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Registration Open for 10th Annual NACCE Entrepreneurship Conference

Monday, July 9, 2012   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kristina Moy
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CONTACT: Heather Van Sickle
(413) 306-3131 ext. 303



NACCE Hosts Annual National Conference in Chicago; Celebrates 10th Year


SPRINGFIELD, MA – July 17, 2012 -- The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship will host its 10th annual national conference October 7-10 in Chicago. This year’s conference theme, "Committed to Entrepreneurship,” underscores NACCE’s 10th year as a major force in entrepreneurship education, and its role in spearheading a national movement among community colleges to develop a new breed of educators and administrators dedicated to helping underserved entrepreneurs start, run and grow thriving companies. The three-day conference, which is expected to draw some 500 community college administrators and faculty, will take place at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare, one of the country’s top conference and event venues.

"The NACCE Conference brings together community college administrators and faculty, foundations and entrepreneurs who are committed to building the resources needed to nurture entrepreneurs and the small business owners,” says NACCE Executive Director Heather Van Sickle. "Our conference will have over 50 learning sessions and workshops that will highlight the amazing work being done at community college across the country to support the entrepreneurial aspirations of the people they serve.”

Highlights of the conference, which is expected to be NACCE’s largest ever, include:

NACCE Award Nominations

Each year NACCE recognizes a group of leaders who have impacted the growth of entrepreneurship. This year, NACCE will continue this tradition by announcing the following: Alumni Entrepreneur Award, Entrepreneurial President Award, Lifetime Achievement Award, and Impact Awards. Community College Week sponsors this award program. The deadline for nominations is August 3.

Student Entrepreneur Business Showcase

The showcase offers cash prizes to three students who capture the most "investment” money during a presentation of their innovative business idea or small business. Presentations will be October 8 during the conference, with winners announced later in the day. Students must complete an application and obtain a faculty recommendation to enter. The deadline for nominations is September 18.

Student Essay Contest

NACCE is sponsoring an essay contest for entrants to express how entrepreneurship education at community colleges benefits students. The winner will win a travel stipend and free admission to the conference to read his/her essay to conference attendees. Deadline for entries is September 18.

Presidents for Entrepreneurship Forum Presentation

Four community college presidents who have joined NACCE’s new Presidents for Entrepreneurship Forum, will discuss the impact the Forum is having on their efforts to advance entrepreneurship in their communities. Speaking will be Zachary Hodges, Houston Community College, Houston, TX; Edwin Massey, Indian River Community College, Fort Pierce, FL; Susan May, Fox Valley Technical College, Appleton, WI; and Ron Thomas, Dakota County Technical College, Rosemount, MN.

Keynote speakers

• Johnny Earle, founder of Johnny Cupcakes, turned a simple idea, joke and hobby into a multimillion-dollar business using nontraditional business strategies and innovative marketing techniques. Starting his business at the age of 19, he has created an international business that currently has stores in Los Angeles, London, and Boston.

• John Harthorne is founder and CEO of MassChallenge, the world’s largest accelerator program and startup competition. Launched in 2011, MassChallenge awards $1 million in cash prizes each year and provides world-class mentorship and training, free office space, access to funding and media to high-impact, early stage entrepreneurs. President Obama honored MassChallenge in 2011 as one of the nation’s best organizations for supporting high-growth entrepreneurs. Harthorne is the winner of the 2007 MIT $100K Business Plan Competition; upon trying to launch his proposed company he saw first hand the difficulty of start-ups have finding early funding and from that experience developed the idea of MassChallenge.

• Steve Mariotti, founder of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), is an expert in education for at-risk youth. For more than 20 years, he has helped young people from low-income communities develop marketable skills by learning about entrepreneurship, reaching more than 450,000 young people through his programs in 21 states in the United States and in 10 foreign countries. NFTE currently has more than 1,500 Certified Entrepreneurship Teachers.

• Ray Charles Robinson, Jr., is an author, entrepreneur and financial service associate with Prudential Insurance Company of America. He is the founder of the Ray Charles Jr. Foundation for America, a non-profit corporation dedicated to helping vulnerable children and families. He is the 2011 NACCP Image Award winning author of You Don’t Know Me: Reflections of My Father Ray Charles, and co-producer of the Academy Award nominated film, "Ray.”

• Thom Ruhe is vice president of Entrepreneurship at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, which is a long-time support of NACCE. Ruhe manages the Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Education programs and oversees collaborative projects between the Foundation and innovative organizations such as Invent Now, the National Inventors Hall of Fame, Collegiate Inventors, and the Entrepreneurial Learning Foundation. He is a serial entrepreneur and an expert in economic development and marketing, public relations and messaging.

Pre-conference symposium

  • "Creating Community Partnerships in Support of Entrepreneurship,” Sunday October 7 10:00 a.m.-4:00 pm.

Preconference "How to do it” Workshops

  • "Marketing Blender: Online and Offline Strategies”
    Sunday, October 7, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

  • "An Entrepreneurial Approach to Funding Entrepreneurship”
    Sunday, October 7, 1-4 p.m.

Conference Fees

Conference fees are $695 for NACCE members, $795 for non-members. An Early Bird Discount of $100 is available to those who register before by September 14. Full conference registration includes admission to all general and breakout sessions, networking groups, and three breakfasts and two lunches. Symposium charges are $149 for members, $169 for non-members. Workshops are $79 for members, $99 for nonmembers. Reservations are required by September 14. Discounts are available for groups of five or more. For more information, visit the NACCE Conference website:


The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, is an organization of educators, entrepreneurs, and distinguished business development professionals providing quality programs and services in entrepreneurship education and serving as advocates community-based entrepreneurship. Founded in 2002, NACCE is at the heart of the "entrepreneurship movement.” Through membership, an annual conference and exhibition, a quarterly journal, monthly webinars and podcasts, a dynamic list-serv, and other resources, NACCE serves as the hub for the dissemination and integration of knowledge and successful practices regarding entrepreneurship education and student business incubation. These programs and courses advance economic prosperity in the communities served by its member colleges. NACCE is a founding member of the White House-led Startup America Partnership. For more information, visit Follow NACCE on Twitter at @NACCE and like the NACCE – National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship page on Facebook.


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