Member News Notes
Monday, February 7, 2011
Posted by: Matthew Montoya
CPCC - Innovative & Entrepreneurial
Thirty-five of Central Piedmont Community College's most creative minds were assembled last fall by college president, Dr. Tony Zeiss. The objective was to find new and innovative ways to generate revenue and reduce spending. This task would be a challenge under ordinary circumstances and even more so in a struggling economy. With looming state and local budget cuts and a 26.5 percent increase in enrollment over the past three years, the college is attempting to capture the creativity of its faculty and staff to help find new ways to raise institutional revenues to continue to respond to the growing educational and job training needs of the Charlotte region.
The group, appointed by Dr. Zeiss, is formally known as the President's Entrepreneurial Team (PET). The team gathers several times per year for sessions to present and discuss new ideas. Subgroups meet throughout the year to further explore the most promising ideas, develop action plans, and submit projects to the College Cabinet for approval and implementation. The PET provides a unique forum which fosters creativity, embodies the CPCC's entrepreneurial spirit, and forges relationships and collaborations between different units of the college.
At the most recent fall meeting, more than 40 cost-saving and revenue-generating ideas were presented by team members. Serious and lively discussion ensued as members voted on their top picks for potential new revenue-enhancing projects. A myriad of ideas ranging from green initiatives, to streamlining services, to creative advertising options were hot topics. The meeting was stimulating and provided a wonderful opportunity for collaboration among staff representing each of CPCC's six campuses, and it has helped to underscore a college case value of entrepreneurialism. As a result of the meeting, 10 ideas were selected for additional study; small committees of team members will examine the feasibility of these ideas and will report back to PET in early 2011.
"Experience Entrepreneurship" Held at Westchester Community College
The Institute for Entrepreneurial Studiesat Westchester Community College, in Valhalla, NY, hosted "Experience Entrepreneurship,” its first campus event at WCC, during Global Entrepreneurship Week 2010. The IES was launched in August 2010 to promote entrepreneurship at Westchester Community College and in the community through WCC's new Gateway center. The IES partnered with WCC's Entrepreneurship & Networking Club, the Professional Development Center and the English Language Institute to introduce entrepreneurship to students, faculty and staff with several events:
- Ten9eight, the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) National Business Plan Competition video, was viewed during the week as credit and non-credit students, and faculty attended, either individually or by class. The video was also shown to various English Language Institute classes, followed by discussions of the characteristics of successful entrepreneurs.
- The Entrepreneurship & Networking Club hosted Speed Networking at the student center. Club members delivered ‘elevator pitches' during the event, in which faculty, students and staff participated.
- The Professional Development Center provided three entertaining entrepreneurs for a panel discussion during the Young Entrepreneurs Forum.
The events achieved several key campus-oriented goals: engage students and faculty in entrepreneurship; build awareness of the institute for entrepreneurial studies and entrepreneurship; attract new members to the Entrepreneurship & Networking Club; and discover new opportunities for building a campus-wide Entrepreneurial Studies program.
Rock Valley College Launches Entrepreneurial Program
Rock Valley Collegein Rockford, IL, has begun moving forward with an entrepreneurial program. The initial phase of this process finished last spring with the development of a new degree option in Entrepreneurship. Certificate options are available for students with degrees or students who are seeking the tools for opening a new business. The Business Department intends to extensively market this program campus and community wide to insure the widest possible audience and dispel the perception that entrepreneurship is for business students only.
Rock Valley College is collaborating with the Rockford Area Economic Development Council and the Rock River Valley Entrepreneurship Center to enhance the exposure of the credit program opportunities. The collaboration includes incubator capabilities, interactions with various governmental agencies, such as the Small Business Administration and the U.S. Department of Commerce. The strength of these existing entities with the addition of the academic approach creates significant opportunities for the community that will return economic benefits in a variety of different venues.
Among the many objectives of this new program is the ability to strengthen awareness of entrepreneurial activities and value to secondary students. The ultimate achievement in this regard will be the retention of the brightest and best individuals, who will rebuild the local economy versus losing this core of individuals to other areas.
One activity that assists in accomplishing this objective is an annual entrepreneurial summer camp operated in conjunction with the Rockford School District. This event introduces participants to entrepreneurship at the beginner level while creating awareness of the opportunities available in education and implementation of business concepts in our local communities.
Additional opportunities exist in local Fast Pitch Competitions and throughout the entrepreneurial network in the surrounding counties. Finally, Rock Valley College supports a local SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) chapter, and the program will collaborate with this organization in many different aspects.
Frazee Incubator Opens at M State
Minnesota State Community and Technical College's(M State) Business & Entrepreneurial Services opened business incubator offices in Frazee, MN, in December in cooperation with Frazee's Economic Development Authority (EDA). The Business & Entrepreneurial Services (BES) has been collaborating with area communities on helping grow businesses in the region for the past two years. Frazee's EDA and BES worked on this collaboration over a six-month period after reviewing the current incubator model in Detroit Lakes located on the campus of M State.
"The Frazee EDA is excited to be one of the first to help facilitate this opportunity,” says Jonathan Smith, administrator, City of Frazee. "We feel this will be a vital part of enhancing everything Frazee has to offer and brings a new dimension to our downtown. We are excited to partner with M State's BES and look forward to great results.”
The business incubator is housed in a building purchased by the Frazee EDA, which has partnered with M State's BES to manage and provide the infrastructure needed. The incubator offers multi-use traditional office space, retail space and industrial space for new to nearly new businesses to lease and grow their businesses or explore ideas and inventions. In addition to office space, incubation tenants receive support services including copy/fax/printing networks, a conference room with Skype capabilities and conference calling, a reception area, and limited administrative support. Business counseling, training and education are also offered for tenants