Creating a Business - Workshop Series

This workshop series is for students across all Colleges at the University who want to learn how to create a business, but do not plan to take Entrepreneurship courses offered through the College of Business. These courses are taught for only the first semester. It is also intended to prepare student teams to qualify for the Sontag Entrepreneurship Competition. 

These workshops are FREE, and no college credits are earned through participation in these workshops.

Workshops are held on Tuesday and repeat on Wednesdays in the Ozmen center (AB 402) from 5-6:45 pm. Check back for the next workshop series, offered during Fall semester, 2020.

Registration is required to attend.

  • Business Lingo and Business Model Canvas (BMC) Workshop

    Presented by Jeannie Reeth

    It is important for students to understand and begin to employ the appropriate business terms as they move forward. For example, students will learn terms such as “product-market fit” and “customer acquisition cost and long-term value,” as well as why they are important. Business Model Canvas is a tool for developing, refining and testing business concepts.   Many students, particularly if they do not have prior experience starting a business or working for a startup, can benefit from guidance from seasoned entrepreneurs as they begin to employ the BMC tool.

    Previous recordings:

    Business Lingo with Jeannie Reeth

    Business Model Canvas with Jeannie Reeth

  • Ideation & Team Building Workshop

    Presented by Rusty Shaffer and Chris Riche

    For an idea to have merit as a business, it typically has to solve a problem or meet some unmet need, or do a better job solving a problem or meeting a need than currently available. The most successful startups seem to be created and launched by teams of people, bringing together a variety of skill sets, a diversity of perspectives, a passion for the business idea, and a shared work ethic.  Does the team have members who can fulfill the roles of hacker, huckster and designer (technical, relationships (sales) and visionary)?  Not all entrepreneurs are “the individual with the new idea.”  Most entrepreneurs need help to refine a good idea and move the concept forward.  This workshop will provide opportunities for students to a) get feedback on their ideas, b) attract other students to their teams and/or c) find a team that needs their expertise and energy.

    Previous recordings:

    Ideation with Tod Colegrove

    Team Building with Chris Riche

  • Advancing Your Business Concept Workshop

    Presented by Kelly Northridge

    This workshop helps students with testing their hypotheses and refining their business concepts by interacting with people who are not part of the team creating the business idea.  Depending upon the stage of business concept development and testing, these external people can be friends, family, acquaintances, potential customers, competitors, suppliers, and/or partners, or people with experience within the industry.  Determining who to contact, how to make contact, which questions to ask and how to frame questions will vary from business to business.  This workshop will help teams “find their way” through these processes.

    Previous recordings:

    Advancing Your Business Concept: Part One with Kelly Northridge

    Advancing Your Business Concept: Part Two with Kelly Northridge

  • Competitive Analysis and Pricing Workshop

    Presented by Matt Westfield and Mark Stiving

    Not only do business founders need to understand where their startup is positioned relative to direct and indirect competitors, they need to be able to communicate this information to key stakeholders (i.e. their team, potential investors, partners, etc.). They also need to understand how pricing fits into their overall business model and marketing plan. Finally, they should understand the key factors that should be considered in making pricing decisions.

    Previous recordings:

    Competitive Analysis: Part One with Matt Westfield

    Competitive Analysis: Part Two with Matt Westfield

  • Financial Analysis and Projections Workshop

    Before proceeding “too far” down the path of a business startup, the founders need to understand the unit economics of their business. Can this business make a profit? Can this business survive on the cash flow generated by the business, or will it need investment during the startup and/or early growth phases? How far in advance is reasonable to make financial projections, and what level of detail is appropriate?

  • Legal Considerations

    Presented by David Lewandowski

    When creating a new enterprise, common questions include: a) what form of business should we use (i.e. C-Corp, S-Corp, LLC, partnership)? b) What legal considerations should we be concerned about when raising capital? And c) what arrangements make sense for founders’ equity? This workshop addresses these and related issues.

    Previous recordings:

    Legal Considerations with David Lewandowski

  • Pitch Deck and Pitch

    Presented by Matt Westfield

    Being able to convey the essential elements of a business idea to others is key to launching a business.  Whether the audience is potential employees, partners, investors or other stakeholders, the team needs to be able to effectively, accurately and succinctly convey key concepts and articulate a call to action.  This workshop will help student teams use the information represented by their BMC to create a presentation slide deck, and then assist the teams to make presentations based upon that slide deck.

    Previous recordings:

    Pitch Deck and Pitch with Matt Westfield