Veterans Entrepreneurship Program alum, former Marine Capt. Jonathan McConnell launched his private maritime security company covers 35 ports worldwide.
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 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.
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.
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.
Lauren Bush Lauren, founder and CEO of FEED Projects, a company with the simple mission of creating good products that help feed the world, will be one of the keynote speakers at the fifth annual Entrepreneurs Inspire Conference at the Cox Business Center in Tulsa on April 8. She will also be presenting a talk to students on Oklahoma State University’s Stillwater campus that same evening, made possible by the Student Government Association Speakers Board.
The Entrepreneurs Inspire Conference, sponsored by the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship at OSU, is not only for the traditional entrepreneur in Oklahoma who has started a business, has an idea for a new business or is looking to grow their existing businesses, it is also for those who would like to learn more about the entrepreneurial mindset.
“I am so excited to share my journey with FEED at Oklahoma State University, and engage in conversations about the power of social business and conscious consumerism to empower entrepreneurs passionate about a cause,” said Lauren, the niece of former President George W. Bush and the granddaughter of former President George H.W. Bush. Continue Reading
This article originally appeared in the O’Colly. Read the original article.
The conference formerly known as the Women’s Entrepreneurship (WE) Inspire Conference has been held in Oklahoma City for the past four years featuring such prominent speakers as Maxine Clark of Build-A-Bear Workshop, Patricia Miller, co-founder of design company Vera Bradley, and Debbie Fields of Mrs. Field’s Bakeries
The Entrepreneurs Inspire Conference, sponsored by the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship at Oklahoma State University, is not only for the traditional entrepreneur in Oklahoma who has started a business, has an idea for a new business or are looking to grow their existing businesses it is also for those who would like to learn more about the entrepreneurial mindset.
First-place winners will receive $1,000, second-place winners will get $600 and third-place winners will win $400. The three winners will also automatically earn a spot as a semifinalist for the Spring Business Plan Competition, vying for more than $42,000 in cash prizes.
The 2013 Pitch & Poster Competition is a spinoff of the Elevator Pitch Competition from earlier years.
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.”
The Riata Center for Entrepreneurship is looking for Oklahoma State University students with the desire to start their own business through the Cowboy Idea Hatchery. The hatchery has been helping students for several years to establish start-up companies, and is available for students in every discipline across campus.
One current OSU student is taking advantage of the expertise in the student incubator to develop his business by seeking help from professors and visiting guest entrepreneurs with experience in growing a start-up company.
Tim McDonald, a Spears School of Business marketing graduate student, is taking advantage of the hatchery’s resources to grow Zulu Aviation Products, LLC. McDonald created his business to improve the existing night vision goggle lens cover and lanyard assembly currently used in the military and civilian aviation industry.
The Riata Center for Entrepreneurship at Oklahoma State University is accepting applications for the Riata Entrepreneurial Internship Program for the spring semester. This internship provides unique entrepreneurial opportunities for highly qualified undergraduate and graduate students at OSU.
The Riata Center will interview 30 or more students each semester to find those select few that will be a part of the internship program. The program offers up to 10 student internship positions each semester.
These appointments require student interns to work directly with an entrepreneur, president or senior executive in a high-growth, innovative company located in the Stillwater, Tulsa or Oklahoma City metropolitan areas. Interns are expected to add meaningful value to the work environment and to produce a number of useful deliverables to company management. Interns also take independent study credits in order to meet certain curriculum requirements.
The Riata Center for Entrepreneurship in the Spears School of Business has announced the Riata Faculty Fellows for the 2013-2014 school year. The Riata Fellows Program is a core component of the university-wide entrepreneurship initiative, where the entrepreneurial mindset and core entrepreneurship concepts are applied to disciplines across the campus.
“I’m excited to say that this year’s Riata Fellows program features a new model for new initiatives when it comes to inter-disciplinary collaboration. Our selected fellows bring with them innovative projects, new networks, and is a true reflection of how entrepreneurship really works in the real word,” said Craig Watters, interim director of the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship.
“I believe this year’s fellows will be the most impactful group we have ever had, and we look forward to seeing the projects, courses, commercialization and student involvement that is to come.”
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 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 the Riata Center at 405-744-7552.
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 fifth annual Riata Business Plan Competition awarded more than $43,000 in prize money on Saturday to help winning student teams finance their plans and turn them into viable business ventures.
The Riata Business Plan Competition is facilitated by the Oklahoma State University School of Entrepreneurship in the Spears School of Business.
R2R Technologies, a solution that can eliminate the setup and wastage during product changeover due to misalignment issues in roll-to-roll (R2R) processes, received top honors and the $25,000 for capturing first place. R2R Technologies team members are OSU students Carlo Branca, Aravind Seshadri and Pedro Velasco. Continue Reading
Debbi Fields made the decision in 1977 to open a chocolate chip cookie bakeshop and store, and in 20-plus years she built her business from scratch into one of the most visible, successful dessert empires in the United States. The founder of Mrs. Fields Cookies, she will be sharing her story at the 2013 Women Entrepreneurs (WE) Inspire Conference.
WE Inspire 2013 is hosted by the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship at Oklahoma State University and will explore the unique obstacles, demands and challenges women face when creating and expanding ventures. The conference is scheduled for April 2 at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City.
“This year’s WE Inspire event will really be the launch of a year-round initiative where women entrepreneurs will be able to inspire each other through workshops, networking events, webinars and much more. We want this to become something where it is not only one day but an ongoing flow of information. We are thrilled to have women like Debbi Fields sharing their experiences and offering encouragement to the women who will be attending this year’s conference,” said Craig Watters, Carl Thoma Distinguished Clinical Professor of Entrepreneurship and acting director of the Riata Center.
Oklahoma State University’s Master’s in Entrepreneurship online program is No. 1 in the nation in the rankings of the 10 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 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,” according to TheBestSchools.org release in describing why OSU’s program was selected No. 1.
This article originally appeared in the News OK. Read the original article.
More than 40 disabled United States veterans who faithfully served their country will be traveling to Stillwater the first week of February to participate in an intensive, eight-day entrepreneurial bootcamp on the campus of Oklahoma State University.
The Veterans Entrepreneurship Program (VEP) continues to attract national attention as it enters its fourth year in empowering disabled American military veterans as they turn their business ideas into workable business models. The program offers a unique, highly innovative training program built around hands-on learning, personalized interaction and exposure to inspiring role models.
The eight-day VEP begins Saturday, Feb. 2, and runs throughout the week before concluding with the VEP Gala Celebration Saturday, Feb. 9. Former U.S. Representative J.C. Watts will be the featured speaker at the VEP Gala Celebration at 6:30 p.m. at Gaillardia Country Club in Oklahoma City.
Tina Aldatz grew up in the boroughs of Los Angeles but that did not stop her from turning a great idea into Foot Petals, a multimillion dollar company. In 2001, when Tina was working in the fashion industry in New York City, the long hours didn’t bother her, but her stilettos and flats did.
After an extensive search she realized there were no products that met her needs for both comfort and style. Aldatz designed her first product, Tip Toes, which are still her number one-selling product today. More than a decade later, Foot Petals now has more than 20 products and is embraced by celebrities, stylists and influencers across the globe.
Foot Petals was acquired several years ago by an established company in Ohio that produces Dearfoam footwear products. Both the Dearform and Foot Petals products are sold at retailers worldwide and online.
Former U.S. Representative J.C. Watts will be the featured speaker at the 2013 VEP Gala Celebration, honoring the group of military personnel participating in the Veterans Entrepreneurship Program presented each year by the Riata Center of Entrepreneurship and School of Entrepreneurship in the Spears School of Business.
The 2013 VEP Gala Celebration will be at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013, at Gaillardia Country Club in Oklahoma City.
“We are pleased that J.C. Watts will be addressing the 2013 graduates of the Veterans Entrepreneurship Program,” said Larry Crosby, dean of the Spears School. “His insights on inspiring the student in everyone to dream big, stretch their leadership potential, transform organizations and make a difference in the world will be beneficial as they embark on this new challenge in their lives.”
A company founded by three recent Oklahoma State University graduates was selected last month as one of 50 businesses to be recognized as the “GEW 50,” the best and brightest new startups around the world.
CleanNG, which began as a project in the Riata Center of Entrepreneurship’s Cowboy Idea Hatchery student incubator in the Spears School of Business, was one of 50 finalists competing for the grand prize in the 2012 Startup Open, a competition for startups with high-growth potential featured as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) 2012.
Also, CleanNG was one of the 28 finalists from the Startup Open to be featured in a story of titled “The World’s Most Promising Companies,” on the CNBC.com website in early November. Although only one startup is awarded the grand prize, and CleanNG was not selected for that honor, the company is taking advantage of its newfound notoriety.
The Riata Center for Entrepreneurship in Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business announced today that it is the recipient of a $75,000 grant from the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), a non-profit organization whose mission is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors.
The grant was presented to the Riata Center to support the highly successful Veterans Entrepreneurship Program (VEP), which was created to empower disabled American veterans to turn their business ideas into reality, and to find a path to financial independence through entrepreneurship.
“The Veterans Entrepreneurship Program is one of the most rewarding outreach programs that we put on each year and we are privileged to be able to offer our resources and expertise to men and women who have paid a price for our freedom,” said Michael Morris, OSU’s N. Malone Mitchell, Jr. Chair in Entrepreneurship and founder of the VEP. “Our goal is to help these veterans become entrepreneurs as a way to make their transition into the private sector successful and sustainable.”
Tanjie Brewer knows all about living the American dream. She is the founder of Stylish and Fit, a Tulsa venture that brings together fashion and fitness.
Brewer began her career in sales and over time rose to manage about 100 employees. Although she was experiencing professional success, she found that the daily grind of working for someone else’s passion made “waking up for work more and more difficult.” It was the birth of her son, she says, that sparked the motivation to take a risk by going into business for herself.
“I knew that I would want him to go after his dreams and he would be looking to me to be an example. Therefore, I resigned from a Fortune 500 company and launched Stylish and Fit in 2010. I have been overwhelmed with joy ever since,” said Brewer.