Author Archive

Show Us What You’ve Got- Prototype Day

Looking back on this past semester, I have found that although it originally scared me, Prototype day was the best of the semester.  We had the opportunity to interact with faculty, staff and professionals from outside the University to receive feedback about our projects.

Prototype day encouraged us to perfect our elevator speech and forced us to be able to quickly and efficiently explain our idea.  Additionally, it allowed us to project what we had hoped our final product would look like, and to make modifications as we collected feedback from others in the room.  With all of our projects in the same place, there was an incredible energy in the room, as ideas were tossed back and forth, allowing each of us to expand on our creativity.

Overall I think that the prototype day was an excellent addition to the semester- it allowed us to make a big step in developing each of our ideas.  What step in the business development process do you find most helpful in developing your ideas?

May 5, 2011 at 3:27 pm Leave a comment

Sink or Swim- Final Presentations in Creative Entrepreneurship

Recently, our class held our final business plan presentations in front of a panel of esteemed entrepreneurs.  We have each been working on a business throughout the semester, and this was our chance to sink or swim- could we sell it or not?

Though we’ve been receiving feedback from our classmates as well as from Dr. Evans throughout the semester, this was an opportunity for us to hear a new perspective on our business idea.  The judges were able to provide a unique perspective based on their backgrounds that allowed us to make our final business plans the best that they could be.

The chance to present in front of the panel was a rare but valuable opportunity; one that has encouraged me to truly seek venture capital to try my business out, for real.  Sometimes it only takes one person to make or break your spirit when it comes to a good idea.  Who has been your positive/negative influence on your entrepreneurial journey?

May 5, 2011 at 3:15 pm Leave a comment

Presenting with Prezi

The overhead projector has become the new posterboard.  Powerpoint has become the new overhead projector.  Today, more and more professionals are using Prezi  to present their business ideas and project plans.

So what’s so great about Prezi you may ask?  Well, Josh Linkner uses it in his highly-attended Creativity seminars.

But that’s not the only reason to love this new presentation tool.  Prezi adds the flair that Powerpoint has consistently lacked…without the clip art and cheesy sound and motion effects.  Prezi allows the user to incorporate various electronic sources quickly and easily, including links to other sites, as well as Youtube videos.  It also allows for easy addition of key words and phrases, as well as images.

Entrepreneurship is all about creativity.  Prezi allows that creative, entrepreneurial nature to shine through by remaining highly customizable and user friendly.  Though new to the industry, I expect that we will start to see Prezi more and more in the professional environment.

What are your thoughts on Prezi? Have you used it or are you willing to give it a shot?

May 5, 2011 at 3:14 pm Leave a comment

Mentoring: A Two Way Street

Who is your mentor?  In other words, who do you look up to as a role model? For advice; both personal and professional?  Mentors come in many different forms; often the most effective mentors come along when we least expect them to.  Nevertheless, mentors can be a crucial part of a young entrepreneur’s journey.  They provide guidance, wisdom, and most importantly inspiration.

In January 2011, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder went as far to proclaim the month as Michigan Mentoring Month.  A firm believer in the power of mentoring, Snyder has gone on to advocate even after the proclaimed month was over.  “It’s a two way street,” says Snyder.  “By mentoring someone, you grow too.”  In a special on Channel 7, Snyder advocated for some local organizations that have taken the initiative to mentor youth in the community.

So what’s in it for you?  As a mentee, students would have the opportunity to learn from someone who has already made an entrepreneurial journey.  We are exposed to advice, contacts and ideas that we never even knew existed.  As for mentors?  As Governor Snyder says, everyone learns something from the mentoring process.  Mentors have the chance to expand their network, become involved with new ideas, and to better understand the millenial generation.

Have you been a mentor/mentee?  What are some of the benefits of mentoring?

 

–Krysta

April 11, 2011 at 10:20 pm 3 comments

It’s all about the network

One of the greatest things that I have been exposed to since coming to Lawrence Tech is the network of people that my professors and even classmates have been able to connect me with.  Securing a job after graduation is something that everyone is nervous about, but I can honestly say that I feel prepared thanks to the networking that I’ve been able to do in school, as well as the networking events that I have coming up!

On Monday I received a call from Crain’s Detroit Business letting me know that I had won their Newsmaker of the Year Scholarship Competition!  Needless to say I was ecstatic about the money, but the opportunities that will be available for me to network at such an event are unbelievable, especially as someone who is looking into the Communications/PR/Event management field.

Additionally, I also received news that there is a Public Relations & Communications Job Fair coming up!  Needless to say there will be tons of people there who will be great networking connections.

I’m excited about my path as an entrepreneur and I’m very interested in meeting people who can help me along my journey, as well as meeting people who I may be able to help with the little bit of experience that I’ve gained thus far.  I’ve been fortunate enough to have some outstanding mentors, and I’m always on the lookout for new mentors, whose expertise I can learn from as well.

February 10, 2011 at 4:14 pm 1 comment

There’s been a lot of buzz lately about the Coleman Foundation and the Kern Foundation grants at Lawrence Tech and how they’re affecting the curriculum at the University.  What a lot of people don’t know, is that Lawrence Tech has a best kept entrepreneurial secret: its chapter of the Collegiate Entrepreneur’s Organization, otherwise known as CEO.  This organization is one of many on campus that offers leadership growth for students on campus, but one of the few that encourages them to develop their own business ideas and to gain experience in the entrepreneurial world.

This year I was fortunate enough to be invited along on the CEO club’s trip to Chicago for their national conference.  While there we heard from dozens of fantastic speakers, including the esteemed Jimmy John himself (Yes, THE Jimmy John. The Sandwich guy).  We also attended many education sessions where successful entrepreneurs shared their tips for success?  Check out the Top 3 most mentioned:

I attended in Chicago for Lawrence Tech’s CEO (Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization).  While there, I met some incredible people and also learned invaluable lessons.

Throughout the weekend we were able to attend various sessions of our choice with prestigious entrepreneurs from around the world.  During our time with them we were able to pick up some tips and tricks:

1-     Create a Vision Board. This will help you to identify your goals, as well as those whom you’d like to model yourself after- your mentors, your role models.  Include inspirational quotes that will help to propel you towards your goals!

2-     Network, Network, Network! Building your contact list while you’re still in school is imperative to your success.  Having a large network will allow you to reach out to others when you’re looking for a job, and will also motivate companies to take a better look at what you have to offer them, in this case, your contact list!

3-     Never Give Up. As often as it’s preached, you must never, ever let anyone tell you that your ideas are too farfetched or that your dreams are unattainable.  If every great entrepreneur had listened to the words of everyone around them we would be without some of the world’s greatest services and products.

Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy.  But college is the time to take advantage of the entrepreneurial opportunities that are presented through the many different venues we are exposed to.  And that’s just what the CEO Club is doing.

For more information about the CEO Club check out http://www.c-e-o.org/.

-Krysta

 

January 27, 2011 at 8:46 pm 1 comment

Community Connect For the Win

What’s better than supporting local entrepreneurial non-profits?

Entering competitions to support local entrepreneurial non-profits and winning scholarship money.

As part of the Community Connect Competition at Lawrence Tech students are challenged to come up with marketing plans and promotional videos for these organizations.  A true win-win-win situation.  Non-profits get the promotional material and planning done for major campaigns for free.  Students get real world experience.  And Lawrence Tech gets to help the community and support their students.

Fall 2010 featured Operation: Kid Equip (OKE), a Metro Detroit non-profit committed to supporting students and teachers with the donation of school supplies that they would have otherwise had to go without.  This particular non-profit challenged Lawrence Tech’s Media Communication students to come up with videos based on the idea that students who are considered to be “at-risk” are found all over Metro Detroit.  Additionally, the non-profit challenged the Business Management students to come up with a marketing plan promoting a new effort at OKE to involve local businesses by having them donate unused office supplies to the cause.

Though the Spring 2011 is yet to be announced students at Lawrence Tech are anxiously awaiting the announcement.  Because who doesn’t love (and NEED) scholarship money.  In addition to providing financial support to students, Community Connect allows students to explore entrepreneurial ventures of their own through the competition, network with successful local entrepreneurs, and to create exposure for themselves and their work.

For more information about Operation: Kid Equip check them out at http://operationkidequip.org/ or on Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/okequip.

January 24, 2011 at 3:31 am 4 comments


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