Archive for December, 2014

Startup Week and Elevator Pitch Welcomes Entrepreneurs!

by   |  12.09.14  |  Academics, COBA Alumni, COBA Events, Entrepreneurship, Griggs Center, Springboard

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In November, the Griggs Center for Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy hosted the first annual Startup Week. The CEO student organization along with the Griggs Center were busy with several activities during the week, including an Alumni Entrepreneurship dinner on November 18, a CEO chapel on the 19th with guest speaker Toby Thomas, and ending with the final Elevator Pitch competition after the chapel. The goal of the Springboard Elevator Pitch competition was to get students to create and present their idea, giving them the opportunity to gain real experience working with entrepreneurs. Three weeks prior to Startup Week, participants presented their Elevator Pitch ideas in front of a group of local entrepreneurs and ACU faculty members and learned how they would be judged as well as the deadlines for the competition. At the dinner on November 18, the 10 finalists were announced. The next day, the pitches were heard and the winner received $1,500 cash for the idea.

The winner of the Elevator Pitch was COBA major, Colby Hatchett, a junior marketing major from Fort Worth. His idea was The Mullet, a restaurant concept where parents could enjoy a nice meal at the front of the restaurant while their children would be fully taken care of in the back of the restaurant. After the pitch, Colby said he was incredibly grateful to meet entrepreneurs working in the marketplace and gain real experience from the competition.

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Rudy Garza, President of CEO, was excited that students were able to meet and connect with ACU alums and other entrepreneurs. At the dinner, students were seated at tables with the entrepreneurs and were able to hear their stories and advice for those considering entrepreneurship as well as making valuable connections for potential career opportunities. When asked the effect of COBA with the Elevator Pitch, Rudy said, “Because the classes are smaller and the quality of the faculty is excellent, COBA students always excel in the Springboard Challenge competitions. The presenters are stronger and seem comfortable speaking in front of the crowd. Through the interactions between professors and students, students gain major insight into what entrepreneurship looks like, which is incredibly beneficial for them in this case.”

Overall, the competition was a great success. Some unique ideas were presented during the pitch and it was great to have so many ACU and COBA alumni back on campus. COBA is proud to see such amazing business and Christian leadership in the marketplace. Again, congratulations to COBA student, Colby Hatchett, on winning the competition!

 

“The Springboard Challenge is a great enhancement to COBA’s culture of ideation, creativity, and innovation. This competition pushes our students and culture in a good way!” says Dr. Rick Lytle, Dean of the College of Business.

Professor Spotlight: Dr. John Neill

by   |  12.04.14  |  Academics, Accounting, COBA Faculty

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“The student professor relationship in COBA is unique and unlike any other university at which I have taught. The faculty and staff are outstanding Christian people that I enjoy working with every single day,” says Accounting professor, Dr. John Neill.

This year marks the 15th year Accounting professor Dr. John Neill has been with COBA. Dr. Neill grew up in Abilene, graduating from Cooper High School before coming to ACU. He graduated from ACU earning both a bachelor’s and master’s degree and then went on to the University of Florida, where he earned his Ph.D.  Before coming back to ACU to teach, Dr. Neill taught at Florida State University and Chapman in Orange County, California.

Dr. Neill says that one of his favorite memories in COBA is the senior blessing retreat held a couple of years ago. At the blessing, he enjoyed all of the faculty and staff gathering together to send off the seniors. He feels incredibly blessed to be part of such an encouraging community, knowing he has made a difference in students’ lives. Dr. Neill describes COBA as cooperative, student-focused, and professional, seeking to serve God and meet students’ needs above all else. Compared to other state universities, he feels that students feel comfortable  in COBA, striving to learn and gain insight from experienced professors.

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Dr. Neill’s favorite Bible verse is Romans 8:37-39, which says, “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Dr. Neill’s life is a clear reflection of how he lives this verse out every day, serving those around him and pushing students to reach their potential and live out their God-given talents. COBA has been extremely blessed to have Dr. Neill in our community. Thank you Dr. Neill for your Christian example and servant leadership over the past 15 years!