit up when she picked out her brand-new, pink-and-blue school notebook.
Kendall Gibson has spent the last year dreaming of running her own business that will aid online animal adoption but the 23-year-old Oklahoma State University business student had no idea where to start when it comes to launching a web or app-based business. Gibson and 57 other OSU students will receive the expertise they need to kick start new student-run companies thanks to the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship’s new 3 Day Startup program.
The Riata Center’s 3 Day Startup program will be Nov. 21-23 at Kicker World Headquarters in Stillwater. The three-day program is an entrepreneurship education program designed for university students with an emphasis on learning by doing. The idea is simple: start tech companies over the course of three days.
“I signed up for 3DS to gain more hands on experience and network with other students that are interested in starting their own business” Gibson said. “I’m excited to work with students from across campus. Plus, we get food and energy drinks all weekend. Who would want to turn that down?”
The Spears School of Business faculty, students, staff and alumni are looking forward with great anticipation to the culminating event as 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of business education at Oklahoma State University.
The Spears School Tributes: 100 For 100 reception and dinner will be Friday, Nov. 7, at the Wes Watkins Center on OSU’s Stillwater campus. The school is recognizing graduates who exemplify the Oklahoma State and business school spirit. These tributes represent a rich history and diversity of experience among those who have earned business degrees from OSU over the past 100 years.
“We are proud to celebrate some of the more than 43,000 graduates since the school was founded in 1914,” said Ken Eastman, dean of the Spears School. “The Tributes represent the diversity of our graduates. These honorees are from various backgrounds, ages and occupations. Each has an inspiring story to tell, and we are proud to have them as part of the Spears School family.”
The advantage of using goat’s milk is the ice cream can be consumed by people who are lactose intolerant. It is estimated that one-third of all Americans have some degree of lactose intolerance.
Billy Goat Ice Cream is the creation of RaShaun Robinson and Caleb Neil, Master’s in Entrepreneurship students at Oklahoma State University.
“Caleb and I decided to pursue Billy Goat Ice Cream as a result of winning the Riata Center’s Big Idea Pitch and Poster competition last year,” said Robinson. “Caleb and I both met in the MSE program and dissected the idea I developed as an undergrad into what we have today. Since then we have been working toward getting into production to service many different grocery store outlets around the state.”
The event will start at 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19, at Student Startup Central (SSC), located at 1020 N. Boomer Road in Stillwater. Guests will have the opportunity to meet Oklahoma State University student entrepreneurs and learn of their startup success stories. The open house will also feature several businesses that have recently launched in Stillwater.
Student Startup Central is a student business incubator that provides office space, resources and services to student startups from every discipline across OSU’s campus. SSC houses two programs – the Riata Idea Hatchery and the Riata New Venture Incubator – catering to students in different stages of their startup business. SSC has already been recognized by the SBA and Journal Record as one of Oklahoma’s Incubator of the Year.
“Student Startup Central is a terrific resource for students who are interested in launching businesses. It is staffed by experienced faculty and mentors who are intimately familiar with the startup process,” said Bruce Barringer, head of the School of Entrepreneurship. “Any student who has a business idea or is currently working on a business start is welcome to attend the open house. You’ll be able to see for yourself the resources that are available and the positive supportive culture that Student Startup Central is able to provide.”
To RSVP for the open house and launch party contact Janette.email@example.com.
Quinn Vandenberg and Jonathan Button are a pair of School of Entrepreneurship master’s students who are living proof that you can live your dream. The pair of 25-year-olds created in 2012 a social enterprise named Life Out of the Box, which inspires people to be doers, and not just dreamers. The pair of Oklahoma State graduate students recently shared their story on a podcast featured on EntrepreneuronFire.com.
Roll-2-Roll Technologies, an Oklahoma State University student-led business founded in 2013, is growing thanks to raising a considerable amount of capital this summer.
Roll-2-Roll (R2R) Technologies was founded and is operated by a team of OSU faculty and students. The project originated as a master’s thesis by Aravind Seshadri, a doctoral student in mechanical engineering, under the supervision of Prabhakar Pagilla, the centennial professor of engineering in the Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Department at OSU. The team includes Caro Branca, a doctoral student in mechanical engineering, and Pedro Velasco, a doctoral student in leisure studies
Seshadri and Branca graduated in May 2013, and Velasco is currently finishing his PhD. Continue Reading
Student Startup Central, a student business incubator operated by the Riata Center of Entrepreneurship and the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University, was recently recognized as an Incubator of the Year at the 2014 Small Business Awards in Oklahoma City.
The 2014 Small Business Awards are presented annually by The Journal Record newspaper.
Student Startup Central accommodates students at the different stages of starting a business. Offering assistance for students with early business concepts to student companies with products that are ready to launch, the program is designed to support students in each step of the journey toward becoming a business owner.
Robert A. Baron, Regents Professor and William S. Spears Chair in the Oklahoma State University School of Entrepreneurship, will be presented the 2014 Greif Research Impact Award this summer at the business meeting of the Entrepreneurship Division of the 74th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management.
The Greif Research Award, established in 2007, is a $5,000 annual award given to the researcher who published the most impactful entrepreneurship article six years ago in the top management and entrepreneurship journals. Impact is measured as receiving the highest number of citations in the five years since the paper was published.
Bruce Barringer, head of School of Entrepreneurship, says it is no surprise that Baron is being honored with the award.
Oklahoma State University students involved in the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship’s student incubator program will be participating in a “pitch day” at the new incubator location to showcase their business concepts.
There are 17 teams (about 35 undergraduate and graduate students) from across campus in the program. Each group is looking to launch their own unique businesses, from retail stores to high-tech growth and medical devices.
On April 25, they will discuss their businesses and the progress they’ve made since joining the program with judges from the community. Prize money will be awarded to teams in order to help them move forward in establishing their businesses. Small sums of grants and in-kind services from local supporters will provide basic help for the student-run businesses.
A Spears School of Business professor authored a recently released book, “Launching A Business: The First 100 Days,” that was named an Editor’s Pick by CHOICE Magazine. Bruce Barringer, head of the School of Entrepreneurship at the Spears School, is the author of the 238-page self-help book.
Barringer’s book is recognized in CHOICE Magazine, the top library and book buyer magazine in the United States.
The following review, written by J. J. Janney of the University of Dayton, will appear in the November issue of CHOICE:
“Everyone knows starting a new business takes work, but many potential entrepreneurs become unnerved by the fear of things they do not know, but which matter. Beyond knowledge of the actual business and industry, this can entail knowing whether to incorporate, establish an online media presence, or even how to complete required forms. These types of unknowns can unnerve entrepreneurs. Barringer (entrepreneurship, Oklahoma State Univ.) wrote Launching a Business to calm those nerves.
“A book of advice and sources, it breaks the launch process into two sections, prelaunch (days 1-30) and postlaunch (days 31-100). While it covers all functional areas of launching a business, the book particularly highlights the mechanics of establishing an online presence. Each chapter provides checklists, encouraging entrepreneurs to document their efforts. Entrepreneurs seeking to write a business plan will find this information valuable.
“While this title overlaps with works such as Mike McKeever’s How to Write a Business Plan (CH, Apr’13, 50-4538), it differs by offering more tactical advice on things important during early launch of a business that an experienced founder should know but a novice likely will not. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels of undergraduate students; practitioners; aspiring entrepreneurs; general readers.”
To read the review online, go to the Choice Review Online website: http://www.cro3.org/content/51/03/51-1579.full
The U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs has selected a team of Oklahoma State University faculty, including Craig Watters with the School of Entrepreneurship in the Spears School of Business, to lead a $513,000 grant project to help aspiring entrepreneurs in three African nations.
Watters, interim director of the Riata Center of Entrepreneurship in the Spears School, will work in partnership with Dwayne Cartmell, Craig Edwards and Shelly Sitton in the Department of Agricultural Education, Communications and Leadership, and Shida Henneberry in the Department of Agricultural Economics to conduct the interdisciplinary exchange program in 2013-2014.
The project’s broad aim is to create professional relationships and learning experiences between U.S. entrepreneurs and mid-level, up-and-coming entrepreneurs from Kenya, South Africa and Uganda. To help empower aspiring entrepreneurs through the project, 24 selected African Fellows will participate in a two-way educational exchange in spring and fall 2014.
“We are excited about this grant whose core is about entrepreneurship and business. We are also excited to forge new relationships with the agriculture school,” said Watters. “Our students and entrepreneur network now will have more avenues to connect and grow. We look forward to this initiative constituting the beginnings of new research, courses, study abroad initiatives sponsored by the Riata Center and School of Entrepreneurship, and moving our students out into the world.”
Oklahoma State University’s Bruce Barringer has been recognized as one of the Top 25 Entrepreneurship Professors of 2013.
Barringer, Professor and N. Malone Mitchell, Jr. Chair in Entrepreneurship, and head of the School of Entrepreneurship at OSU’s Spears School of Business, was the only professor honored from the state of Oklahoma and one of only four chosen from Big 12 schools, in the announcement by 3 Day Startup.
“Barringer has been the director of the School of Entrepreneurship’s master’s program since 2010 and was recently selected to head the entrepreneurship program for the university. He has taught courses at the Spears School of Business on ‘Entrepreneurial Thinking and Behavior,’ ‘Entrepreneurship and Venture Management,’ ‘Advanced Entrepreneurship Practicum,’ and ‘Launching a Business: The First 100 Days,’” 3 Day Startup stated in a release on the top 25 professors.
Oklahoma State University’s School of Entrepreneurship has been recognized as one of the top schools in the nation for the third year in a row, according to the Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine.
The School of Entrepreneurship in the Spears School of Business is ranked 22nd on the list of Top 25 Graduate Schools for Entrepreneurship Programs for 2014. The rankings are based on surveys sent to more than 2,000 institutions from April to June in 2013. The Princeton Review has reported these lists annually since 2006 in partnership with Entrepreneur Media Inc., publisher of Entrepreneur magazine.
“We are pleased that the Princeton Review has once again recognized our graduate program in entrepreneurship. Congratulations to Bruce (Barringer, head of the School of Entrepreneurship) and his team for their efforts in providing great opportunities for their students. Their dedication reflects how important graduate programs are to the Spears School of Business,” said Ken Eastman, interim dean of the Spears School of Business.
The online Master’s in Entrepreneurship program offered by the School of Entrepreneurship in the Spears School of Business has been named the best in the United States for the second consecutive year, according to rankings published this month.
Oklahoma State University’s Master’s in Entrepreneurship online program is No. 1 in the nation in the rankings of the 20 Best Online MBA Entrepreneurship Programs as named by TheBestSchools.org, a website devoted to empowering students with information to assist them in selecting the best school and degree programs
“The (Oklahoma State) online Master’s in Entrepreneurship program covers the nature of entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurial process. The program combines core content with a strong commitment to experimental learning. It enhances student competencies in areas such as risk management, opportunity recognition, resource leveraging, business planning, and innovation. The online Master in Entrepreneurship degree program is part of the university-wide entrepreneurship emphasis at Oklahoma State University,” according to the TheBestSchools.org release in describing why OSU’s program was selected best in the nation.
Bruce Barringer has been selected as head of Oklahoma State University’s award-winning entrepreneurship program.
Barringer, the Johnny D. Pope Entrepreneurship Chair in the Spears School of Business for the past three years, will lead both the School of Entrepreneurship and the outreach branch, the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship, said Ken Eastman, interim dean of the Spears School.
Barringer’s appointment is pending approval of the OSU Board of Regents at the Sept. 6 meeting.
“I’m very excited. We have a great group of students, we have a very engaged and skilled faculty, and a lot of support from the OSU community. We are confident that the best days of the School of Entrepreneurship and the Riata Center are ahead of us,” said Barringer, who has served an interim head of the School of Entrepreneurship since May 2012.
“Dr. Barringer has great plans for the school and the Riata Center and I look forward to more great things from the school. We greatly appreciate his willingness to accept this important, leadership role,” said Eastman.
Do you want to create your own future? Do you have a passion for a business idea? Are you a dreamer and a doer? Have you started a business but need help? Then the Entrepreneurs Inspire Bootcamp is exactly what’s needed.
Building from key elements of Oklahoma State University’s award-winning entrepreneurship curriculum, the 2013 Entrepreneurs Inspire Bootcamp (formerly known as the OSU Cowboy Bootcamp for Entrepreneurs) is a series of modules designed to assist entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs in growing businesses successfully and profitably.
The new four-week program features more interaction with guest entrepreneurs and workshop sessions with industry experts for an improved hands-on experience on how to apply the lessons learned to a new start-up.
Oklahoma State University students Jerry Powers, Megan Melot and Aaron Barker, along with Spears School of Business academic counselor Sarah Chabinak were the recipients of various honors at the Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA-PBL) National Leadership Conference in Anaheim, Calif., last month.
The winners of these highly competitive and prestigious awards were selected from among FBLA-PBL’s membership of 250,000 students and advisers and represent some of the best and brightest of today’s youth.
Powers, a senior marketing major at OSU, captured first place in the Small Business Management Plan competition for his company, predictREI Systems, developing a software program that predicts the potential return on properties for real estate investors.
Powers submitted a 30-page business plan in early March to be judged prior to his oral presentation at the FBLA-PBL State Leadership Conference held in April. He placed first on the state level before going on to the FBLA-PBL National Leadership Competition in Anaheim.
The grueling two-day completion included three oral presentations, question-and-answer sessions and formidable competition with one competitor having previous success in pitching her business on the national television’s “The Shark Tank.”
Melot, an accounting major, received national recognition at the FBLA-PBL Awards of Excellence. She competed in the Future Business Executive competition and brought home a second-place award. Melot was also elected PBL National Treasurer for the coming year with the help of her campaign manager, Aaron Barker, a general business major.
Chabinak, Spears School academic counselor, OSU local chapter adviser and FBLA-PBL Professional Division member, also placed third in Business Law in Today’s World, a professional division open event.
Powers is the sole member of his company predictREI Systems, developing a software program that predicts the potential return on properties for real estate investors. The project has been four years in the making. He has combined complex analysis with seven different methods to save investors valuable time with the potential to create $5,000 to $100,000 or more in profit.
During the final round of the competition, Powers delivered a seven-minute presentation followed by a three-minute Q&A to capture first place, a trophy and a $500 cash-prize.
“The experience on stage was surreal – I hardly heard the crowd and I was in disbelief that I had won against such talented competition from across the nation. Knowing that I had won gave me the confidence to know that I had a viable business opportunity that has been scrutinized and endorsed by knowledgeable judges from four business plan competitions,” said Powers.
Almost four years ago, Jerry Powers decided to attend OSU after being attracted to the entrepreneurship program in the Spears School of Business.
“I decided to come to OSU when I decided that a marketing degree from OSU would allow me to either secure a high position with a home-building firm or allow me to start my own company,” said Powers.
After a 20-year career in the home building industry, the 49-year-old found himself jobless after his employer was forced to close their business during the housing crisis. Powers decided to mold his passion for home building into a career in real estate. His research led him to develop software for personal use but when several investors began inquiring about it at a Tulsa County property auction, he decided to rethink its use.
“When they expressed an interest in having a copy of the software I decided there might be a business opportunity,” said Powers, who spent the next four years developing the software for mass appeal.
Powers credits several OSU professors for their guidance including Xiang Fang, associate professor of marketing; Tracy Suter, associate professor of marketing; Michael H. Morris, professor and N. Malone Mitchell, Jr. Chair in the School of Entrepreneurship, and Richard Gajan, Carl Thoma Distinguished Clinical Professor in Entrepreneurship.
“When I learned that I had won the PLB competition, I felt so appreciative of all of the professors/mentors that helped me get there. They gave of their time, knowledge and experience so generously that I knew I could not have achieved success without my professors and project team members in my classes at OSU,” said Powers.
Powers refined his business plan in the Business Plan Laboratory class during the 2013 spring semester in preparation for the OSU Business Plan Competition.
“Jerry is a great example of entrepreneurial drive that gives us in the Spears School of Business such pride. After placing fourth in the Riata Business Plan competition, Jerry took input from the judges and other advisors to hone his pitch for the PBL competition and it showed. He earned that first place finish in nationals,” said Gajan.
Powers also competed in the Governor’s Cup Business Plan Competition, advancing to the semifinals and earning a $5,000 scholarship to fund his final semester this fall at OSU.
Powers is currently making final enhancements to the software and plans to release the beta test version this month. Once he receives venture capital or generates enough revenue he plans to hire a software engineer and a sales manager. “By year five, I project generating over $30 million in revenue and employ over 30 people,” said Powers, who has plans to develop additional products and services directed toward supporting real estate investors.
To find out more information about his venture, visit http://www.predictREI.com.
Oklahoma State University is now accepting applications for its annual program helping disabled veterans launch and grow their own businesses.
The Veterans Entrepreneurship Program, or VEP, is an entrepreneurial training program designed to empower veterans by providing them critical resources to turn their business ideas into workable business models, helping them create companies and sustainable ventures.
“The heart of our VEP includes lectures, workshops, and instruction in decision-making, product development, project management, contracts, manufacturing, and operations, the skills required to start and maintain real businesses,” said Craig Watters, professor in entrepreneurship and interim director of the Riata Center of Entrepreneurship.
The VEP is presented each year by the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship and the School of Entrepreneurship in the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University. The yearlong program offers a three-phase, hands-on learning opportunity. Participants complete an online self-study session and an intense eight-day on-campus boot camp conducted by world-class entrepreneurship educators and successful entrepreneurs, which is followed by 10 months of mentoring and support from the Tulsa Rotary and volunteer entrepreneurs.
The VEP is provided free of charge – including transportation, accommodations, books, food and instruction – to accepted applicants. OSU alumni and supporters have rallied around the program and donated thousands of dollars to help make VEP possible each year.
There are a limited number of positions available and interested veterans are encouraged to submit their application as early as possible.
Drew and Heather Gomer, a married couple from Oklahoma City, took the knowledge learned from the program to open their own companies after attending the 2013 Veterans Entrepreneurship Program. Heather is the CEO and co-founder of Advanced Flight Training Solutions and she recently signed an operating agreement with the airport in Yukon, Okla., where the Sundance Flight Academy already has one airplane, an instructor and several students. Drew recently started Military Morph, a job placement service for veterans separating from the military.
“I showed up to VEP with a business concept. The professors and entrepreneurs that made VEP possible guided me through the process of turning my idea into reality,” said Heather Gomer. “At the end of the course, when I pitched by business concept, every single panel member noted that they would invest in the company I was proposing to start. That was the beginning for me. I walked away from VEP with not only the knowledge I needed to get started, but also the support and encouragement I needed at the time.”
Drew Gomer says the program is changing his life. “I would absolutely recommend the VEP program for veterans who are motivated, driven and interested in growing or starting a business,” said Drew Gomer. “This program provides all the tools for success and I would recommend it to all veterans interested in starting or growing their business. I learned more in this course in a week than I did in the two-and-a-half year self-study of entrepreneurship.
“I had the luxury of attending the program with my wife, Heather, who quit her day job a month after the program and has been fully focused on seeing her business succeed and grow. The business I am creating is rewarding, challenging and will be my greatest accomplishment to date once it becomes profitable.”
Applications for the 2013-2014 VEP are available online at http://entrepreneurship.okstate.edu/riata/veterans. Applications are due by Oct. 1, 2013.
To make a donation, visit the same website http://entrepreneurship.okstate.edu/riata/veterans/, or contact Misty Stutsman at 405-744-4350.
R2R Technologies, an Oklahoma State University student-led business, was one of the major winners at the Tri-State Donald. W. Reynolds Cup business plan competition in Las Vegas on Tuesday night.
R2R Technologies, which includes OSU graduate students Aravind Seshadri, Carol Branca and Pedro Velasco, was named the Graduate Division winner in the business plan competition and won $30,000. The OSU students were competing against the top two teams from Governor’s Cup competitions in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Nevada.
“We are very proud of this team and their accomplishments,” said Bruce Barringer, interim chair of the School of Entrepreneurship in OSU’s Spears School of Business. “Although the students did the hard part, this win is a big step forward for the School of Entrepreneurship and also is an affirmation of the strength of the entrepreneurial ecosystem on the OSU system.
The demand for entrepreneurship education is a global phenomenon that Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business is helping solve.
In an effort to address the need for faculty who can teach entrepreneurship, the Spears School’s Michael Morris, Malone Mitchell Chair in Entrepreneurship, recently helped deliver a program called the Dynamic Entrepreneurship Classroom (DEC) in Moscow, Russia. DEC is an intensive seminar exposing faculty members from across the Russian Federation to best practices in entrepreneurship education.
The seminar is a partnership offered jointly by OSU, Texas Christian University and Syracuse University, among three of the top entrepreneurship programs in the United States.
The program was offered at Moscow State University, the leading institution of higher learning in Russia. Forty-two faculty members attended the three-day program. They were exposed to perspectives on the content, innovative pedagogy, course and curriculum design, and experiential learning tools and approaches.
The School of Entrepreneurship and the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship have placed Oklahoma State University’s program on the map in recent years. OSU’s program recently received another prestigious honor when it was named one of the top 25 business schools for entrepreneurship by U.S. News and World Report.
The OSU entrepreneurship program tied for No. 22 in the 2014 rankings of the nation’s best schools to help students channel their creativity, participate in business plan competitions, earn an MBA, and launch a business.
“Earning this distinction in the U.S. News and World Report rankings is a tremendous achievement for the entrepreneurship program, and is a reflection of the quality of the School of Entrepreneurship’s faculty and curriculum,” said Larry Crosby, dean of the Spears School. “The students, faculty and staff associated with the School of Entrepreneurship should be proud of this outstanding achievement.”
Virtue and Veneration, a two-man team of Oklahoma State University students Nick Cain and Flint Holbrook, placed fourth against 27 other universities last weekend at the Richards Barrentine Values and Ventures™ Business Plan Competition at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth.
Cain, a mechanical engineering major, and Holbrook, a biosystems engineering major, presented Virtue and Veneration, a service providing comfort to grieving United States military veterans and their families. Cain and Holbrook have been working on their new business venture for the past year in the Cowboy Idea Hatchery, a student business incubator that is part of the Riata Center of Entrepreneurship in the Spears School of Business.