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Students Connect with Peers, Entrepreneurs at Immersion Week

hiram-team

The Entrepreneurship Education Consortium brought together Northeast Ohio students, business leaders, educators and entrepreneurs last week at its annual Immersion Week, Aug. 4-9, at Hiram College.

A team of five Hiram College students – Ryan Kuhar ’14, Bhavneet Kala ’14, Shane Young ’14, Kaitlin Ruszkowski ’14 and Elle Rochford ’14 – joined teams of students from Ashland University, Baldwin-Wallace University, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, John Carroll University, Lake Erie College, Kent State University, Lorain Community College, the University of Akron and the University of Mount Union, for a week of engaging activities and speakers.

As they heard advice and information from speakers throughout the week, students had a chance to work with their teams to formulate their own business concept, which they presented in the form of a competition on Friday, Aug. 9. The students worked hard on these concepts, conducting consumer research, feasibility studies and financial analysis, all of which they presented during the competition.

The program leaders and judges were very impressed with the ideas, many of which were market-ready. Students from Ashland University took first place and a $2,500 prize, followed by students from Kent State University, who placed second with $1,500, and John Carroll University, who placed third with $1,000.

Last week’s program was the seventh annual Immersion Week, an intensive one-week, academic immersion experience for undergraduates from all disciplines to learn the basic skills needed to help them develop new business concepts and participate in a business concept competition.

Speakers included Immersion Week alumni who have since put their ideas into action and educators from partner institutions. Local business men and women, including Christopher Riker, project and IT director of Nottingham Spirk; Jason Therrien, president of thunder::tech; Katherine Miracle, founder and owner of Miracle Resources, LLC; Bob Cohen, CEO of Braintree Business Development Center; Dana Kachurchak, president of Presentation Dynamics, Inc.; and several more, also spoke to the students. John Knific, CEO and co-founder of DecisionDesk, gave the keynote speech.

View the week in photos: (Full collection available on Flickr)

Chef and entrepreneur Anne Hayman led an interactive dinner the first night of Immersion Week.

Chef and entrepreneur Anne Hayman led an interactive dinner the first night of Immersion Week.

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Hiram College students shake hands with the judges before presenting their business concept on Aug. 9.

Hiram College students shake hands with the judges before presenting their business concept on Aug. 9.

The Hiram College team makes its business pitch.

The Hiram College team makes its business pitch.

Ashland University students were winners of the business concept competition at the conclusion of Immersion Week 2013.

Ashland University students were winners of the business concept competition at the conclusion of Immersion Week 2013.

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Jennifer Wiggins Johnson, associate professor in the Department of Entrepreneurship at Kent State University, presents the topic “Industry & Market Feasibility Analysis.”

Donald Wayne, founding partner of LISTEN UP, LLC, presented the topic, "Personal and Professional Development."

Donald Wayne, founding partner of LISTEN UP, LLC, presented the topic, “Personal and Professional Development.”

Katherine Miracle, founder and owner of Miracle Resources, LLC, discussed "Leadership & Building Your Team."

Katherine Miracle, founder and owner of Miracle Resources, LLC, discussed “Leadership & Building Your Team.”

Dana Kachurchak, president of Presentation Dynamics, Inc., presented "Bringing it all Together."

Dana Kachurchak, president of Presentation Dynamics, Inc., presented “Bringing it all Together.

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