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.
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
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.”
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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
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.”
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.
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.