Jon Acuff, best-selling author of Stuff Christians Like, spoke last week in the Massey Board Room about the five lies every entrepreneur must ignore in order to succeed. An experienced speaker and the creator of StuffChristiansLike.net, a blog read by more than two million people in 97 percent of the countries in the world, Acuff has worked with companies like Home Depot, Chick-fil-A, Bose and Staples on their brand positioning and marketing.
In a talk sponsored by Belmont’s Center for Entrepreneurship, Acuff spoke on “5 Lies Every Entrepreneur Must Ignore to Succeed,” captivating a completely packed room of hopeful Belmont students and faculty by delivering his powerful message with a lighthearted and slightly comical spin.
He began by emphasizing the fact that technology and social media have completely redefined our generation’s standards and opportunities among the business realm. Acuff claimed that “consumer behavior has changed” because “our generation is the most over-marketed” generation in comparison to ever before.
The exorbitant amount of information that technology offers allows consumers to research and become aware of nearly anything, and they desire truth in marketing. Acuff brought up an example of change in comparing Nike’s marketing slogan years ago versus now to illustrate this point of truth in marketing. At one point, Nike’s marketing campaign was “Be Like Mike” which inferred to the consumer that by wearing Air Jordan shoes one could be like Michael Jordan. Now Nike’s marketing campaign is “Our shoes work if you do.” This pointed example prefaced Acuff’s message of entrepreneurs being mindful of the lies that can often detour one’s success.
In partnership with the Isaiah 58 ministry at Belmont Church, the Belmont University Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team is making a difference in the lives of a group of Nashville’s homeless and formerly incarcerated via a rather unusual means—recycling mattresses.
The non-profit, Spring Back Recycling, launched “Spring Back Nashville” just over six months ago and already more than 1,700 mattresses have been disassembled and recycled. The Belmont SIFE students spent a full year developing the business model for Spring Back, analyzing operations, accounting, marketing, legal contracts and safety procedures. Belmont Church’s Isaiah 58 ministry thereafter partnered with the team, providing an available facility, equipment, as well as an eager and capable workforce for the start-up business. Isaiah 58’s School of Life ministry is a residential program that helps formerly incarcerated men get back on their feet. With Spring Back Nashville, the men are disassembling old mattresses into scrap metal, cotton and foam—more than 85 percent of each mattress can be fully recycled.
Dr. John Gonas, associate professor of finance and SIFE advisor at Belmont, said, “I’m amazed that the Belmont students have created such a sustainable, scalable and economically viable business that blesses the community with a solid employment opportunity while simultaneously keeping so much recyclable waste out of landfills.”
Belmont alum Jake Jorgovan (2011) was recognized as the Young Entrepreneur of the year at the 2011 NEXT Awards, and his company, Rabbit Hole Creative LLC, won the Digital Media Award for Growth. From its inception at Belmont, Rabbit Hole has already worked with top name clients like Dolly Parton, Cee Lo Green, Paramore, Nashville’s Live on The Green concert series and Cirque du Soleil.
From emerging startups to growth companies to well-established market movers, the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Entrepreneur Center’s NEXT Awards recognize Middle Tennessee companies and entrepreneurs making the most significant impact on our local economy.
The 8th Annual CIBER (Center for International Business Education and Research) Case Challenge was hosted by the University of Connecticut, in Storrs, CT, on October 19-23, 2011. The CIBER Case Challenge brings teams from around the world together to compete each year by analyzing and presenting an international business case.
Students from 15 universities formed teams for the competition. Each four-student team had at least one student from an international business school and three students from different U.S. schools. This year was the first year for Belmont University to attend the CIBER Case Challenge. Our business student competitors were Ayesha Gaffar, Jordan Holt, Patrick Hurt, and Rami Nofal.
Ayesha Ghaffar’s team won their preliminary round competition of five teams and competed in the final round to place third, out of fifteen, in the competition overall. Two other Belmont students were awarded individual awards in the preliminary round among their five teams. Jordan Holt was named “Best Presenter” and Patrick Hurt was named “Best Q&A.” Belmont was the only university with two students recognized for individual awards. Congratulations to our students!
If you are interested in marketing/brand management, one platform you’ll be sure to utilize is Facebook. Never before has it been as easy and economical to connect with consumers, but the key is determining how to do so in a dynamic and meaningful way.
Earlier this month, Facebook’s Global VP for Marketing Solutions discussed upcoming changes for FB, walked through marketing opportunities, and shared a few helpful case studies. You can view Ms. Everson's talk below.
Belmont entrepreneurship professor Jeff Cornwall was recently named as a Small Business Influencer 2011 by Small Business Trends. The award honors companies, organizations and people who have made a meaningful and lasting impact on the North American small business market. Nominees are suggested by their peers, then voted on by the public and a panel of judges to select the top 100 honorees.
“I am very fortunate to be able to work with our students and alumni as they build their businesses. While surveys indicate that attitudes of most small business owners are not at all positive due to the continued weak economy, I have the pleasure of working with young entrepreneurs who continue to be full of optimism and hope for the future,” Cornwall said.
Author of One White Face, Hilary Corna recently shared her experience working internationally with students in Belmont's College of Business. Sponsored by the International Business Society, the Former Senior Executive Officer & Kaizen Leader for Toyota spoke about her work abroad and the skills necessary for young professionals entering the global work environment. She encouraged students to acquire second language skills and to take advantage of networking and study abroad opportunities. Ms. Corna is on a Campus Book & Speaking tour in partnership with Toyota Motor USA.
As Belmont welcomes its largest incoming class ever, so are we in the Undergraduate School of Business. We have a very impressive group joining us from 26 states and several countries. This freshmen class is made up of student government leaders, Girls/Boys State delegates, athletes, worship leaders, musicians, community servers, mission trip workers, valedictorians, etc. We are proud to have them with us and look forward to getting to know them better during their time at Belmont!
In addition to new students, we have four accomplished faculty joining us this fall — Colin Cannonier, Assistant Professor of Economics, Dennis Chen, Assistant Professor of Management in International Business, Lora Harding, Assistant Professor of Marketing, and Mark Phillips, Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship.
As we continue to innovate and look for the best ways to engage students and equip them for the future, we have added a few new special opportunities for learning. For example, our financial information center, the first educational financial trading classroom in the State of Tennessee, now has four touch screen monitors, enabling students to access a variety of data instantaneously.
In addition, our Center for Entrepreneurship will have two new campus-based businesses up and running this fall — BLVD Music Shop, which just recently opened on Belmont Blvd, and Belmont Apps Development Agency, which is launching in collaboration with alumni who started the app firm Aloompa.
We encourage students to get involved in at least one of our various student organizations this year and take advantage of the excellent internship and service opportunities they have access to. Now is the time to utilize all of the great resources Belmont has to offer!
We wish all of our students, faculty and staff the best as we begin this new academic year together!
As regional champions for the sixth consecutive year, the Belmont University Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team competed last week at the SIFE USA National Exposition in Minneapolis, finishing in the Top 8 this year following last year’s national championship victory. In one of the largest collegiate competitions in the country, SIFE teams from more than 400 campuses presented their service projects to panels of corporate judges to determine which teams have had the most impact improving people's lives. The mission of SIFE is “To bring together the top leaders of today and tomorrow to create a better, more sustainable world through the positive power of business.”
Belmont has once again been ranked among the best undergraduate business schools by Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Notably, Belmont is the highest ranked TN school to be included in the 2011 list. Special thanks to our students, faculty and staff for making our business program one of the best in the country!