Award Presented at 6th Annual Conference of the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship
Springfield, MA – February 6, 2009 – Community college student Chris Leach, a California inventor who sold a patent for his first invention for millions of dollars, has been named the 2009 E-Myth Worldwide Entrepreneur of the Year. The award recognizes entrepreneurs and the community colleges they have attended. E-Myth Worldwide, a leading provider of business development systems for entrepreneurs, established the award three years ago through the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), which invites students, faculty persons, administrators and entrepreneurs to make nominations.
The award was presented at the 6th Annual NACCE Conference, which was held in Anaheim, CA, last month. Leach accepted a check for $2,000 for his school, West Hills Community College (WHCC) in Lemoore, CA. The award will be used to support entrepreneurship programs.
Leach’s story is truly a rags-to-riches saga. While working as many as three jobs to support his wife and four daughters, he was attending WHCC. Professor Monte Paden encouraged him to enroll in Paden’s Introduction to Entrepreneurship course so he could learn the necessary skills to become a successful entrepreneur.
“Chris came to me in late 2005 with a great idea for an invention,” Paden wrote in his award nomination for Leach. “With my encouragement Chris did what every great inventor does, heads to the garage to work on his idea. After many months of explosions, burnt fingers and eyebrows he had a working prototype. Now that Chris had a viable prototype our time was spent on discussing how great entrepreneurs take their ideas to market. But first he had to patent his idea. With very little income Chris managed to scrape up just enough for filing fees. Then the long wait began--nearly 18 months after filing--he was granted a patent. In the end, Chris sold his design for a car stereo add-on to a prominent audio company for a multi-million-dollar price tag plus royalties that should earn him an additional million each year.”
Leach will graduate with an A.A degree in Computer Information Science and will also earn a Certificate in Web Development in the spring of 2009. He plans to attend Fresno State University this coming fall. He also runs his business “Think,” an idea brokerage firm.
“Chris Leach’s story is amazing and provides tremendous encouragement to others who are learning about entrepreneurship at community colleges all across the nation,” said Heather Van Sickle, executive director of NACCE. “We are extremely pleased to be able to bring his story to the attention of our members, who also find it extremely inspiring and motivational.”
To be eligible for the E-Myth Worldwide award, entrepreneurs must have attended a community college, been in business for three years, and achieved annual gross revenues of $500,000. Nominators were asked to explain why the entrepreneur deserves this award and how the community college they attended assisted them in becoming a successful entrepreneur.
About E-Myth Worldwide For almost 30 years, E-Myth Worldwide - the leading results-based entrepreneurial solutions provider - has been committed to the success of the small business owner. E-Myth Worldwide enables entrepreneurs to transform their businesses, and their lives, with interactive and pragmatic business development systems. For more information, visit www.e-myth.com.
About the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) connects community college administrators and faculty with knowledge and successful practices regarding entrepreneurial thinking, entrepreneurship education, and student business incubation. NACCE holds an annual conference, hosts a dynamic list-serv, develops web resources such as shared entrepreneurship curricula and syllabi for faculty, creates guides in beginning and sustaining entrepreneurship and student business incubation programs, as well as, tips for grant proposals specific to entrepreneurial endeavors at community colleges. For more information, visit http://www.nacce.com.