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Breakout Notes: Integrating Innovation and Entrepreneurial Thinking Throughout

Posted By Jeanne Yocum, Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The team of presenters were from Houston Community College, Northwest and included: Sandra Louvier, Director for Entrepreneurship; Linda Koffel, Marketing Professor; Evelyn Velasquez, Dean of Workforce & Economic Development; and Zachary Hodges, President of HCC, Northwest and winner of NACCE’s 2013 Entrepreneurial President Award.


This presentation was based on the idea that every middle-class job today is changing faster than ever. Jobs require more skills, are farmed out globally and many become obsolete. HCC’s workforce strategy is designed to empower students to adapt to changes in technologies and the market, create solutions and re-invent their roles and careers continuously throughout their lifetimes.


Dr. Hodges: HCC has been a strategic institution. If we don’t do our job in creating a 21st century workforce for Houston, then Houston is doomed. We have a changing demographic, very entrepreneurial in essence, wildcat mentality, free wheeling. The bigger you area and the harder you fall, if you fail and try again you are valued in Houston. With the oil and gas industry, with the port, with medicine, with entrepreneurship, it is happening, a big time international city.


What we’re faced with is how do we create access and opportunity for everyone. Houston is on the front end of the challenge that is through America is how do we create opportunity in a 21st century workforce and I believe the answer is entrepreneurship. This is going to be critical to our success. The Arab spring is happening and it’s happening in our country as well. How do we provide people with access and opportunity in a new and creative way. It’s taking people where they are and providing opportunity for them there.


You need to do whatever it takes to bring this message back to your institution and push that envelope of change in your institution. It’s all grassroots and taking people where they are and helping them be successful. It’s going to happen one-on-one within the context of entrepreneurship. Get after it because this is the 21st century.


Sandra: NACCE has provided us with ammunition to build the case  for entrepreneurship on our campuses.


Kids today will go through 16 jobs in their career. It’s not so much what you know but what you can do with what you know. What is becoming as important or more important than the knowledge is the ability to innovate, solve problems and bring something new to life. Need critical thinking, collaboration skills and community skills.


Everyone is going to become an entrepreneur.


Today’s job market: Includes a lot of outsourcing. A lot of independent contracting in which the person is a solopreneur. Intraprapreneurs, who need to be like entreprepreneurs within a company.  Sidepreneurs – people who have side businesses. Jacks of all trades. Acquipreneurs – some companies are buying companies beause they want the talent in it.


So basically we’re all entrepreneurs and we need to be able to create value, take risks, be ambitious and be able to create something new.


What role does entrepreneurship education have I preparing people to be these types of employees, these types of entrepreneurs?


Evelyn: NACCE wanted to identify the most essential skills of entrepreneurs and the attributes of a community college should have to help those people be successful and essential practices when serving new or current business owners.  Did a Delphi study to reach consensus to determine these things. (The results of this study are available in NACCE’s Quick Start Guide #1, available through the NACCE website under Publications and Resources.)


Sandra: The entrepreneurship eco-system: Entrepreneurs are most successful when they have access to the resources they need (human, financial and professional) and operate in an environment in which government policies encourage and safeguard entrepreneurs. (This definition is from Babson)


Domains of the eco-system: policy (government), finance, culture, supports (professional services available to help people), human capital (education for the entrepreneurs and for workers they could hire), and markets.


NACCE’s Presidents for Entrepreneurship Action Steps are important in terms of helping to create the right environment and the setting the stage for implementing the essential practices.  Every action that you take make sure it fits one of these steps so that if your president has signed the NACCE pledge you can keep them informed about how what you’re doing fits the action steps. (You can find these steps on the NACCE website in the Presidents for Entrepreneurship Pledge section.)


How HCC has done it:

Entrepreneurship Strategy Phase I.

-       Identify key community partners.

-       Start a business plan competition

-       Developed workshops, seminars and book camps

-       Create a vibrant website:

-       Develop Entrepreneurial certificates

-       Partner with Continuing Education (so you could enroll either for credit or noncredit) and offer a variety of delivery methods


Phase II

-       Grow community partnerships

-       Faculty training on entrepreneurial thinking/the new "Mindset” (key is to have someone leading this that is respected across the faculty and who speaks the faculty’s language

-       Embed entrepreneurship into curriculum

-       Develop entrepreneurial partnerships with Workforce programs

-       Nurture a culture across the college community with administrators, faculty and student services.


Linda presented information on faculty training on entrepreneurial thinking/”the new mindset,” one of the key elements of moving your program forward.


The divide is we have academic on one side and workforce on the other, which is true on many campuses. For much of my career at HCC it was as if there was one camp over here and one camp over there. For some years, I was in roles that happened to make me the umbrella that brought the two together.


The challenge is getting faculty to bring entrepreneurial thinking into their classrooms. We planned this strategically. We knew we couldn’t go directly to the academic faculty and say we want you to teach entrepreneurial skills in your classroom because that wouldn’t fly. I did a presentation at a faculty symposium and introduced it there. Have to use a different terminology. I would call it an oxymoron stealth promotion. We went out and did a proposal to the faculty about how to improve their students’ critical thinking skills, initiative, etc. and didn’t mention entrepreneurship except in the small print.


Gathered a core of people who were interested in the topic. With that core then we formed a little group and planned a conference. The name of it was "the Power of Choice” called them self-direction or enterprising skills (didn’t call them entrepreneurship skills). Provided food and a stipend to the faculty. Had over 60 people at the conference and the majority of them were on the academic side.

Had one panel of workforce people but also had people teaching history, etc., who talked about teaching these skills in their classroom.


We talked about entrepreneurship skills; we just didn’t make it the title of the conference or the main theme.


End of conference was for them to outline a module for their classes coming up about what would they now do in their English or history class or chemistry class re: these skills.


Are piloting HP-LIFE and considering how to use elements of the Ice House program in courses.


We have a core of 65 people and we are encouraging them to let us know what they’re doing and then we’re going to get that published.


Provide faculty with stipends and monetary incentives to make it worth their while to go the extra mile with bringing this into their classrooms.


Comments re: embedding entrepreneurship into Workforce curriculum:


Every workforce program could use this. Examples: horticulture; audio recording & film making, etc.

So our next step is who is going to be a good partner with the certificate to have that marriage of academic and workforce. So people have the AAS plus the certificate in entrepreneurship.



Zach Hodges concluded by talking about nurturing a culture across the college.


We have a culture that we’ve created where everybody has the opportunity to thrive. When I hire faculty I tell them I don’t care what your passion is; I just care that you have one. So everyone has the opportunity to move forward and thrive around their passion.


One of the seven tenets of our strategic plan for all of Houston Community College is entrepreneurship.


What I would end up is to go back to this concept that human capital development = economic development = community development. It is about this country is facing it’s own new Arab spring and it is about opportunity and access to the American dream so it is really important for all of us to understand that that is going to happen at the grassroots. And even as they come in as students asking them questions. Asking them what are their dreams, your aspirations, your assets, your liabilities.


Human capacity building in the 21st century is what it’s all about.



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General Session Notes: Decades of Knowledge Shared: How Entrepreneurs Learn and How Colleges Meet Their Needs

Posted By Jeanne Yocum, Wednesday, October 16, 2013

This panel was moderated by Jon Robinson of the Kauffman Foundation. Panelists were Wendy Torrance, director of Entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation; Marc Nager, CEO and co-founder of UP Global and Start-up Weekend; and Garrett Hinshaw, president of Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, NC.


You can listen to the audio recording of this session here.

The three panelists spoke about their work and then Jon asked questions. Here first are the panelists presentations:


Wendy presented lessons learned from a decade of engagement with four-year colleges via Kauffman. She said the big question people ask who are starting down the path of creating an e-ship program is where should it be located in the school; should it be located in the business department or where? The answer is there is no one answer.  Finding the right answer depends on many factors, such as the economy in which you operate, the existing entrepreneurship eco-system, etc.

One of the biggest challenges is how to think about the balance between thinking and doing. Sometimes there is a tendency to emphasize plodding thinking over doing. Seek to find a balance between those two – provide students with the theoretical framework but also give them the opportunity to do and to act and to try things about, including building their own venture.


How do you know how well you’re doing in your programs? Use caution in using metrics that are easy to quantify, but education can have an impact much broader than the easy to measure things like jobs created, financing obtained, etc. Measure what influence the education had on the student cultivate champions


Marc talked about the value of experiential learning and Start-up Weekend’s experience so far. Here are his comments:


Think how you went through your own entrepreneurial journey. Did someone teach you or did you learn things yourself? E-ship is easy to learn but it’s hard to teach. You need to target something that people are personally invested in right there. This has a lot to do with the success of start-up weekend over the last 4 years. People aren’t there to learn things but that’s exactly what we’re doing. Our whole model is about that experiential learning.


How do we drive integration between what’s happening on the grassroots level in a community and tie that to the efforts at a community college? How can we take more nontraditional communities and integrate them into the community of standard entrepreneurs. Artists, craftspeople, etc.


We have a new program called "Next,” which is a 4 to 5 week program that answers what happens after you’ve gone through Start-up Weekend. What’s in between start-up weekend and the accelerator or incubator experience. That’s what this program is for. You dive deeper into questions like who is your customer and the actual business model, getting deeper into revenue models and marketing, etc.


The most exciting thing for us with Startup Weekend is taking what we’re learning in the consumer web tech area and apply that to other industries, like the maker market, the medical market.


Garrett talked about the importance of disruption and also about the Innovation Fund that will soon be launching in North Carolina. Here are his remarks:

I want you to think about disruption. A lot of times disruption has a negative connotation, but let’s think about disruption from a different context. Think about a hospital operating room and the line showing the patient’s heart rate goes flat and the beeping stops. The doctors and nurses have to deliver a shock to change the direction of that patient. Similarly, we have to change the direction in which we as community colleges are headed. We have built such a great history  and we’re not devaluing the history at all because it has done so much for us in democratizing higher education.


Example of disruption: Catawba Valley Community College has a manufacturing solutions center; it has everything someone needs to bring a product to market. We’ve worked with businesses in 48 states and from countries around the world. That’s disruption to the normal community college environment.


Need to make sure the world outside our walls knows the impact we can bring. Innovation Fund North Carolina is a statewide initiative that is focused on lighting up the network of community colleges and universities we have in this state. We have an opportunity to provide some glue to bring forth the services and networks entrepreneurs looking to start businesses in our state.


We’ll provide pre-seed funding, those who have run out of credit card and family/friends resources. That’s a gap that exists here in NC and it’s been validated by every entrepreneurial person I’ve talked to. Beginning December 17, a community college, doing investing, raising the resources to create the change in the social economy to drive this state forward. Long Beach doing the same thing in CA, and Johnson County CC in Kansas will be doing the same thing. We have the opportunity to increase that pipeline and insure that more of these new businesses get up to that angel investment level. It includes education; we have to insure that we inject ourselves, whether they like it or not, to be in their game room to help them create outstanding results in the future.


Disruption does not mean we are tossing out the bath water. How many of you here tack an e-ship certificate onto every diploma that you give out at your institution? None. We don’t either. My question to you is why not? Every CEO I talk with says these are skills that they are looking for in the people they hire. I challenge you to go back to your campus and ask that question. Why haven’t we placed the emphasis on the critical things that our business and industry and the universities want to see in our graduates?


Jon: What have you learned about the coaching and mentorship process and bringing guest speakers to provide context to your lessons?


Marc: I generally use the phrase "mentors are like mushrooms." I’ve seen as many coaches or mentors kill companies; probably more do that than there are ones that give great advice to entrepreneurs. We use the term coach whiplash, getting opposing advice from coaches. We don’t call anyone who comes to Startup Weekend a mentor; we call them coaches. A mentor is someone you have a personal relationship with. We try to get away from speakers; we think they have little value beyond the marketing. We generally only have one per weekend. We require that they stay for the whole two days.


Wendy: One of the challenges is that there are a lot of powerful stories out there and there are probably people in your communities who can come in and tell powerful story but there is a risk on basing decisions based on parts of their stories. For example, someone who comes in and says they founded the company with their best friends. Well, it turns out that this is not a good thing; studies actually show founding a business with your best friend is often a disaster. It’s important for your students to be able to put the speaker’s story in context. Their pathway is not the pathway for everyone.


Make sure that people who want to coach or mentor are not there trolling for investment opportunities but rather are there for the right reasons, that they want to educate.


Jon: Where do you see the role of the community college in the entrepreneurial ecosystem?


Marc: Community colleges are incredible feeders, even more so in our world than standard four-year university programs. The entrepreneurs who come from community colleges tend to have more work experience under their belt and so they tend to have better solutions to problems. That demographic has the ability to use the just-in-time learning. 


Jon: Where do you see the community college being part of the entrepreneurship ecosystem 10 years from now and what are some of the things that are going to stop us from getting to be where we want to be and what the workarounds are?


Garrett: The winners of the FastPitch competition represent what community colleges do. The ability to access many, many different types of individuals who have a history with us and have a comfort level with our colleges, if we really deployed our efforts to focus on entrepreneurship we don’t know what our impact could be. Ten years is too late; we have to focus on this now. People have to know there is a place for them and their ideas and it’s the community college right in their back yard. There are a lot of individual traits to be successful as an entrepreneur but we can give them the ability to realize those traits and be successful

Tags:  NACCE  NACCE2013 

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General Session Notes: Next Gen Entrepreneurs – Next Gen College

Posted By Jeanne Yocum, Tuesday, October 15, 2013

This session brought together a panel of student entrepreneurs and recent graduates who are entrepreneurs to discuss what the next generation of entrepreneurs wants from their entrepreneurial college. The panel included:

• Ben Biron, student and co-founder and CMO of Alcohoot.  He is from Israel and came to the U.S. on a soccer scholarship with no intention of becoming an entrepreneur. His company has created a breathalyzer for a smart phone. They were part of the accelerator in Packard Place in Charlotte.


• Juliette Brindakk, graduated from college 2 and a half years ago. She launched her business, Miss O & Friends, when she was in high school. The company helps girls build self-esteem without advertising that to them. It’s a fun community for girls and it has an international reach.


• Jason Jannal is a college graduate who started GreeNEWit with partners. The company was initially funded with zero-percent credit cards. Their initial idea was to do green renovations but they realized they had no experience and not enough money for that. So they decided that doing energy audits was a light enough business model that they could get into and focus on service.


• Sheena Lindahl is cofounder and president of Empact, which facilitates entrepreneurship throughout the world.


These students and former students had great agreement on what colleges need to do to provide students with the support they need to become entrepreneurs, so rather than highlighting who said what, I’ve just grouped all of their comments together below:


One of the biggest questions on people’s minds is how do I get money, but that’s really the wrong question. Focusing on companies that get $10 million overnight is not what young people should be focused on. Breaking that down into the pieces of how you actually start a business and helping people to learn by trial and fire, that is the facilitation is what needs to happen.


There is a myth that being an entrepreneur is about being a millionaire and making it overnight. But the overnight successes are really more like 15 years of hard work. For the most part it’s a process and I think that’s important to know.

The emotional side of entrepreneurship is important. Sure the hard skills are really important but that emotional component is there when you’re starting. For so many people you look at these success stories that are the focus of the media and you think you don’t have what it takes to be that entrepreneur. The Mark Zuckerburg model is the wrong model.


When I hear the word entrepreneurship, I equate that with a leader, someone who is willing to stand tall when times are uncertain. I never considered myself as an entrepreneur; but I considered myself as someone who would lead and bring people along. People need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. There’s a scene in "Game of Thrones,” where the son asks the king, "How can I show courage when I’m scared?” And the king’s response was that’s the only time you can show courage. That’s what people have to be willing to take on.


You need to go get your ass kicked a little bit to know how you’re going to respond.


You need to be okay with failure and need to be put into situations where you’re not always going to come out on top.  By making it a known fact that if you’re not succeeding in every single thing you’re trying to do, that enables people to learn, by making that known.


I don’t think you can teach it [the courage an entrepreneur needs] but I think everyone has it within them. We’re all born with endless possibilities. For some people that courage comes out more naturally but the question is how do you draw that out of everyone?


Going into college with having a business already put me in a different situation. Because, of course, everything is always on the same day. I had a frustrating experience. I would let professors know in advance when I had a conflict. There was this one teacher who was a social entrepreneurship teacher; that was the only business class I took in college. At the start I told him about my company but when I had one of the largest meetings in my life and I also had a test that day, he said you have to choose. For him to tell me I needed to make one a priority when they [my business and my education] were both equal priorities to me was wrong. Thankfully the meeting got moved. As a teacher who was encouraging entrepreneurship (he also had his own company) it was so hypocritical. So when students with businesses come to you, it’s important to understand that students have two passions and not make them to choose.


If a community college could act as a huge magnet for mentors, that would make a real difference.


For me, I felt I didn’t have those resources, even though they had an entrepreneurship center, I never felt they reached out in any way to help me do what I was already doing.


Incubation is the best thing schools can do.


Emotions and self doubt are really big. But  when hard skills are the big thing in the classroom, some of the things [like emotion and self-doubt ]that will be the real roadblocks will be pushed aside.


[The curriculum should ] really help people refine their idea. A lot of people come in and say they’re not sure what they want to do and that’s okay. If you have already decided what you want, you’ve already done a lot of the heavy lifting. If the colleges could facilitate people finding what they want and the next step would be kicking them out of the next and get roughed up a little bit and them after they have those experiences bring them back in and provide the resources they need.


Let someone's start-up be part of the requirement for the class.


[To generate excitement about entrepreneurship on campus, I would get very loud about it. I would be leveraging the most current form of marketing so I saw resonating with the kind of people I hope to attract. The other thing would be trying to do everything I can to get relevant mentors into the program; that will bring people to the table. Outside of that I would be just very focused on helping people decide what they want to do as soon as possible.


I had a class I which we had to write memos. Memos are 20 years ago. Classes should be engaging and videos, notes should be on line.  


In terms of building excitement around campus, one of the most important things is having students be passionate about it; not just start something beause they think they should start something. Bringing out the passion in students is the most important thing. Once you can do that a gillion ideas will come out of them. But just to start something for the sake of starting something isn’t always a good idea.


The real asset that college campuses have is the people; you’ve go the faculty and the other students. One of the things at the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour has learned is that you have to get that energy and that passion out there. They need to see themselves as fulfilling that and that gets them excited.



Tags:  NACCE  NACCE2013 

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General Session Notes: Hacking the Community College Business Model

Posted By Jeanne Yocum, Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Hear the recording of this panel discussion here.

This very distinguished panel included:

Mike Hennessy, Coleman Foundation

Saras Sarasvathy, University of Virginia Darden Graduate School of Business

Joe Abraham, author and founder of BOSI Global


Here are snippets of their very thought-provoking comments:

Mike Hennessy: I think community colleges need to stick a bigger stake in the ground so entrepreneurship is really seen  as economic development; and we need to be strong advocates to make sure self-employment is really seen as being in the forefront of economic development. In the end somebody has to sell something and somebody has to buy something and if we don’t do that, we’re talking about the same things over and over again.


From day 1 we also need to be thinking about where entrepreneurship fits. That process needs to start early for those who don’t realize yet who they are and also for those who come from entrepreneurial families. What are the kinds of experiences that students should engage in during their time at school?


Entrepreneurs need to be actively engaged in the content of the programs you do. There just cannot be too many entrepreneurs on campus.


There is a change coming; we can either be part of it or we can get run over by it. There is a sense of impatience when you talk to young entrepreneurs about the types of experiences they want to have in school. Some of the traditional sources are not going to be as meaningful unless they keep up. We have incubators and accelerators in Chicago that I never thought I’d live to see.


Community colleges see themselves as part of economic development. I don’t see that at four-year schools or in high schools. We need to say to them that they can’t sit on the sidelines any more. There is an incubator going into a high school in Chicago. The students are demanding this kind of activity; we just need to make sure the parents and other stakeholders also demand this kind of activity.


Saras Sarasvathy: There are a lot of things we can do to prepare students to become job creators as well as seeking jobs. It should also be in the menu of options that are available to students that they should think about the possibility of starting a business.


When I talk about the entrepreneurial method, we don’t mean a method to become an entrepreneur or start a venture. I actually mean something like the scientific method – a method for moving through history and creating progress. Entrepreneurship is one way to do this.


Through history as human beings we tend to listen to people with power and money. But the entire movement of progress has been to bring the bottom up or move the good life downward. The things that happened in the 17th and 18th centuries - like the bill of rights - this was all about bringing the good life down to ordinary folks like you and me.


It’s normal for us to think what utopia looks like. But in the process we are ignoring another toolbox that is available to us. This is people who see a little problem and think "There is something I can do about it.” These are people who are able to live in the mud of today and they’re able to make something a little better. They figure outsomething that is doable and worth doing and the beauty of it is that they actually do it.


You can change the world without risking everything. Figure out what you are willing to lose until you figure out bigger paths to follow.


What would a bunch of crazy people – people with different world views – how do you get people to come into doing the work with you? This is the crazy quilt principle. When you actually move something, people are willing to get on the train with you even if it’s only moving at five miles an hour.


We can live in a changing world without knowing how to predict the future. Entrepreneurs have figured out this world view of how do we make good decisions without trying to predict the uncertain.


Joe Abraham: I don’t envy you trying to bring entrepreneurship into a community college; it’s sort of the equivalent of trying to bring a dance club into a convent. If you are really going to make entrepreneurship work in and through your campus, here are some tips:


Tip 1: Go nonacademic. Everything you teach your students, every course you offer, just go as nonacademic as you can. Go as practitioner-based as you can. Because most academic study of entrepreneurship is 10 years behind.


Are all entrepreneurs the same? No, but today what you see in most places where entrepreneurship is being taught, they assume all entrepreneurs are all the same.


Tip 2: Go where the entrepreneurs are going.  When people come ot your college and say they have a great e-ship program that you should use, ask them how many entrepreneurs are using that exact methodology in their business and growing their businesses with it. Entrepreneurs know what works; they will flock to it.


The real opportunity is to team up with entrepreneurs when they’re in their second and third stage businesses. That’s where the game changing impact is.

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Breakout Notes: Future Forward Now – Technical Programs Should Produce Entrepreneurial Thinkers, Not Just Technicians

Posted By Jeanne Yocum, Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Presented by Jim Correll, facilitator/business coach at Independence Community College in Kansas. Jim billed this session as "A Challenge to Your Paradigm About Entrepreneurship.”


Entrepreneurial Thinking: Equivalent to adipose stem cell therapy for the economy. Entrepreneurs can be injected into an economy, they know how to find the problems and fix them.


We can take ordinary people and if we give them the right mindset we can have extraordinary people doing extraordinary things.


Independence Community College, 750 FTE, Town population is about 9,000. 74 miles north of Tulsa OK in Southeast Kansas.


At NACCE2011, he was introduced to the entrepreneurial imperative by Carl Schramm and "Who Owns the Ice House?” by Clifton Taulbert and Gary Schoeniger. Up until then he knew the program at his school was lacking inspiration. Initiated weekly "Entrepreneurs Brown Bag Lunch” series. Began an Entrepreneurial Mindset featuring the Ice House” in 2012. Also in 2012, started semi-annual Entrepreneurial Showcase. All of this has started to build an entrepreneurial eco-system. Also have an annual "Innovation Summit” to celebrate innovation.


He takes some of his students to job fairs with him. And they talk to people about whether they’ve ever thought of doing something on their own. They say yes, but it’s been beaten out of them. He tells them he has brought two entrepreneurs who are actually doing it and you can talk to them.


In the middle of his third semester of the Ice House course. Had about 30 people go through.


Started to watch what is going on in the marketplace. Seth Godin talks about the day of the average are almost over; people don’t want average any more. People want exception and customized stuff. I tell students that they’re entering a world that wants exceptional but you’re not going to get that from your normal education. So you’re going to have to figure that out o your own.  I figure if we can give them the entrepreneurial mindset that will help them find the exceptional for them, whether they are working for someone or working for themselves.


Orange County Choppers is an example. They’re certain not ordinary and they probably don’t have ordinary people. We’re headed into a world where I think everyone is going to need to think like an entrepreneur in the way they approach problems.


Jim’s idea is for an Entrepreneurial Mindset Certificate that would be made up of the what he calls the Mindset course, for which he uses much of the Ice House Course and also brings in entrepreneurs to speak, plus a visual fabrications course using a fab lab. This would provide people who want to create things with the mindset they need to succeed as entrepreneurs.


Mindset Course is three credit hours. It is offered at night and during the day.


Where are we headed:

-       Exceptional and customized

-       Not average and not mass produced

-       Need for exceptional workers

-       Not average and mass produced


Gary Schoeniger, of the Ice House Program, stopped by to talk about the entrepreneurial mindset.


Gary: There is something bigger to entrepreneurship than business. These tools we’re teaching in finance, and legal and marketing, that’s fine once you have a business and are operating. But what to entrepreneurs really do? How do they identify an opportunity when no one else can see it?


Gary: To demonstrate the essence of entrepreneurial thinking has nothing to do with business; the essence to be entrepreneurial resides in every person. When people see they can bring their own talents to the world to create something they awaken.


Gary: It’s a way of thinking and of acting that provides great access to human potential.

It’s a search to find out the interaction between what your students like to do and are good at and what people need.


Gary: The search for an entrepreneurial opportunity doesn’t require great industry experience; as a matter of fact naivety is a great thing. It requires us to be iterative and be incremental. It’s something that anyone can embrace.


Jim: The idea of character first, which is the idea that we should be paying as much attention to character as to technical skills. If we expose our students to that then and they go out into the workplace, maybe they can introduce some of their employers to this.  It’s built around 49 character traits; and you pick one and talk about one each month with your employees.


Tulsa Fab Lab is a community based fab lab. Would make a good model for a small college like his. Has 3D printing machines and conventional woodworking and metalworking tools, set up in a lab environment where people can come in and with minimal instruction, do rapid prototyping. He has been working for six months to get his people to set one of these up because he thinks if they had a fab lab. In his environment it would be a hybrid that would be used by students and community members. So he’s received the go-ahead if he can raise the money. Will be about 5000 square feet and will blend the fab lab and an entrepreneurship center.


In his 2nd year of the Ice House class, so that’s one part of this he has done. Hopes to have fab lab ready by next fall.


Their entrepreneurial community is growing. Their brown bag lunches have really taken off. The whole entrepreneurial community in his area is the chance that he might be able to get the money he needs for the fab lab. He has been presenting this model to this group over the last few months.


Hurdles he’s run into: academic and political culture. State funding model is about 180 degrees away from all this. Continues to talk with legislators.


Typical comment he gets from people who take the Mindset class: "I’ve always thought this way, but this course gives me reinforcement that I’m not the only one.”


For more information, his e-mail is


Tags:  Ice House curriculum  NACCE  NACCE2013 

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Comments from Impact Award Winners

Posted By Jeanne Yocum, Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Here are snippets from the acceptance speeches of this morning’s Impact Award winners; this program is sponsored by Community College Week:


Zach Hodges, Houston Community College, Northwest, 2013 Entrepreneurial President of 2013 – In 2007, some Houston businessmen came to me and said they wanted to make a difference in the community. They are still working with us and my role in this has been to always find a way to always say yes to them.”


Sandy Louvier, Houston Community College – I came to my first NACCE conference in 2009 when I had only been with the college for a few months. I thought, "Here’s my people!” Some of the people who inspired me were Donna Duffy and Carlene Cassidy. There’s a lot more to do; let’s do it together.


Jamie Zanios, North Iowa Area Community College – Entrepreneurship has been a passion, and when you do something that is a passion, it doesn’t seem like work. Most successful programs have brought in people who have been entrepreneurs to create new entrepreneurs so keep that I mind when you’re developing your programs.


Alumni Entrepreneur Award winners:


Heather Howe, Fields of Heather Bakery – Speaking of Heather, Carlene Cassidy said, "My dream for you is that you get to have a student like Heather Howe some day.”

Heather: "I would not be here with Anne Arundel Community College; I loved it so much that I went back twice and have received three associate degrees.”


Sarah Pizzaro, Ability Home Care, Indian River State College – Has grown her business by 400 percent and currently employs 45 individuals. "I appreciate and value the education I received at my college.”


Fabi Preslar, SPARK Publications, Central Piedmont Community College – "Central Piedmont Community College launched my life and my career.”


Tags:  NACCE  NACCE2013  NACE Impact Awards 

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Winners of NACCE Entrepreneurial College in Action Grants

Posted By Jeanne Yocum, Tuesday, October 15, 2013

One of the most exciting announcements made at every NACCE Conference is the winners of the Coleman grants. Competition was brisk in this year’s competition, which is titled the NACCE Entrepreneurial College in Action Grants, powered by the Coleman Foundation. As Mike Hennessy of Coleman pointed out during the award presentation, there were 30-some applicants. Those were narrowed down to 18 semi-finalists and then down to 13 finalists. Mike noted that there was more president participation in the pitches this year than ever before. Over $162,000 is being awarded to 11 colleges.


Drum Roll, Please!!!

And the 2013 winners are:

Houston Community College

Hillsborough Community College

Bismarck State College

Feather River College

Muscatine Community College

Cleveland Community College

Eastern West Virginia Community & Technical College

South Mountain Community College

Kaskaskia College

Walla Walla Community College

Mohawk Valley Community College

Tags:  Coleman Foundation  NACCE  NACCE2013 

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Alumni Award Winners Show the Impact of Entrepreneurship on People’s Lives

Posted By Jeanne Yocum, Monday, October 14, 2013

Also at tomorrow morning’s general session, three outstanding community college alumni will be honored. Each of their stories shows how entrepreneurship changes people’s lives. Congratulations to them all.


·       Alumni Entrepreneurs:

Sarah Pizarro, owner of Ability Home Care Inc. Port Saint Lucie, FL Pizarro graduated from Indian River State College in Ft. Pierce, FL, with a BAS in Organizational Management in 2010. In 2008, Pizarro opened Ability Home Care Inc., servicing patients on the Treasure Coast and Palm Beach County. Using the skills she learned while taking courses at IRSC, Sarah has grown her business by 400 percent and currently employs 45 individuals. In addition to quality care services, Ability Home Care Inc. also operates the Ability Career Institute, which offers the training needed to become a licensed Certified Nursing Assistant or Certified Home Health Aide. Pizarro was recognized in the 2012 Empact 100 Showcase, which recognizes organizations started by entrepreneurs aged 35 and under, and whose annual revenues or operating budgets are more than $100,000.


    Fabi Preslar, owner of SPARK Publications, Charlotte, NC – A graduate of Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, NC. Preslar owns and manages SPARK Publications, a 15-year-old graphic design and creative publications firm, whose staff of six full-time employees serves over 150 entrepreneurial (local and national) companies, universities and associations. Preslar has received numerous recognitions, including the Richard H. Hagemeyer Educational Advancement Award from Central Piedmont Community College in 2009. SPARK Publications has received more than 80 industry awards for their creative and effective client projects. Preslar shares her time and energy as a mentor and advisor and serves as an award selection judge for several national entrepreneurial competitions. Since 2009, she has served on the Central Piedmont Community College Advisory Board for Advertising + Graphic Design and among other positions serves as a mentor in the Pride Entrepreneurial Education Program.  


    Heather Howe, owner of Fields of Heather Bakery – Chester, MDHowe received her degree in Baking and Pastry as well as Business Management and Entrepreneurship from Anne Arundel Community College (AACC) in Arnold, MD.  She then got her Bachelors in Food Service Entrepreneurship from Johnson & Wales University. She started with a handful of customers in 2001 and now serves hundreds of customers and is growing every month. Fields of Heather Bakery was awarded The Golden Anchor Award of 2012 for Best Bakery and Favorite Business Owner; Howe also won the "Spirit of Entrepreneurship: Rising Star" from Entrepreneurs Exchange in 2011. Howe hosts Business Management and Entrepreneurial Studies classes in her bakery and describe to the students how she became a successful entrepreneur, thus infusing those students with her entrepreneurial spirit. She also mentors students involved in the Entrepreneurial Studies Club on campus and has hired AACC students and alumni to work in her bakery.   



Tags:  NACCE  NACCE Impact Awards  NACCE2013 

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Impact Award Winners Also Will Be Honored Tomorrow

Posted By Jeanne Yocum, Monday, October 14, 2013

This year we have two outstanding Impact Award winners, who will be honored tomorrow at the morning’s general sessions:

·    Sandra Louvier, Director, Center for Entrepreneurship at Houston Community College, Houston, Texas - Louvier was hired in 2009 to assist in creating and launching HCC’s first Center for Entrepreneurship. She has played a key role in establishing the Center for Entrepreneurship as a community focal point for students to access HCC programs and those of its strategic partners. Her work with external partner Newspring on the annual HCC Newspring Business Plan Competition has helped increase recruitment of prepared students and contestants. She has also established, maintained and developed ongoing strategic partnerships with entities such as SCORE, Constant Contact, Chambers of Commerce, UH SBDC, Economic Development Agencies and Management Districts. Louvier has also served in various positions in the 10,000 Small Businesses project devoted primarily to recruitment of small business owners through community, regional, and national partners. Louvier serves as an ambassador for NACCE due to her active participation in NACCE and use of NACCE resources and contacts to grow HCC programs over the last five years. She is in contact with over 50 colleges in 30 states on behalf of NACCE to assist members in accessing NACCE resources to grow their programs.  


    Jamie Zanios, Vice President, North Iowa Area Community College,

Mason City, Iowa - Zanios directs NIACC’s Institutional Advancement division and the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, where he initiated the John Pappajohn Business Incubator and Accelerator. He is working to have entrepreneurship curriculum in all degree areas across NIACC’s campus and is supporting Entrepreneurial Academies in local high schools. Outside the college, he has solidified ties with local communities by initiating a Leadership symposium for e-ship, creating a Community Venture Capital Funds, and has been a driver for helping many companies with succession planning, access to capital and making the networks to take the business to another level.  He worked to solidify strong partnerships with the area Economic Development and Chamber Offices to help local businesses succeed in. Zanios also has been the key driver to establishing a statewide business plan completion and has led the efforts since its inception. In addition, he established the Iowa Angel Network bringing in Venture Capitalist's from around the Midwest to look at Iowa-based deals and chairs the committee today.


Tags:  NACCE  NACCE Impact Awards  NACCE2013 

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2013 Entrepreneurial President Award Will Be Presented Tomorrow A.M.

Posted By Jeanne Yocum, Monday, October 14, 2013

Dr. Zachary Hodges, president of Houston Community College – Northwest will receive the 2013 NACCE Entrepreneurial President award at tomorrow morning’s General Session. He’s been driving entrepreneurship at HCC-Northwest for the past seven years, to great effect for his college and the community it serves. Read these bits of the award nomination and you’ll quickly see why Dr. Hodges earned this high honor:


"As Dr. Hodges so aptly puts it:  Human Capital (equals) Economic Development (equals) Community Development. In 2007, Dr. Hodges, partnering with a group of innovative business leaders, launched HCC’s first business plan competition, awarding prize money to aspiring entrepreneurs. Taking progressive steps by testing small projects and building successes that fueled support for the next phase of growth in entrepreneurship, Dr. Hodges realized HCC’s first Center for Entrepreneurship in 2009 by committing start-up funding to hire a director for the Center, and tapped into Houston’s vibrant entrepreneurial eco-system and entrepreneurial leaders in the area


"Dr. Hodges is an internal and external champion of entrepreneurial endeavors at the highest levels of leadership in the Houston entrepreneurial community. He seeks out and participates with the best in the nation to educate and inspire himself and the HCC leadership as to the profound impact entrepreneurial thinking can have in terms of operating an entrepreneurial college, empowering small business owners, and in preparing an innovative and entrepreneurship-minded proactive workforce for Houston. His collaborative and generous spirit creates an environment that allows other presidents and key thought-leaders to become major players thereby contributing to the college’s growing success and recognition.   Dr. Hodges was the first HCC president to sign the NACCE Presidents for Entrepreneurship Pledge and has encouraged other presidents and funded key staff to attend conferences and workshops and become members of NACCE in order to further the entrepreneurship mission.


"The strong foundation and success of the Center for Entrepreneurship was instrumental in HCC being selected to implement the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative in 2010. The continuing success and commitment to both programs has been validated through the creation of an entrepreneurial position at the district level, plans for system-wide entrepreneurial initiatives including program curriculum and new facilities to house these initiatives and the inclusion of entrepreneurship in Houston Community College System’s Strategic Plan 2012-2015. HCC has been chosen as one of the top 10 potential impact colleges in the country by the AACC, NACCE and the Kauffman Foundation to participate in the Slingshot Colleges project. Dr. Hodges shares, educates, and solicits buy-in from the highest leadership organizations: the Energy Corridor Management District Board, West Houston Association Board, Indo-American Chamber, Katy Chamber of Commerce Board, Houston West Chamber of Commerce Committees, West Houston Leadership Institute, Leadership Houston, Center for Houston's Future, Alief Community Association, the International Management District and the Texas Association of Business regarding HCC’s entrepreneurial vision and commitment to our area’s economic vitality.”

Tags:  Houston Community College  NACCE  NACCE2013 

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