Belmont students know finding industry gaps and solutions to meet the market’s needs are the key to entrepreneurial success.
For Lexington, Ky. senior Ross Hill, that path meant finding an alternative for traditional picture booths, which he found were too cumbersome and at times took up to an hour to set up. His solution, PictureBooth earned his startup $5,000 and him the title of “Outstanding Student Entrepreneur of the Year” during the Belmont Student Business Plan Competition sponsored by Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC on March 15.
“PictureBooth was created out of necessity. It is a portable, shippable photo booth that creates social media for brands. It can be set up in five to 10 minutes and decreases cost by using social media to share pictures instead of printing,” said Hill, who already has gained Red Bull and Krispy Kreme as clients.
Although the competition prize winnings will enable Hill to manufacture 10 additional PictureBooths, Hill said it was Belmont’s entrepreneurship program that enabled his business to flourish.
“This competition has been a culmination of my last three and a half years at Belmont learning from all the entrepreneurship professors,” Hill said. “I had to prepare a pitch to get investment for this business, and that helped narrow the focus and figure out the target market. Preparing for a business plan competition shows you the starting and finish line so that you know where you are going and not wandering around aimlessly.” (more…)
Dr. Jeff Cornwall, Belmont University’s Jack C. Massey Chair in Entrepreneurship, was named Friday as the Entrepreneurship Educator of the Year by the United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE). Cornwall was selected from a group of distinguished nominees and chosen for his countless and enduring contributions to entrepreneurship education.
“To be named the most outstanding educator in one’s field in higher education is the highest compliment a professor can receive,” said Belmont’s College of Business Administration Dean Dr. Pat Raines. “Jeff’s professional accomplishments and the prestige that he has brought to Belmont’s entrepreneurship program make him an extraordinarily worthwhile recipient of this award.”
Dr. Cornwall said, “I am humbled to be recognized this way for the work that I do as an entrepreneurship educator.”
Past winners of the award include faculty members from Oklahoma State University, University of Texas (Austin), Stanford University, Purdue University and Baylor University, among others.
Belmont senior Tom Haarlander is paving his road to success through three entrepreneurship ventures that provide medical supplies, manufacture them in China and import the products into Europe and the United States. Although he expects to gross nearly $6 million between his three companies this year, the University gave him an unprecedented opportunity Wednesday to practice his pitch before venturing to trade shows to promote teeth-whitening cold wave lasers, anti-aging facial probes and medical optical lamps.
“[The Center for Entrepreneurship] brings stability to what you are doing. I can put my foot to the gas and run all over, but if I don’t have a solid foundation, it will fall apart,” Haarlander said.
Forty-two businesses participated in Belmont’s first-ever Entrepreneurship Village held Wednesday morning under white tents surrounding the Bell Tower. Thirteen alumni returned to Belmont for the village, including Erin O. Anderson, owner of artist management company Olivia Management.
“The best thing [about the village] is getting to know students at Belmont and getting to encourage them,” said Anderson (’06). “I tell them, ‘You may not be sure what you want to do, but you can do it on your own.’ It’s been fun to encourage students to start their own businesses.”
The village featured companies of various industries including smart phone applications, graphic design, videography, photography, music publishing, construction, vintage jewelry, custom apparel printing and textbooks. The purpose of the event was to display the innovation, creativity and success of Belmont’s entrepreneurship students and alumni. (more…)
Belmont University’s entrepreneurship program was honored as the top program in the country in teaching and innovation Saturday evening by the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers (GCEC) during the organization’s annual conference. Designed to showcase and celebrate the very best of university entrepreneurship, the GCEC presented Belmont’s Center for Entrepreneurship with the Award for Excellence in Entrepreneurship Teaching and Pedagogical Innovation, an award whose prior recipients include Villanova University (PA), University of Maryland and Wake Forest University (NC). This year Belmont’s program beat out peer finalists from the University of North Carolina, University of Florida, University of Arizona, University of St Thomas and Milliken University to be named the top program.
The GCEC current membership totals 200 university-based entrepreneurship centers ranging in age from well established and nationally ranked to new and emerging centers. Each year a global conference is held on the campus of a GCEC member school with the 2012 conference held this past weekend at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Jeff Cornwall, director of Belmont’s Center for Entrepreneurship and the Jack C. Massey chair of entrepreneurship, said, “We are honored to be singled out from a group of entrepreneurship programs that includes several of the leading programs in the country. The fact that this award recognizes innovation in all aspects of our program, including undergraduate, graduate and co-curricular activities, is particularly rewarding.”
Center for Entrepreneurship recognized for fifth consecutive year
Belmont University’s Center for Entrepreneurship is one of the best in the nation according to The Princeton Review. The education services company today named the University No. 19 on its list of “Top Undergraduate Schools for Entrepreneurship Programs.”
Based on surveys of business school administrators at nearly 2,000 schools about their institution’s entrepreneurship offerings, the annual lists salute 50 programs in all – 25 undergraduate and 25 graduate – for their excellence in entrepreneurship education.
“It is an extraordinary accomplishment for our entrepreneurship program to have been ranked five times in the Top 25 by Entrepreneur magazine. Our faculty’s passion for innovation cultivates an environment in which students can achieve entrepreneurial success,” said College of Business Administration Dean Patrick Raines. “Our students benefit from engagement with local entrepreneurs, enter business plan competitions, and get involved in our student-run businesses or utilize our Hatchery to develop their start-up enterprises. We are very proud of the accomplishments of our students and the impact our alumni are making in the business world.”
More than 70 percent of entrepreneurship faculty have started or run a successful business, and 44 percent of the last graduating class have launched a business. The center also has 10 mentorship programs and five student organizations to support students as they begin their entrepreneurial endeavors.
“For a small program like ours to be consistently ranked among top programs is a testimony to the quality of our students and the tireless efforts of our Center for Entrepreneurship staff and faculty,” said Center for Entrepreneurship Director Jeff Cornwall. (more…)