Anderson University senior Amy Myers recently won a $15,000 award during the 2006 INvision AU Entrepreneur Award Competition. A Vero Beach, Fla., native, Myers is a management major who plans to pursue a master’s degree through the Falls School of Business in the fall. With the award, Myers intends to invest in her winning business proposal called Spontaneity Designs, LLC. The product line of Spontaneity Designs includes the Cozy Muff-a 16th century hand warmer with a 21st century twist.
“The Entrepreneur Award Competition is designed to provide recognition and start-up business funding for AU students interested in starting their own business in the Anderson area,” says Maryann Coty, director of INvision AU. “The competition was open to all junior and senior students across campus. Students participating in this year’s competition represented majors ranging from marketing, accounting and computer science.”
Student finalists were Myers, Alex ElNaggar, and David Smith who presented their plans to a panel of judges that included local business entrepreneurs Tom Downs, Brachen McCurdy, and Jay Ricker. Other business plans in the competition included Alex ElNaggar’s Sorbit Solutions, a business that provides computerized services to businesses and individuals; and David Smith’s Power Sellers: eCommerce Consultants, a business that provides services to Anderson residents and retailers to sell items online.
“Over the last couple of months, students have been working with Greg Heberling in the Falls School of Business, as well as collaborating with their business advisors, to develop their business plans,” added Coty. “These students are the future business leaders of the Anderson community and INvision AU is proud to help them fulfill their dreams.”
INvision AU collaborates with AU programs, students, local government entities, and Indiana businesses in creating in-state job opportunities for AU graduates. Retention studies demonstrate that experiential learning is highly correlated with persistence to graduation. Furthermore, students who have engaged in deliberate outreach and built strong relationships with Indiana businesses are more likely to find their first job in Indiana, thereby increasing the state’s skilled labor pool and effectively combating Indiana’s brain drain. Under the program, Anderson University will implement a set of strategic initiatives organized through INvision AU. Specific program components include:
- INvision Alumni. A network of more than 600 AU MBA graduates, 90 percent of whom work in Indiana, will serve as a resource for providing internships and job opportunities for AU students.
- INvision Internships Alliance. This collaboration between local businesses and AU students will create new internships in which students will receive invaluable hands-on learning experiences.
- INvision Community Team. A team of three students each summer will be supported to conduct an economic “Quality of Life Index” for a small Indiana town that lacks the resources for the process.
- SIFE INvision Awards. INvision AU will conduct an annual competition to support a local project undertaken by an AU team participating in SIFE, an international program promoting free enterprise.
- INvision Fellowships. Each year the program will provide two one-year fellowships, awarded competitively to a student/company team proposing a plan in which the student will have a major business development opportunity within the company.
- INvision Entrepreneurs. The program will provide start-up business funding for the winning business plan submitted by an AU junior or senior who plans to start a new business in Anderson.
Anderson University received $750,000 in 2003 from Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment, Inc., for a proposal to provide students more opportunities and incentives to keep them in Indiana upon graduation. The grant came from the Endowment’s “Initiative to Promote Opportunity through Educational Collaborations.”
INvision AU is an education-based collaboration among Anderson University and job-creating entities, contributing directly to Indiana’s innovation capacity and to creating “knowledge jobs.” The activities and initiatives are also intended to strengthen and extend programs and relationships that enable Anderson University graduates to find highly desirable jobs in Indiana. For more information about INvision AU, visit the Web site at www.anderson.edu/INvision .
Anderson University is a private, four-year, Christian liberal arts institution of approximately 2,800 undergraduate and graduate students. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, the university offers more than 60 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.