Ashland University Team Places Second in EEC Competition
Ashland University’s team of Jerry Arko, a senior management and marketing major from Chardon, Ohio; Theresa Bradley, a junior accounting and information systems major from Loudonville, Ohio; Morgan Kanzig, a junior marketing major from Lucas, Ohio; Hallie Mast, a senior history major from Baltic, Ohio; and Lindsey VanSparrentak, a junior hospitality management major from Amherst, Ohio, took home the second place award of $1,500 at this year’s Entrepreneurship Immersion Week (EIW) completed on Aug. 12. The Ashland team presented an innovative beverage safety concept.
This year’s fifth EIW is a national award winning program of the Entrepreneurship Education Consortium (EEC) and was held on the Ashland University campus.
“The Entrepreneurship Education Consortium (EEC) is a unique intercollegiate collaboration of nine northeast Ohio colleges and universities to provide entrepreneurship education and business concept competitions,” said Read Wakefield, director of the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at Ashland University and president of the Entrepreneurship Education Consortium Inc.
The Ashland University team of five students participated with teams of five from Baldwin-Wallace College, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, Hiram College, John Carroll University, Kent State University, Lake Erie College and University of Akron.
“Entrepreneurship Immersion Week 2011 is a week-long immersion in entrepreneurial education, skills development and regional networking resources,” Wakefield said. “During the week the teams developed a business concept for a product or service and competed for cash prizes of up to $2,500 before a panel of distinguished judges from the northeast Ohio entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
Wakefield said additional funding is available to student teams, which could allow them to actually start the business concept developed during the week. The EEC program is made possible by a lead grant from The Burton D. Morgan Foundation. One week after the event, five of the nine participating teams, including the Ashland team, will be actively pursuing the concepts that they developed during the program.
Ashland University’s Lindsey VanSparrentak, a junior hospitality management major from Amherst, Ohio, said she enjoyed the week-long event.
“EIW-2011 was about much more than the competition. The week focused on developing our skills for success in the business world,” she said. “You have to network with students from other schools who have similar dreams and motivations.”
VanSparrentak said the week also included a multitude of professionals who spoke on a variety of topics, ranging from marketing to business law to speaking and carrying yourself in front of a crowd.
“Although the financial reward was greatly appreciated, I would trade it in a heartbeat in order to continue to work with the others on the Ashland team and continue to develop our company and intellectual property,” she said.
The purpose of the EEC is to provide practical "experiential" and theoretical education to students in Northeast Ohio to prepare them to become entrepreneurs or intrapreneurs; create new ventures and jobs and build wealth for the region.
Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.
Those pictured in the photo from left to right are: Read Wakefield, Theresa Bradley, Jerry Arko, Morgan Kanzig, Lindsey VanSparrentak, Hallie Mast, Dr. Daniel Sullivan and Dr. Daniel Fox.