Spotlight: Dr. Crawford

Dr. Crawford has been at Ohio University for two years now. He started off here as a visiting professor, but he is now here in the more permanent position of Assistant Professor of Strategic Management. We are highlighting him in our spotlight series to show the different facets and assets of this department. If you want more information on the center check out this link. The Certificate in Entrepreneurship is a new, flexible way to get involved in entrepreneurship that will help you be successful in your future career.

Dr. Crawford truly brings a unique perspective to the field, and his passion, energy and curiosity is absolutely contagious. Self-described as being “raised by wolves and circus people,” he comes from a very interesting past and has become a very interesting person.

“Entrepreneurship is the creation of new order. It’s about creating companies, about creating new wealth. It’s about trying new things.” That is how Dr. Crawford defines entrepreneurship. The aspect he loves most about entrepreneurship (and his job) is the autonomy—the ability to pick and choose projects based on personal skills and motivation.

After finding a role model and supporter in an English teacher (a lady much like Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society), he decided to follow her path and attend school to become a teacher. As a junior at the University of Toledo, where he also played basketball, he was approached by the Dean of the business school at his university who offered him this advice: you can write in any profession, but in business you can make some money doing it. Following that advice, he went on to get an MBA in marketing from Miami University. While in school he started a company (with a logo that suspiciously looks a lot like the cover of the first Twilight novel) called Red Apple consulting. During this time he was also a nationally ranked powerlifter and body builder.

He takes inspiration from Tom Peters, one of his favorite authors, who has a mantra of “Do cool [stuff] every [darn] day” (edited for content). He really takes this to heart as seen in this video of him doing cool and dangerous stuff (including a standing back tuck and driving his RX-7 140mph). And now, that is what he studies. He is focused on studying outliers. He wants to understand why Google is Google and why Facebook is Facebook. Understanding how one becomes an outlier is a very interesting topic, and Dr. Crawford believes it has a lot to do with dedication and hard work. He believes in hard work, setting high expectations, and finding the freaks. People that are different are outliers, differences make the systems stronger.

That is how he ended up here. From being “raised by wolves and circus people” to voted Best OU Professor by the Athens Messenger, Dr. Crawford is someone you should make time to meet. He is an interesting, passionate guy that brings a lot to the program. Shoot him an email at crawforg@ohio.edu if you want to get connected. Don’t forget that the possibilities are limitless.

Win $10,000 for the best business plan!

Want to start a business? Have a great idea? Well a contest in Nelsonville is holding a competition just for you. Ever heard of a little thing called Jackie O’s? Well they got their start with the help of a business plan competition sponsored by Start It Up Nelsonville.

The hope is that this competition will help the fostering of economic development, particularly in light of the opening of the Route 33 bypass. This organization is also pledging $5,000 to local high school students who submit essays about why they love Nelsonville.

If you have a great business idea you want to start in this area of Ohio and want the chance to win $10,000 then check out more information here.

Student Spotlight: Austin Stahl

The entrepreneurship students are the greatest example of why this program is great. We want to highlight them in our spotlight series to show how awesome and diverse they are.

Graduating this spring, Austin Stahl is a senior studying Journalism. However, unlike many students outside of the College of Business he is making the effort to add entrepreneurship to his resume. This Loveland Ohio native defines “Entrepreneur” as someone who can make big things happen with few resources. He says, “They are a little bit crazy, truly believe in what they are doing and are extremely good at blocking out the haters.”

Before deciding on the Entrepreneurship Certificate, Austin knew he wanted to go into business. His first thought was to pursue a business minor, but later he decided on the Entrepreneurship Certificate. He hadn’t taken any business courses when he added the Certificate, he just knew he liked the idea and wanted the business background.

“I want to go into business and was planning to add a business minor, and then I found out about the certificate and decided to pursue that instead. I liked its flexibility and the fact that it was a little bit different than a standard business education.”

He has big dreams for his future in energy after starting off in an entry level sales or marketing position. “Ideally I will work my way up the solar industry and become the Chief Marketing Officer at a larger solar company. That or involved as a co-founder of a startup in the clean energy space. “

From wanting to be a professional athlete to wanting to be a sports writer to a blooming clean energy entrepreneur, Austin is a prime example of what entrepreneurship is. It is the ability to have options and make your opportunities limitless.

Spotlight: Mr. Paul Benedict

The Ohio Center or Entrepreneurship hired new faculty this year. We want to highlight them in our spotlight series. Reach out to them and ask questions. Use these great people as resources for your future success.

Mr. Paul Benedict has a close relationship with entrepreneurship. Working in entrepreneurship for the past 14 years in some capacity from helping startups, to starting startups, to investing with Adena Ventures, he has had the chance to look at entrepreneurship from many angles with an emphasis on investing.

To him, entrepreneurship is about solving big problems, doing something different, trying something no one else has tried. He understands the importance of failing in the pursuit of trying something you’ve never tried before, but he will be there for students to help them learn from their mistakes. The goal is to do something great. Do something that is going to make someone’s life better or job easier.

However, that is not where he started. As a little kid he dreamed of one day playing first base for the New York Yankees, but as he said that dream was “crushed very quickly.” However, after baseball dreams and political ambitions he found his heart in entrepreneurship.

When asked, “What is one thing you want the students you work with to know about you?” He responded with, “The honest answer is that I love this [stuff]” (edited for content). He is very passionate about entrepreneurship and loves working with students. The creativity and the possibility for creation are what make his job worth it. He jokes about picture of the Titanic that read “Perhaps my purpose in life is to serve as a warning to others.” He wants to help students learn from his mistakes in order to better facilitate their success.

The one piece of advice he’d give to OU students is to start something. Either to support a cause or for a profit, start something. Try to solve a problem, try to break stuff, try to do something crazy. See if you can pull it off. If you look at entrepreneurial teams that have been wildly successful, they start as friends. They use the deep trust and friendship to build from, and college is a great time to form those useful and meaningful bonds.

If you want to talk to Mr. Benedict you can reach him at this email Benedict@ohio.edu.

Dr. Luke Pittaway: Keynote at 2014 IEEC Conference

Luke Pittaway

Dr. Luke Pittaway, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship, spread the word about the Center at the 2014 International Entrepreneurship Educators Conference. With his extensive experience in Entrepreneurship, from working at the Center for Entrepreneurial Learning and Leadership at Georgia Southern University to his research on entrepreneurial education, Dr. Pittaway is a great asset to Ohio University. We were very proud to have him represent us as the Keynote at the conference. He gave a great speech that got a lot of attention on twitter (follow him @lukepittaway) and shared the experiential learning that is highlighted at Ohio University. Highlighting classroom engagement and community engagement, he talked about OU’s student centered learning and showed how much there is to offer at this University. If you want to know more about Entrepreneurship, follow this blog and follow us on Twitter (@OU_CE) for updates.

Spotlight: Meet Ohio University Consulting Fellows

The Ohio Center or Entrepreneurship has student organizations that are a great way to learn and practice entrepreneurship. We want to highlight one of them in our spotlight series. Reach out to Consulting Fellows and ask questions. Taking part in this organization is a great way to get on the path to success.

Consulting Fellows:

Have you ever wanted to gain practical and applicable experience in consulting? Work with real world clients, outside of the classroom? Or feel that sense of fulfillment from completing and delivering a solution to a project? Ohio University Consulting Fellows (OUCF) is a student organization which helps develop students in their professional, interpersonal, and leadership skills through consulting. The fellows work on real consulting projects which vary on a wide range of topics and industries. In the past, OUCF has worked with companies operating in the food industry, the consumer goods industry, the non-profit industry, and the educational industry, amongst others.

Ohio University Consulting Fellows interacts with multiple clients and engages in multiple projects each semester. Each project is separated into teams, and the teams are assigned a client. The projects usually last close to one semester in length; however, are extended as necessary. The final deliverable is presented to the client, and, on most occasions, the client implements the recommendations delivered by the Ohio University Consulting Fellows.

Since there is no current consulting track within the College of Business the projects allow students to gain practical and applicable experience to prepare them for the consulting industry. This experience is directly translatable on a résumé to applicable years of experience. Many other schools do not offer this type of experience, with the exception of Ivy League and private institutions. There is no better place on campus to earn consulting experience and prepare you for a job in consulting. This experience blows away recruiters and employers. If you are even considering a job in consulting, this is an organization you should consider joining.

Currently the Ohio University Consulting Fellows are hiring and accepting applications. In order to apply please send a résumé and cover letter to nf606010@ohio.edu.