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Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship Year in Review: August 2013-May 2014

“At Hiram College, entrepreneurship is more than organizing and starting a business. It is a way of thinking that is innovative, opportunity-focused and growth-oriented. In this Year-in-Review, I used this “way of thinking” as the lens to assess how far we have come....”

Entrepreneurship is growth-oriented. Hiram’s reputation locally, regionally and even nationally is growing because of its Integrated Entrepreneurship Program and Center. The Program and Center is growing – currently the second most popular minor at Hiram with over 55 minors, including 15 graduating seniors this May. And most importantly, our students are growing personally and professionally, which you will see as you read the stories highlighted in this Year-in-Review. It has been a great year of entrepreneurial action at Hiram - full of innovation, opportunity and growth! We hope you enjoy this issue.

Kay F. Molkentin

Entrepreneurship is opportunity focused. Hiram saw the opportunity for entrepreneurship to enhance the liberal arts and for the liberal arts to enhance entrepreneurship. The Center is providing opportunities for faculty, staff and students to explore, find and develop their inner-entrepreneur. Our students are seizing the opportunities made available to them to test their entrepreneurial ideas and further their entrepreneurial spirit.

letter from the director

Entrepreneurship is innovative. Seven years ago, Hiram College leapt at the chance to integrate entrepreneurship and the liberal arts. Our faculty have been innovative in how they have developed new or revised existing courses to intertwine the entrepreneurial mindset and skillset. The Center has been innovative in the co-curricular activities it offers and the people and organizations it partners with to enhance students’ experiences. And our students have been innovative, which is evident in the ideas being presented at ideablitz! and ideabuild! every year.



ryan Nemire ’13 took first place at the Entrepreneurship Education Consortium’s ideaLabs regional competition on March 21, 2013 at Kent State University. Nemire, an environmental studies and biology major, won with his idea Citrus Icer, a novel product for the agricultural industry.

Nemire, representing Hiram, competed against students from Ashland University, Baldwin Wallace University, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, John Carroll University, Lake Erie College, Kent State University, The University of Akron, and University of Mt. Union, all of whom were the top winners at their schools’ competition.

In addition to winning a cash prize, which he intends to use to continue to pursue his idea, Bryan also made a number of pretty fantastic contacts with the judging panel to expand his network and connect him to some very valuable resources!

hiram student wins regional competition Bryan Nemire ’13 takes first at ideaLabs



hiram hosts EEC’s Immersion Week August 5-9, 2013


his past August, Hiram’s Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship hosted the Entrepreneurship Education Consortium’s (EEC) Entrepreneurship Immersion Week (EIW), a program recognized nationally for its innovativeness in teaching entrepreneurship. Forty-six students from nine EEC member schools attended academic sessions and participated in breakout sessions to explore business ideas, innovation, creativity, and networking. Each team also spent the week developing a business concept that they then presented to a panel of judges at the end of the week. The winning teams this year were: Ashland University, Kent State University, and John Carroll University, respectively. While Hiram’s team did not finish in the top three, they still had a great experience and learned what it takes to develop an idea and be an entrepreneur. “This was such a tremendous learning experience for me. I’m so happy I participated in EIW and I wish you and the Hiram 2014 team the best of luck next year!,” said Kaitlin Ruszkowski ’14, Hiram Team member along with Ryan Kuhar ’14, Bhavneet Kala ’14, Shane Young ’14 and Elle Rochford ’14. As host, Hiram’s Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship received rave reviews from the students, faculty and outside presenters. Complements were received not only for the program, but also for the facilities, food, and of course our Hiram hospitality! Next year’s Immersion Week will be hosted at the University of Akron, August 3-8, 2014.


he Terrier Trader, Hiram’s NEW retail store managed by senior entrepreneurship minors, opened in September. The Terrier Trader is the retail outlet for The Terrier Bakery, the former Olive Branch Fair Trade and Eco-Friendly Store, the developing Art with Heart, and products from Hiram students, alumni and local small entrepreneurs. The store is part of The Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship’s Student Run Ventures (SRV), which are college owned, faculty championed, curriculum connected and student run.

Built around experiential learning, The Terrier Trader provides students the opportunity to work and learn in this entrepreneurial environment through a variety of Hiram classes, such as ACCT22700: Small Business Accounting Workshop, ENTR48500: SRV Internship, and the first-year colloquium and seminar Terrier Bakery related courses. The Terrier Trader bridges the gap between classroom learning and realworld application, as well as providing opportunities for students from a variety of disciplines to get involved and interact – each bringing their perspective and skill set to the venture. Students from the ACCT and ENTR classes come together to form the Management Team of the store and work together to implement ideas at all levels of the store from marketing strategies to multi-year plans.


the terrier trader opens

Hiram’s first student-run venture retail store

“Working at The Terrier Trader has been the second most influential experience I have had during my time at Hiram College, next to a study abroad trip. My major is Management, and I am currently going to work as a Management Trainee. Before taking this class, I had no experience in a business setting. I believe that this class has thoroughly prepared me for my career. I have learned that taking responsibility for your own success and being able to see the fruits of doing so is extremely rewarding. Not only because of the sales, but because you know that you invested yourself into a product with the belief that it would sell, and watching your product become one of the best-selling items in the store.” Matt Russell ’14, General Manager, Terrier Trader, Management Major, Entrepreneurship Minor Sales Trainee, Ferguson Enterprises, Fort Myers, FL “I initially got involved with the Trader for my Entrepreneurship minor. However, working at the Terrier Trader has exceeded my expectations, and has provided me with great real world experiences. These experiences will help me immensely as I look to obtain a leadership position after graduating in May. Overall, my experience with the Terrier Trader, through the ups and downs, is something that will stick with me through the rest of my life. I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of a great group of people, who have all been working tirelessly towards one common goal. Patrick Cozzens ’14, Operations Manager, Terrier Trader Management Major, Entrepreneurship Minor, Sales Intern, Sherwin Williams, Cleveland, OH

“I felt this course gave me hands on experience on the structure of a company on a smaller scale, similar to what I will potentially be entering into when I graduate. This course definitely gave me and my fellow manager a unique addition to our resumes. In conclusion, what everyone should realize, is that this course did not only assist those of us enrolled, but also the campus community by hiring other students and allowing current and past students to sell their products in the store. I would advise more students to take this course.” Jameal Welcome ’14, Marketing Manager, Terrier Trader Management Major, Entrepreneurship Minor

What our students learned

Daniel Fanzo ’14, Human Resource Manager, Terrier Trader, Management Major, Entrepreneurship Minor, Sales Intern, Ferguson Enterprises, Streetsboro Ohio

terrier trader experiences

“I served as the human resource manager at The Terrier Trader. Not having a lot of experience in a business setting provided me with some of the tools I will need in the future to become a successful manager. I have gained experience dealing with customer service, the everyday operations it takes to run a successful store, and the reality of being a part of a venture. As graduation is arriving, I am so thankful that I received this opportunity to be a member at The Terrier Trader because of all the experience and memories I have gained throughout the year.



t the fifth annual ideablitz! competition on November 7, 2013, fourteen innovative ideas were pitched by thirty-five students from across the College to a panel of outside judges. Each student or team had five minutes to present followed by three minutes of Q & A from the judges. Ideas were judged on concept, market need, technological and competitive attributes, pricing, uniqueness, and presentation.

All participants received feedback about their concepts and presentation from the panel of judges: Scott Altman, Senior VP, Raymond James; Daniel Moss, Owner, UnSwing; Joe Koelliker, President and Owner, Koelliker and Associates; Chris Romeo, Owner, Attention to Detail; and Al Meszaros, Founder and Partner, Midwest Investments. The top three winners were: 1st Place ($500.00) – Nicola Pedretti ’16 with What’s Good? 2nd Place ($300.00) - Nicole Pueyo Svoboda ’15 with PreCheck 3rd Place ($200.00) - Devonta Fleetion ’16, Michael Helco ’15, Margaret Picolo ’14, Richard Simpson ’14, and Andrew Torres ’16, with “Cleanliness Alert System,” “There were a lot of good ideas. I’m hoping a lot of them will consider taking it further and participate in ideabuild!2014 in March,” said Center Director Molkentin.


idea competitions - fall 2013 Students hit homeruns at ideablitz!


idea competitions - spring 2014 ideabuild - building beyond the concept


he Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship held its 5th annual ideabuild! competition on March 19, 2014. Ideabuild!, as the name implies, challenges students to build their idea beyond the concept stage of ideablitz! to test their ideas feasibility. Teams of up to five students had six minutes to present their idea, followed by three minutes of questions from the judges. Ideas were judged on concept, market need, techno¬logical and competitive attributes, pricing, uniqueness, and presentation. This year 14 ideas were presented by 36 students either presenting as a team or individually.

This year the ideas and presentations were so good that the competition was too close to call. Nicole Pueyo Svoboda ’15 (NUR) and Justin Lonis ‘14 (ACCT/FIN) tied for first place. Svoboda’s “Biotikos,” and Lonis’ “Advanced Balance Board” had the judges deadlocked, so both were awarded first place and a $1,000 prize. Cory Weddington ’17 took third place and a prize of $250 for his idea “Wing-Span.” The judges left Center Director Kay Molkentin and Professor David Kukurza with the tough decision of which of the two 1st Place winners would go on to represent Hiram at the regional Entrepreneurship Education Consortium’s ideaLabs competition on April 3, 2014 at Ashland University. After much deliberation Justin Lonis was selected to move on to the ideaLabs competition (see next story….)


his spring two Hiram students entered their ideas in regional competitions and finished very well.

Senior Justin Lonis (pictured on the left), who tied for first at the ideabuild! competition, represented Hiram at the Entrepreneurship Education Consortium’s ideaLabs regional competition on April 3, 2014 at Ashland University. Lonis, an Accounting and Communication double major and Entrepreneurship minor, finished third and a cash prize of $1,000 with his idea Advanced Balance Board™, a new and improved device for rehabbing ankle injuries and potentially tracking the progress of concussion patients. Since competing against the top winners from Ashland University, Baldwin Wallace University, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, John Carroll University, Lake Erie College, Kent State University, University of Akron, and University of Mt. Union, Lonis has filled a provisional patent on his product and is looking for other competitions to enter. Sophomore Ethan Holmes (pictured on the right) started his company, Holmes Mouthwatering Applesauce, at the age of 15 after reading “Reallionaire,” the inspiring story of Farrah Gray, an African-American boy who made a million dollars at 14 through his own food product. On April 7, 2014, Holmes, a Management major and Entrepreneurship minor, took Second Place in the Charter One Foundation’s Student Business Idea Competition at the JumpStart’s Northeast Ohio Entrepreneur Expo.


idea competitions - regional Hiram students do well on the road


ENTR321 @ Shaker LaunchHouse story by Christina Russ


There isn’t a way to predict the everyday challenges and hurdles that come with entrepreneurship. But students in Dave Kukurza’s Integrative Entrepreneurship 3-Week course are getting a pretty good idea of what it’s like. They spend the three weeks working side-by-side with entrepreneurs in various stages of getting their business or product off the ground.

Kukurza, academic program director for the entrepreneurship minor, teaches this course each 3-Week semester at LaunchHouse, a business development firm in Shaker Heights. Only about a third of the class consists of actual classroom instruction; students spend the rest of the time paired with one of the development firm’s start-ups, and throughout the three weeks, they do real research, consulting and presentations for the company. The result is a win-win for both parties, and for the students, the experience often leads to an internship offer.

“The students win because they’re working with something first hand as if it’s their company,” Kukurza said. “They’re exposed to personalities, circumstances, people, events – things that aren’t talked about in a text book. At the same time, the companies win, because they get a fresh set of young eyes.” Juniors Evan Bender and Scott Betts, both entrepreneurship minors, worked with a software start-up called CompassMD, a company with an innovative approach to cutting down medical costs and bills. “I’ve learned that an understanding of what you’ve learned so far will only somewhat prepare you,” Bender said. “You never know what’s going to happen each day.” Aside from the experience they are gaining working side-by-side with entrepreneurs, Kukurza said another benefit of the class is the amount of presentation work required. Each Thursday, students gave a presentation on their work and findings to the class, their entrepreneur partner and others on the staff at LaunchHouse. “If you’re going to be an entrepreneur, you’re standing there pretty naked in front of the world,” he said. “You must learn to sell yourself and your product.” And even if they don’t decide to pursue the entrepreneur route, they’re learning skills that will make them marketable in any job. “They have the underpinnings of business all through the curriculum,” Kukurza said. “When they’re done, they’re very marketable in many situations.”


his summer the Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship will host 32 high school students at the inaugural Learning to Launch E-Academy. Learning to Launch is an intensive 4-day, 3-night, academic immersion experience for rising high school juniors and seniors to learn what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. During the Academy the students will be taken through the steps of creativity, innovation, opportunity recognition, market analysis, start-up financials and personal, professional and leadership development. They will also work in teams to develop an idea, applying the skills learned as they go, and present their ideas in a rocket pitch competition. Learning to Launch will take place June 22 – 25. All participants will receive $1,000 renewable scholarship if they choose to enroll as a full time student at Hiram College. For more information please visit .

Entrepreneurship is not just about starting a business; it is a process by which you can be the change you want to see in the world (Ghandi).



learning to launch e-academy

Developing the next generation of entrepreneurs

For more information about Entrepreneurship at Hiram College, contact Kay F. Molkentin, Director of the Center, 330.569.5256 David Kukurza, Academic Program Director, 330.569.5480 About the Spring 2014 Entrepreneurship Year in Review Graphic Design provided by Sarah Bianchi Photography provided by Samuel J. Adams, Kay Molkentin, and Christina Russ Visit us on the web: Find us on Facebook: The Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship at Hiram College

Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship | Spring 2014 Newsletter  
Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship | Spring 2014 Newsletter  

News from Hiram College's Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship