Tag Archives: entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship Class

Alexa Hoynacke

Alexa Hoynacke,
Junior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 13 November 2015
Last semester, I decided to pursue an Entrepreneurship Certificate. This certificate is offered through the Ohio University Center for Entrepreneurship.

Currently, in my Introduction to Entrepreneurship class (MGT 3700), we are doing a group project where we create our own start-up company or social enterprise. My group and I choose to do a social enterprise. Our company is called Paddle Home. Last summer, one of our group members started this company on his own and we are continuing to build onto his original idea.

Paddle Home

Paddle Home is a non-profit social enterprise that empowers young adults to raise money and awareness for affordable housing through volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and participating in a cross-country kayaking adventure journey down the Mississippi River.

Kayak

Since this is just a class project, we are starting small and not trying to overshoot with our idea. If we had more time and resources we would hope to expand Paddle Home to be more than just a summer trip down the Mississippi. We would do community outreach activities about outdoor education for all age levels. We also had an idea to install solar panel charging systems along the Mississippi at campgrounds to make camping and kayaking more accessible.

In this class we are taught about revenue models, markets, key partners, cost structure and other business model aspects.

As of right now I am not sure what I want to do with my certificate. I hope to pursue an MBA in the near future but I’m not entirely sure if I want to start my own company. Regardless of whether or not I want to be an entrepreneur, the certificate has taught me so much about the business side of a company, and it made me realize I really love the people aspect of it.

This has been a great experience and has opened my eyes to the many opportunities engineers have in the business world.

Startup Weekend Athens

Zach Perrault

Zach Perrault,
Senior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 29 October 2015

Last weekend I attended Startup Weekend Athens, a contest where groups work to start a company in 48 hours.

On Friday, I went to the Ohio University Innovation Center with no idea what I was getting myself into. After a bit of introduction from the event organizer, people lined up to make their 60 second pitches for their proposed business ideas. Once everyone had given their pitch we voted on which ones should be pursued. I decided to join Amy Miller and her idea to create a virtual reality system where martial arts students could apply their skills in mock scenarios. I really liked Amy’s enthusiasm and a virtual reality system sounded like a really fun technical challenge.

The first night was mostly fleshing out the idea some more. Wilson, my fellow computer science engineering ambassador, and I went to our houses to pick up our workstations, grab our Oculus Rift and a Microsoft Kinect from our friend and ACM president, Charlie Murphy. We also acquired important brain fuel in the form of gummy worms and La Croix.

Wilson and I worked non-stop all weekend to get as impressive a tech demo as we could. On Saturday, the event organizers also invited coaches from the Athens area to help us with our startups. Nathan from the Create_space and John Bowditch from the GRID Lab both help us a lot with how to approach our technical hurdles.

On Sunday, We presented our startup and performed a demo of what we had been working on. It went really well! After presenting the judges deliberated while we had another delicious, catered meal from the contest. Then it was time for the judges to announce the winners. My team took second place!

It was so exciting for our hard work to have paid off. I went into Startup Weekend just wanting to build something but I got so much more. I learned a lot about business plans and how product is just a portion of what makes a successful business.

Athens Startup Weekend

Eric May

Eric May,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 16 March 2015

This past weekend I had the opportunity to participate in Athens Startup Weekend at the Ohio University Innovation Center. For those of you who may not be familiar with it, Startup Weekend is a 54-hour event where students and local community members get together to come up with ideas, create marketable products, and validate their business model. During the weekend you receive feedback from coaches and mentors who have started businesses to help you as well. Oh, and it was free for us Russ College students. 🙂

The team I was on consisted of 3 students from the Russ College of Engineering and Technology as well as another Ohio University student from outside the College. We came up with an idea for a job searching site that would focus on a particular market segment that we believe other job searching sites are missing or don’t do well. We spent the entire weekend validating our business model, identifying our revenue streams, analyzing our competitors, and pitching our ideas.

Startup Weekend

At Ohio University, and the Russ College, we look to do more than just be engineers and I think that is one of our key competitive advantages. Engineering students come to the Russ College to learn how to be engineers, of course, but we also help students combine their engineering skills with their other passions so that they can hopefully Create for Good in new and innovative ways. It’s hard to find that anywhere else.

Also… I’m really looking forward to the warm weather.