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School of Business Programs Headline Global Entrepreneurship Week

November 24, 2008
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The School of Business, along with The Launch Pad at the University’s Toppel Career Center, joined countries around the world in promoting Global Entrepreneurship Week, a rangeE-360 of activities designed to inform, mentor and engage the next generation of entrepreneurs. During the week of November 17, the School hosted a number of programs as part of its 360-degree approach to entrepreneurship education.

A number of the School’s entrepreneurship classes were opened to the public. Phil Needles, management lecturer, opened up three sessions of his High Potential Ventures undergraduate class. The sessions offered the opportunity for those attending to participate in simulations related to high-growth new ventures. Students engaged in a 20 minute meeting simulation performed by an entrepreneur and business professional with investment experience. The objective was to help the participants understand how new ventures are valued and how deals are structured.
Marc Junkunc, assistant professor of management, opened his MBA class, Entrepreneurship and Initial Public Offerings, with guest speaker Ruy Chaves, the founder of Plastrom Sensormatic, one of the main suppliers of electronic security solutions to supermarkets and other retailers in Brazil. He spoke with students and answered their questions about Growth Entrepreneurship and IPOs, stressing the importance of staying involved with all aspects of a business to ensure its growth.

“We want to make sure we have indicators that can show you where we’re going. Looking at the average number of sales calls per month might indicate some kind of risk, for example,” Chaves said.

Another open MBA entrepreneurship class, Entrepreneurship and Business Plan Development, featured David Clark, who spoke with students about business plan development. Clark is the founder of BGT Partners, a leading Web design, strategy and development firm in Miami. BGT has been a leader in its industry since it was founded in 1996 and has since worked for many clients designing and developing their web presence and strategy, including leading Fortune 500 companies.

The School also hosted a panel of five young School of Business entrepreneurs who discussed their entrepreneurial endeavors, lessons learned in school and beyond, and advice for success.

“The big thing I took from my experience here was the importance of finding a mentor; finding someone who would take me under their wing and guide me,” said Rishi Kapoor, who graduated with a BBA in finance and management in 2006. Kapoor is the president and founder of Pallas Staffing Group, a national executive search firm dedicated to placing professionals in the legal, accounting, medical, and engineering fields.

The entrepreneurs also spoke about the intricacies of day-to-day operations and the importance of finding good partners and employees.

“You have to make sure as the business grows they grow,” said Diego Valera, BBA ’06, a co-founder of Holstein Housewares. Valera founded the company with his sister Vanessa Valera, BBA ‘04, who was also on the panel. “If you’re doing 50 million or 100 million, are they going to be the right person for the job?”

The panel also included School of Business senior Matt Byrd, the president of Select Foam Inc., senior Chris Nelson, the company’s CFO; and Matt Sinnreich BBA,’08, founder and president of The Luxury Index and co-founder and chairman of We Wash.

Other Global Entrepreneurship Week events hosted by the School included a roundtable on entrepreneurship and a panel on networking.
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