Thinking outside the business box

Anna Masters

Program to give students chance to compete for cash

Free education. A phrase Kent State students usually do not hear.

But students now have the opportunity to gain knowledge in the entrepreneurship profession from some of Northeast Ohio’s top professors for free.

Kent State’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation and six other institutions’ centers including Akron University, Ashland University, Baldwin Wallace College, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University and John Carroll University, have created a new entrepreneurship education consortium in Northeast Ohio.

Each of the universities will select up to five students and two alternates to participate in “Entrepreneurship Immersion for Undergraduates,” an intensive week-long experience from Aug. 12 through 17 at Cleveland State University. The students will form teams to create a new product or service and then make a presentation to a judges panel. The winning team will receive a cash prize and gifts.

Julie Messing, the director of the Center for Entrepreneurship, said the consortium promotes regionalism.

“All the schools working together can offer more as a group and can benefit students in the region,” she said.

The students will cover subjects including creating a new enterprise, new product development, where and how to seek opportunities, obtaining financing, marketing, operations and legal and ethical issues. Students will be taught by eight different professors, one in the morning and afternoon each day. Students will also meet different entrepreneurs from Northeast Ohio.

“Our goal is to bring together students with an entrepreneurship spark, provide them with tools and networking to be successful, and ignite their spirit,” said Messing and Lee McMannis, the entrepreneur-in-residence at Kent State, in a press release. “These students will form new enterprises, create new jobs for the labor force and generate new economic activity.”

The only expense students will have to provide is transportation to Cleveland State University for the week. Each student will receive their tuition, books, lodging, food and entertainment free of charge.

Throughout the week, students will also participate in recreational activities including a Cleveland Indians baseball game and going to Playhouse Square. There will also be many opportunities to meet and network with entrepreneurs in Northeast Ohio.

Messing said the economic future of the Northeast Ohio region will be shaped by these students.

To be eligible for this program, students may be in any school or major, but must be juniors or seniors. Students can get an application from the Web site,

Applications must be received by April 12 at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation in the Business Administration Building in Room 320.

Contact College of Business Administration reporter Anna Masters at [email protected].