Archive for ‘Springboard’

Spotlight on Karen Heflin

by   |  01.22.16  |  Academics, COBA Staff, College Decisions, Current Students, Entrepreneurship, Griggs Center, Springboard, Uncategorized

What is your educational background?

BS Communication Disorders, (Speech Pathology).

 

Karen Heflin

Karen Heflin

 

What is your work background?

I have been at home with my children for the past 13 years, with small part-time jobs on the side.  Now that they are all in school, I’m enjoying the opportunity to work for the Griggs Center.

 

What do you do at ACU/COBA?

I am the Springboard Program Coordinator for the Griggs Center for Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy.  I help with fundraising, coordinate our business model competitions for both students and the community, and provide training events for aspiring entrepreneurs.

 

What’s the best part of working with students?

I enjoy their energy, creativity and enthusiasm.

 

Outside of ACU, what passions and hobbies do you have?

I love being with my husband and four children.  I love to travel and eat and experience other cultures–this may be because I’m a ‘Third Culture Kid.’  I enjoy reading and singing.  Also, I love to climb things.  Especially trees.

 

The Heflin Family

The Heflin Family

 

What is a good, early story about your first job or when you were in college?

My very first job was scooping ice cream for a family-owned, homemade ice cream shop.  I had a very strong right arm at the end of that summer!

 

Do you do any charity or non-profit work?

My family and I are a mentors for arriving refugee families through the International Rescue Committee. These families have become our real life heroes as well as our dear friends. Their stories are humbling and inspiring. I am very passionate about serving this community of people and would love to tell you more if you’re interested in volunteering!

 

Karen and Houston Heflin

Karen and Houston Heflin

 

Who is your role model and why?

Corrie ten Boom and Rosa Parks- I admire their strength and tenacity and their willingness to take great risks for ideas they believed to be important.

 

If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?

Teleportation.  This would allow me to travel anytime to anywhere.

 

What is something that students might be surprised to find out about you?

I lived in Iceland in the late 80’s.

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.

It is That Time of Year: Springboard!

by   |  02.26.14  |  COBA Events, City of Abilene, Current Students, Entrepreneurship, Griggs Center, Springboard

springboard

The highly anticipated event we have all been waiting for is just around the corner! Registration for the seventh annual Springboard Ideas challenge is now open and ready to start accepting applicants for 2014. Springboard is a business plan competition that takes place each year through the Griggs Center for Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy. Contestants vary, including some who have ideas and are seeking to start a business and others who have already established small businesses. The cash prizes come from several local sponsors. This year, certain phases of the competition have changed. The initial application process has been revamped to make each transition phase flow more smoothly for applicants.

The competition includes three different divisions: the community-growth division, the community-small business division, and the college division. The first, second, and third place winners in each division will receive cash prizes. For the college division, the first place winner will receive $7,500, the second place winner will receive $3,000, and the third place winner will receive $1,000. In the community-growth division, the first place winner will receive $15,000, the second place winner will receive $5,000, and the third place winner will receive $1,000. For the community-small business, the first place winner will receive $5,000, the second place winner will receive $3,000, and the third place winner will receive $1,000. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and be a permanent resident of one of the qualifying 19 counties surrounding the Abilene area.

To enter the competition, applicants must initially complete an online application and pay the registration fee. The online application deadline is 5 P.M. on March 7th. Once the judging panel has advanced chosen contestants on to the next phase of the competition, a mini-business plan must be submitted. The business plan should address the fundamental issues of interest to potential investors. This document should highlight the most important and interesting points of the business, which should give potential investors a general understanding of why this venture would succeed. Contestants who advance to the next phase of the competition qualify as finalists and must prepare a presentation for a live panel of judges. The exact date, time, and location will vary by division but will take place during the week of April 6-12, 2014. Participants will be given 10 minutes to present their idea to the judges and will then be subject to 10-15 minutes of Q&A from the judges.The final phase of the competition will be the awards dinner, which will take place on April 15th. All finalists will display their ideas as part of an exhibit hall before the dinner, and then the winners of each division will be announced during the dinner. This year, Stuart Crum, President for Bridgestone Retail Operations, will be speaking at the awards ceremony.

Students have represented COBA well in the past Springboard competitions. Typically, around 30-4 students from around campus enter the competition each year. Last year, senior Luke Luttrell won first place in the college division with his Right Route idea. Right Route is a mobile app similar to Google Maps but offers more route options, optimizing the fastest route between as many desired destinations. Dr. Brent Reeves and Dr. Brian Burton were two professors that helped Luke develop his idea for the app. Luke believes that COBA was absolutely fundamental to winning Springboard. He credits his success to the help of such great professors in COBA, reiterating how involved and willing they were to reach out and help him on his journey to success. Luke also praises the competition in regards to the process. He says, “Springboard gives students the opportunity to present an idea to a panel of investors with entrepreneurial experience, resulting in great feedback on the idea and business model.” Luke has learned to always seek entrepreneurial opportunities and encourages anyone with even the smallest idea to enter the competition. Springboard is a great opportunity to grow one’s entrepreneurial skills and gain relevant experience through a high value process and interaction with professional entrepreneurs.

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“The Springboard Ideas Challenge is a great opportunity for any student who is interested in entrepreneurial pursuits. It offers an unbelievable experience because it forces students to turn a simple idea into a fully functioning business model,” says Luke Luttrell, senior COBA student and winner of the 2013 Springboard Challenge.

 

Global Entrepreneurship Week

by   |  11.12.12  |  Distinguished Speakers Series, Entrepreneurship, Griggs Center, Springboard

Darbie Angell, Founder and CEO of CRU Dinnerware

Happy Global Entrepreneurship Week!

It’s that time of the year, the one where 35,000 events occur in 125 countries, all in the name of entrepreneurship. It’s beautiful, because it’s the chance to acknowledge that it’s hard to generate and implement new ideas, but that it’s also worth the trouble, because innovation is what makes our world go round.

Here at ACU’s College of Business, we try to embrace the spark of innovation as much as possible, which is why we’re celebrating entrepreneurship through several different events:

 

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 13: ENTREPRENEUR SPEAKER SERIES

April Anthony, Founder and CEO of Encompass Home Health

Darbie Angell, Founder and CEO of CRU Dinnerware, will be speaking from 11:00-11:30 at the Hunter Welcome Center (LYNAY room), and April Anthony, Founder and CEO of Encompass Home Health will be speaking from 11:45-1:00, also at the Hunter Welcome Center.

Both of these women exemplify what it means to be successful entrepreneurs. They serve as mentors and examples to our students, especially to our future female entrepreneurs. We are incredibly thankful to have them with us to kick off Global Entrepreneurship Week.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 15: SPRINGBOARD ELEVATOR PITCH COMPETITION (FINAL ROUND AND AWARDS)

Budding entrepreneurs have learned to pitch a new product, service, or business concept in two minutes or less in a competition to win $1500. The first round of the Elevator Pitch Competition took place last Saturday, November 6. Everyone is invited to watch the final round of the competition this Thursday at 11:00.  Click here to register.

START THINKING ABOUT THE SPRINGBOARD IDEAS CHALLENGE…

Do you have a great idea? If so, you should participate in our Springboard Ideas Challenge! Each team or individual submits a mini-business plan and then, if chosen as a finalist, is given the opportunity to present its idea to a live panel of judges.  Last year’s student category winner won $10,000 for his idea and the winner from the community category won $20,000! Click here to learn more about the Springboard Ideas Challenge.

Stay tuned for more information on this great opportunity!

A big thanks goes out to the Griggs Center for Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy for all of their hard work in creating opportunities that foster entrepreneurship within this community.

The season for Springboard

by   |  01.27.12  |  COBA Events, Current Students, Entrepreneurship, Griggs Center, Special Speakers, Springboard

If you have ever taken the time to sit down and jot out a plan for starting your own business, you need to enter our Springboard Ideas Challenge. If you ever even just thought about a cool idea for a business or service, you need to enter our Springboard Ideas Challenge. You never know! YOU could win $10,000! There’s even a high school category for competition this year. Click here for more information about the competition, divisions, awards and prizes.

Registration is now open for our fifth annual Springboard Ideas Challenge!

Don’t worry if you don’t know how to write a business plan, there are training sessions scheduled to help you learn!

Also, mark your calendars for Tuesday, April 17th for the Springboard Ideas Challenge Awards Dinner. We’re honored to welcome William (Bill) E. Greehey, former Chairman and CEO of Valero, as our guest speaker. Click here to learn more about Mr. Greehey. He now serves as Chairman of the Board for NuStar Energy L.P. and is an active philanthropic patron in the San Antonio area.

We hope you can join us during this exciting Springboard season. 

“Let us come before Him with Thanksgiving…”

by   |  11.22.11  |  Current Students, Dean Chronicles, Faith Infusion, Springboard

A note from Dr. Lytle:

In 1789, president George Washington declared that our nation should take time to bow its head and give thanks to almighty God for his sovereignty and provision and “that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions…”  For some 235 years our nation has honored president Washington’s admonition to give thanks.  This week, I invite you to join me in setting aside time to celebrate God’s goodness by gathering with family and friends to share a meal but also to give thanks to the one and only God who has blessed us as a nation.

Washington's prayer at Valley Forge

We had a chance to chat with a few of our students as they were wrapping up their school day yesterday. We asked them to share with us things they were thankful for. Here’s some of the comments they shared: “relationships with professors; the COBA family; professors and the way they care about us and lead us; the way we talk about the balance between faith and money; the study abroad opportunities; our awesome advisors.”

The Oxford study abroad group with Dr. Don Pope (and wife, Beth) and Drs. Mark and Laura Phillips

The faculty and staff in the College of Business are grateful for our incredible students. We know their families are looking forward to this break to be with them and love on them. Please join us in continuing to keep the Reid family in our thoughts and prayers during this time.  We hope you have a blessed time together, safe travels and that you return to us refreshed and renewed, and ready to finish the semester strong.

“Come let us sing with joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our Salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving, and extol him with music and song.” Psalm 95:1-2

Two COBA students win $1500 for business idea

by   |  10.07.11  |  COBA Events, College Decisions, Current Students, Entrepreneurship, Griggs Center, Springboard

Wednesday was the final LIVE round of COBA’s first annual Elevator Pitch competition. Ten business ideas were pitched – by a team of students or an individual. Six prizes were awarded, with the top team taking home $1500 for their pitch. The ten business idea pitches were judged based on the following categories:

  • Market
  • Business Concept
  • Value Proposition
  • Presentation Skills
  • Would you invest in this venture?

These six prizes were awarded:

  • Audience Choice Award – $250
  • Social Entrepreneurship Award – $250
  • Best Presentation Award – $250
  • Third Place – $250
  • Second Place – $750
  • Grand Prize – $1500

We were honored to have five highly successful businessmen make up our judging panel. Between the five of them, they’ve invested in or helped start over 1000 companies and have a passion for mentoring budding entrepreneurs. The judges were Dr. Jack Griggs, President and Director of Southwest Bancorp and former dean of the College of Business Administration, Mr. Jim Porter, Principal of Porter Capital Partners,  Mr. David Bruce, Founder and CEO of Alliance Recruiting Resources, Mr. Matt Booth, VP of Regency Centers, and COBA’s very own, Dr. Rick Lytle.

Here is a list of the ten business pitches and the team members for the 2011 Springboard Elevator Pitch Competition:

  • Virtual Exchange Accelerator – Levi Ritchie and Evan Whyte
  • Heaven Inspired Hands – Laura Kiminsky
  • Campuzon – Karsten Goodman and Courtney Martin
  • Red Thread Movement – Brittany Partridge and Samantha Sutherland
  • Rock and Trail – Asa Kusuma and Tim Johnston
  • Decked Out – Brionna Sherer and Marcy Thorn
  • Nascent – Nigel Bosch
  • M.Y.O.P – Carlee Finkelstein
  • Race Track Tarp – Brian Patterson and Jeremy Harrington
  • Double Impact Socks – Eldad Campbell and EJ Johnson
And here are the winners:

Grand Prize $1,500
Campuzon

Karsten Goodman & Courtney Martin

 Second Place $750
Double Impact Socks

Eldad Campbell & EJ Johnson 

Third Place $250
Nascent

Nigel Bosch 

Best Presentation Award $250
Misfortune Cookies

Robby Wiginton 

Social Entrepreneurship Award $250
Red Thread Movement

Brittany Partridge & Samantha Sutherland

Audience Choice Award $250
Double Impact Socks

Eldad Campbell & EJ Johnson

The first annual Springboard Elevator Pitch Competition was a huge success and the packed room during the live final round testifies to the excitement this live competition generated here on campus. You can read more about the competition in this story, from the Abilene Reporter-News.

The Elevator Pitch is part of the slate of events, speakers and competitions in the Griggs Center for Entrepreneurship & Philanthropy. Students in any major can have a concentration in Entrepreneurship, and any student can participate in the competitions or attend any event. The Griggs Center also hosts four Entrepreneurs-In-Residence and is building a network of entrepreneurs that desire to have mentoring relationships with current students. As any entrepreneur will tell you – an essential component of success is building your own network of mentors and advisors. To that end, another component of the Griggs Center is the Springboard Accelerator – an on campus facility that houses student upstarts, where they have access not only to physical office space, but office equipment, phones, mailboxes, conference rooms and the guidance and advice of various business advisors (attorneys, investors, professors, and of course fellow student entrepreneurs).

Congratulations again to all of the finalists in this year’s inaugural competition!

Consider entering our next competition, our Springboard Ideas Challenge next spring. Find out more information here.

Announcing: The Springboard Accelerator

by   |  08.16.11  |  City of Abilene, College Decisions, Current Students, Entrepreneurship, Griggs Center, Springboard

Springboard Accelerator

We are thrilled to announce the official opening of our Springboard Accelerator, a part of the Griggs Center for Entrepreneurship & Philanthropy. The Accelerator, located in the eHub at the Moore House (across the street from Nelson Hall), was created to provide office space, mentoring, support, networking and basically everything a student created business could ever need.

If you are a current student interested in applying for space, or know of a student that would be interested in learning more about the Accelerator, the eHub or the Griggs Center for Entrepreneurship & Philanthropy, please click here.

How ACU prepared me…

by   |  04.28.11  |  COBA Alumni, College Decisions, Springboard

From time to time on this blog, we’ll be featuring brief conversations with recent COBA alum, asking them to share how ACU has prepared them for where they are now.

Jody Walker graduated from ACU with degrees in Accounting and Finance in 2009. While at ACU, Jody played on the Wildcat football team, was a member of STAR, and was a winner in the student category in our 2009 Springboard Ideas Challenge. He’s currently studying at SMU’s Dedman School of Law and is candidate for his Juris Doctrate in 2012. We’ve asked Jody to share with us how ACU prepared him for his next steps, specifically law school.

Alum Jody Walker (pictured on the left) is now a student at SMU's Dedman School of Law

1) How was your learning experience at ACU (or in COBA) different from that of your classmates at SMU?

One of the biggest differences was the technological innovation used throughout the university. Professors would take surveys on iPhones, Q & A’s would be done through text messaging in chapel and even some of my tests were taken with a remote control. None of my other classmates in graduate school had experienced a university that incorporates technology so seamlessly into thestudent bodies’ daily activities. With this exposure to a cutting-edge learning environment, ACU (and COBA) gave me more than just a “textbook” education.

2) Do you think your learning experience at ACU provided better preparation than your classmates’ college preparation? If so, how? If no, why not?

ACU (and COBA) definitely excelled at preparing me academically for graduate school, as well as for my future in the workplace. ACU is able to distinguish itself on many different levels from the typical public university, and I believe that one of the most beneficial aspects of ACU was the opportunity to improve my social skills. Sounds strange, but the constant communication with my professors and other students, daily interactions with classmates at chapel (not during chapel of course), and socializing at the numerous school activities all helped me develop the skills and attributes necessary to effectively communicate with the people around me. I feel like this intangible characteristic is often neglected at bigger universities, but with the personal environment ACU creates, it gave me the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with the people I encountered in addition to learning invaluable interpersonal skills.

3) What class/program/event/professor helped prepare you the most for the workplace or grad school? What did they do that was helpful?

STAR (Student Training and Research) was probably the most useful program in COBA. It was a real world application of the material I learned in class. At times it’s hard to comprehend equations and theories past the pages of your textbook, but STAR gave me the unparalleled experience I needed to succeed in graduate school.

4) Now that you are in law school, what is one piece of advice you’d like to share with prospective students or current students that would have helped you?

Get involved, or stay involved with something at ACU. Whether it’s a social club, an organization, or some other extra curricular activity, the relationships you build at ACU are unlike any other.

Springboard Ideas Challenge Awards Dinner

by   |  04.14.11  |  COBA Events, City of Abilene, Current Students, Entrepreneurship, Griggs Center, Special Speakers, Springboard

Our fourth annual Springboard Ideas Challenge Awards Dinner was another successful, educational and fun event here on campus. As guests gathered in Hunter Welcome Center, they could mingle through the many displays of the Ideas Challenge finalists, learning more about their business plans and ideas. And in some cases, even tasting the finalists’ business idea. 

During the meal, we heard more about the Griggs Center for Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy from the Director of the Center, Dr. Jim Litton, as well as COBA dean, Dr. Rick Lytle.

Dr. Rick Lytle discussing the Griggs Center

Special guests, Dr. and Mrs. Jack Griggs

To be sure, the point of the awards dinner is to announce the winners of the small business plan competition. But the focus of the entire event and evening is to encourage entrepreneurship – to encourage the entrepreneurs, as well as to encourage the wider community that will support these businesses. To speak further about the topic of entrepreneurship and community, ACU and the College of Business Administration was thrilled to bring in Jessica Jackley, co-founder of KIVA.org and most recently, founder of  ProFounder.com.

Special Guest Speaker Jessica Jackley

Jackley shared her experiences in South Africa that lead her to start KIVA

Jackley’s engaging, down-to-earth, completely authentic style had the audience laughing at different times and moved to tears at others. Here’s a nice recap of what she shared from the Abilene Reporter-News.

Audience members had the opportunity to text Jackley questions at the conclusion of her talk

After Jackley shared about her experiences, Dr. Litton announced the winners of the mini-business plan competition. Here is the breakdown of the winners in each catagory:

Community Post-Revenue

Honorable Mention ($1000 cash prize):

  • Enchilada Express – Chris Norton, www.enchiladaexpress.com
  • Urban Male Hair and Grooming – Lindsey Soria, http://urbanmalesalon.com
  • Dream Spectrum Design – Charles Caddell, www.dreamspectrum.com

2nd Place ($3000 cash prize):

  • Advantage Cubed – Coty Woolf

1st Place ($7500 cash prize):

  • Indivijual Custom Eyeware – Randy Barnett, www.indivijual.com

Community Pre-Revenue

Honorable Mention ($1000 cash prize):

  • Cordell’s – Jason Beard, Joy Beard
  • XYZ Eyewear – Dr. Troy Carter, Tyler Lewis

2nd Place ($3000 cash prize):

  • Knox City Hometown Variety – Sheri Baty, Ezekial Duke, Marla Hawkins, Steve Pepper

1st Place ($7500 cash prize):

  • Landman.IO – Chad Hutchins

Students

Honorable Mention ($1000 cash prize):

  • Walk Thru – Joshua Archer, Chase Cobern, Justin Durko
  • Super TwinBEAR – David Galaz, Chen Gong, Patrick Yan
  • Droppage.com – Chas Quisenberry
  • The Cellular Trap – Tyler Nolan, John Stevens, Derek Zimmerman

2nd place ($3000 cash prize):

  • iMedical Online – Clayton Selby, Seth Thomas

1st place ($7500 cash prize):

  • ScholarSphere – Asa Kusuma, Tim Johnston

Social Entrepreneurship Award ($2500 cash prize):

  • Suffer Not the Children – Christina Batten, Kevin Batten

Most Fundable Award ($7500 cash prize):

  • Landman.IO – Chad Hutchins

Congratulations to all of our winners! In addition to the cash prizes, winners will also have the opportunity to receive in-kind prizes like office space, equipment and furniture. The cash and in-kind prizes were provided by the following sponsors:

Bronze Sponsors

  • ACU Campus Bookstore
  • Morris&Mitchell
  • Rosas Cafe
  • Shelton Family Foundation
  • Women for ACU

Silver Sponsors

  • Abilene Reporter News
  • American State Bank
  • First Financial Bank
  • Genesis Network Solutions
  • McMurry University
  • Raindance Capital
  • Senter, Realtors

Gold Sponsors

  • Development Corporation of Abilene
  • Dian Graves Owen Foundation
  • Dodge Jones Foundation
  • Jack and Ann Griggs
  • Texas Tech Small Business Development Center
  • Kenny and Sharon Wilson

Platinum Sponsors

  • ACU’s College of Business Administration
  • Bixby Enterprises and Mark Horn Enterprises

And special Program Partner, Workforce Solutions of West Central Texas.

We are grateful for the community of support we received in order to host this competition and awards dinner. Our events would not have been possible without the partnership of our sponsors, judges, contestants, COBA faculty, ACU staff and specifically, Dr. Jim Litton. If you are interested in learning more about our entrepreneurship program in COBA or how you can participate in next year’s Ideas Challenge, please email us at  coba@acu.edu.