Global Entrepreneurship Week


This year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week kicks off on Monday, November 14th! In honor of this celebration, the Center for Entrepreneurship will be holding three events throughout the week. These events are intended to be a learning experience for anyone who wants to know the ins-and-outs of being an entrepreneur. Even if you don’t plan on running your own business, it will be a great way to meet new people and discuss business related topics. We look forward to seeing you there! Rising from the Ashes – Monday, November 14th

Held in Jackie O’s Public Room, there will be a discussion about the effects of the 2014 Union Street Fire and how it impacted the business owners. It’s meant to focus on the community support for these businesses and how they bounced back better than ever. Learn how re-building is different from the original start-up and the significance of being prepared. The event commemorates the second anniversary of the fire as well as gets the ball rolling for Global Entrepreneurship Week. Come out and show your support to this wonderful community!

Celebration of Women in Entrepreneurship Day – Tuesday, November 15th

In honor of Women in Entrepreneurship Day, come join us from 4:30pm-6:00pm to welcome a special guest speaker. Jane Grote Abell, Donato’s Board Chairwoman and Columbus CEO of the Year, will be speaking about her book, “The Missing Piece: Doing Business the Donato’s Way”, as well as talking about her story. She will also be talking about her “4 C’s of success.” Make sure you come prepared to find out what it takes to run a successful business!

Social Entrepreneurship – Wednesday, November 16th

Stop by the Living Learning Center to meet some experienced entrepreneurs and learn more about the challenges and rewards of running your own business. This event is meant to connect the upcoming generation of young entrepreneurs with people who have become very successful at what they are doing. Theses experienced entrepreneurs will help give you some

tips to be successful, as well as help you by answering any questions you may have about being an entrepreneur. Be sure to stop by and meet these individuals, they could be a great connection between you and some top businesses in their field!

Global Entrepreneurship Week will be a great time for those who want to learn more about running your own business. Maybe you aren’t looking to be an entrepreneur, this event will still be for you. You can come and show your support to this wonderful community and meet some of the great people who live here. Each of the events will be focused on different key elements to help make you more diverse when it comes to taking on the world as an entrepreneur. Make sure you stop by to not only learn some new information, but also meet some successful people in this line of work.

Food Truck Follow-Up!

Students and Faculty gathered on Tuesday October 11th to hear the startup stories from the famous food trucks of Athens. The event started off with a brief introduction of each food truck present, given by Dr. Luke Pittaway. After the introduction, the event was turned over to the owners of the food trucks, each of them taking turns to describe their individual journeys to get to the place they all are now. Each owner had their own experiences that shaped not only how their business grew, but also gave them differing opinions on the key parts of the food truck industry.

Marla Rutter, current owner of the Burrito Buggy, was the first to speak. She described to the audience of how she had been a freshmen at Ohio University when the original Burrito Buggy opened. She explained that her and her husband always used to imagine what it would be like to own a food business. She finally got her opportunity to find out when the Buggy closed in 2010. Rutter originally stepped in to help her daughter buy the Buggy but then later took it up as her own. Now, Rutter has greatly expanded upon the original. She now has a second Burrito Buggy for those larger events held around Athens.

The next people to speak were the owners of Ali Baba, Nisar and Brenda Shaikh. The two met at Hocking College, originally called Hocking Tech, and then later moved to Athens. They both had a very hard time finding jobs and contemplated on starting a food truck. The Paul Bunyon Show held in Nelsonville, Ohio was the very first event that they took their food truck to. The very first food sold out of the truck was not a gyro, but a burger with an egg on top of it. This didn’t receive very good reviews with the customers. Then they took the buggy to the Ohio State Fair and got the idea from another vendor to start selling gyros and falafels. The Shaikh’s now have three buggies parked around Athens and have focused more on the sale of Mediterranean cuisine.

Nisar Shaikh believes that,”It’s best to be a unique business, one that will stand out from the others.” He also said, “If you work hard and put your mind into the business, you will succeed.”

The owner of Petru, Stacy Peters, was next to speak. Petru, which opened in February of 2016, is a chocolate truck that specializes in the sale of truffles. Originally, Peters was just making truffles for fun. She then got an idea from her friend to start marketing her truffles at the Athens Farmers Market. When she first started going to the market, she couldn’t get a table so she had to sell them from her friend’s table. When she did sell her truffles, it was only a few at a time. After some time, she opened up her own table, which become known as O’Chocolate.  After the success of O’Chocolate, Peters wanted to expand her business. She thought the best way to do this was buy a food truck.

Peters said,” My favorite part of business is creating new products or inventing new ways to solve problems.” Although she loves to come up with new ideas, she also realizes that,”There are limits what you can do. There is nothing wrong with that, you can still work your very hardest and keep coming up with new products, but just know there will always be a physical limit to what one person can actually do.”

The fourth speaker of the event was Evelyn Nagy, one of the owners of Holy Guacamole. She is the wife of Rudy Nagy and together the two have had a success story in the food truck industry. They started out in Guatemala working 12 hours a day for 6 days straight to provide for their son. With Rudy having a background in the cuisine of various countries, such as Mexico, Italy, China, and Japan, it became apparent that selling food was the way to go. They received help from a friend to buy a trailer shell, in which they sold shoes out of to fund their new business. Over time they would accumulate enough money to buy new appliances or parts that their trailer needed.

Nagy said,” If you do what you know, you will be successful. Find something you are very good at and then find a way to make money doing it. The other thing is whatever you want to do, just go for it and be okay will failure. You will always learn from your mistakes and you can then improve on them to become better.”

The final speaker for the evening was Elizabeth Dahlen, Assistant Manager of Catering at Ohio University. Her mother, sister, and brother-in-law all were very successful with their own food trucks, which inspired Dahlen to work in a food truck during her summer breaks. Although she had a passion for food truck, she chose to take a different path with her life and focus on Interior Design. After working all across the United States, she decided it was time to settle down and finally come back to her childhood passion, food.

Her initial plan was to run a small business in Columbus, Ohio. After only a year of being open, she had to close her business because the landlord sold the building. Dahlen was then contacted by Schmidt’s, a popular restaurant in Columbus, with a proposal for her to help them expand upon their current business. The best part, they wanted her to run a food truck. Dahlen successfully helped Schmidt’s and since then they have purchased a second truck and are currently in production of a third.

The main things Dahlen finds important are,” Don’t ever give up. It’s not going to be easy and you will hear a lot of no’s but you must persevere.” She also believes that it is important for you to find a partner to help balance the work load of owning a small business. She said,”You become the owner, the salesperson, and the worker. A partner will greatly help you because it will make it easier to balance the workload instead of taking it all on yourself.”

These owners are a great example of what it really takes to own your own business. Their stories really show the struggles that you might have to go through if you decide to go down this path. It’s not going to be easy, but do not get discouraged. If you put your mind to something and really put in the effort it takes, much like the owners of these trucks, you will be successful.

The man of many lessons resides in Copeland 409a

via: Austin Ambrose
September 30, 2016

Tucked away in Copeland 409A, Paul Mass sits amid the business-deal “tombstones” lining the shelves and cabinets around the room, which showcase more than Mass’s numerous accomplishments. Each one holds a memory, and the new entrepreneur-in-residence and associate director of the Center for Entrepreneurship excitedly reminisces. He can point to any one of them and recall the entire story of that business deal.

However, Mass’s story did not begin in business. He originally was interested in politics, but law school soured him on that field. When it was time to find a job, Mass was particular about the law firm he would work for.

“I wanted to make an impact and have a lot of responsibilities,” Mass said. “I aspired to work in a firm that could train me with a really smart mentor so I would not get lost in a library.”

Through his search, Mass found Long and Aldridge, a young Atlanta, Georgia firm with only nine lawyers. He worked there for many years, specializing in mergers, acquisitions and general corporate matters, until one of Long and Aldridge’s largest clients lured him away temporarily.

His time as vice president and general counsel for Cable America changed his career. Being part of a booming cable television industry was exciting, and representing people in cable and radio was terrific work. Although Mass eventually returned to his former law firm and became a partner, he wouldn’t stay long.

A few years after returning, he moved to Birmingham, Alabama, to start CableSouth, a small cable company that brought cable TV to rural Alabama.

Mass had learned that big cities were saturated by large cable companies, making it difficult for a small entrepreneurial company to gain traction in the marketplace; once a utility was in place, that cable provider had control of the area. In order to enter the cable marketplace, Mass decided to target small towns that didn’t have access to cable yet.

“If you could get the money to build there, you were in,” Mass said. “We had subscribers who would pay their cable bill before their mortgage. People loved their cable service. It was the smartest idea I ever had.”

CableSouth and the rest of the cable industry, though, had a challenge: telling their subscribers what was on a growing number of TV channels. Mass saw an opportunity and bought two data companies. They became TV Data Technologies, and within five years, they were the largest provider of programming information. For seven years, the company supplied more than 90 percent of newspapers and set-top video guides in the country.

“We really got it right,” Mass said. “This was the first time that we started a venture entirely on our own and created enormous value in it.”

But Mass worried that bigger companies would replicate their business model notwithstanding the huge cost. Eventually, he sold CableSouth and TV Data Technologies. It was the end of his career in cable, but just the beginning of his entrepreneurial ventures.

Shortly after exiting the cable industry, a friend approached Mass about helping two prominent scientists in Boston create a biotech company focusing on discovering new antibiotics. Despite having no knowledge of biotech, Mass said yes.

Finding investors in the United States, however, proved more challenging than Mass assumed. Luckily, when one of the scientists was presenting at a conference, Mass overheard some attendees discussing pharmaceuticals. He joined the conversation and learned the men were from Croatia.

Paul Mass Headshot

“The only thing I knew about Croatians was they loved sports,” Mass said, “so I asked them if they had been to a Braves game. They told me no but wanted to, so that night I took them to the game with my season passes.”

Between teaching the men about baseball and getting to know them, Mass learned they worked for PLIVA, then the largest pharmaceutical company in Central and Eastern Europe. After trips to Croatia, Mass and the scientists received $15 million to create a Boston-based laboratory for their antibiotic project.

Things looked good. The company hired a big-name CEO with a background in the drug industry, raised $60 million, and became a public company. The company eventually failed under this new leadership but Mass is still exceptionally proud of his work prior to the IPO.

“It was a good lesson to learn as an entrepreneur,” he said. “You can’t only measure the quality of your work by whether you ultimately make money or not.”

Mass moved back to Atlanta and taught personal finance to high school juniors and seniors for a year while his daughters were in high school. But, entrepreneurship still beckoned. A succession of ventures followed, starting with Main Street Broadband LLC. Mass decided to increase access to high-speed internet to people in rural areas. The government was pushing for rural broadband, so Mass received loans to kickstart the venture. Unfortunately, when the economy began to fail in 2008, Main Street’s numbers came in short. They attempted to renegotiate the terms of the loans but the government would not change the agreement. Main Street was forced to shut down.

“We learned a big lesson, be very careful if you rely on easy money from a big bureaucracy like the federal government,” Mass said.

Mass then moved to San Diego to start ClosingCorp and GovX with his long-time business partner. ClosingCorp is the country’s preeminent database of closing costs and service providers in the real estate industry. GovX is an e-commerce website for members of the U.S. military, law enforcement, fire, emergency response services and other government employees.

While in San Diego, with both ClosingCorp and GovX doing well, Mass longed to get back in the classroom, but this time at the collegiate level. Then Mass saw the position at Ohio University in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

“It was a perfect fit. OU was looking for an entrepreneur, not an academic, and would treat future entrepreneurial work as my “professional development.”

Mass stepped down from his role as CEO of ClosingCorp, and moved to Athens with his wife, an artist.

As Entrepreneur-in-Residence and Associate Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship, Mass helps the budding center grow and develop. He also works with students, faculty and staff who are trying to develop their own entrepreneurial ventures.

Only four years old, the Center for Entrepreneurship is still working toward its full potential. Mass believes that they must start with academics, such as the entrepreneurship classes that are offered at the University. The CE should then continue to grow the ecosystem by getting mentors, alumni and local businesses involved.

“My real hope is that we take some of these student ideas and actually help them create businesses in this part of the state,” Mass said.

Reflecting on his own ventures and thinking about the future hopes for the Center for Entrepreneurship, Mass noted two key lessons.

“Learn how to take risks and be comfortable with them,” Mass said. “Also, you don’t necessarily have to be the ‘idea guy.’ The truth is, it takes a team of people to start and launch a company.”


Course Highlight: MGT 3730: Entrepreneurial Business Consulting


OverviewImage result for entrepreneurship

Taught by Paul Mass, Associate Director for the Center for Entrepreneurship, this course focuses on applied learning. Students will be assigned to work with a real business and will conduct background research, analyze the client’s situation, and make recommendations on how to address the problem. This course is intended to enhance analytical skills while giving students the opportunity to apply business and academic concepts to a real world situation. Students also see an improvement in report writing, presentation skills, client interpretation skills, and most importantly team management skills. This course is more project based where the students work in small groups to undertake two consulting projects for either new ventures or existing companies. For additional guidance, the groups can meet with Professor Mass to discuss their progress or any questions they may have.


Throughout the semester, each student will be put into a team to complete two consulting projects. Professor Mass will work directly with the clients to create a write-up that will be given to the group that is assigned to that client. The write-up will consist of information about the client and what the client is asking of the students. It also describes what work will need to be done and how it should be delivered. After gathering information throughout the semester, the groups will then have to pudqo0cqdeliver both a mid-semester and final report. These reports will be given to both Professor Mass and the client. An example of a client a student may have to work with would be DeliverTHAT, a college based food delivery service. The students that work with this client would be more focused on things like brand exposure and how to expand the client’s business. Although the client will be different for each group, they will all essentially be asking the same questions.

Course Goal

The main goal of this class is to teach students how to directly apply the information they learn in the classroom into real world situations that they may come across. The real benefit of taking this class is the fact that the students will be working with real businesses that want real answers. It teaches students that if your boss is asking you a specific question, you must be able to provide them with a specific answer. Students will also learn time management skills and the importance of teamwork.

Professor Mass said,” I think the hardest part for students is the process of taking what they learn and applying it in their field. Students can easily repeat back to you the information they have learned in class. They just struggle when it comes to taking that information and putting it to use. That’s why I like teaching this class the way I do. I’m here to guide the students and show them what it takes to be successful in the real world.”

Entrepreneurial Business Consulting is a great class to take if you’re looking for a different kind of learning experience. This is due to the fact that students taking this class will be directly applying the information they learn in the classroom to real world situations. They will be learning the skills necessary to be successful in the consulting field as well as skills that will be beneficial throughout their life. This class is definitely recommended to not only those who want to be a consultant, but also to those individuals who wish to gain experience when dealing with real world situations.

Contact Paul Mass at

Entrepreneur Spotlight

Logan Koshenka

Logan Koshenka’s story as an entrepreneur is different than most. He began by playing football for the University of Tulsa as a walk-on. Unfortunately, his football career ended after multiple injuries. Still wanting to keep his career related to sports, he became a personal trainer. Koshenka first got the taste of entrepreneurship when he created his first startup, Cavkosh, at 19 years old. Cavkosh was created to connect users, who had questions, with experts in nearly any field. A few months after creating his first startup, Koshenka was accepted into Drapers University. Drapers University has been labeled as a Startup Bootcamp due to it’s different style of education. It’s intended to really push individuals to their limits so that way they will only put their best effort into their projects. Koshenka felt that Drapers University allowed him to think bigger.

“I’m from Bellaire, OH which is super small, so being in the heart of Silicon Valley, seeing driverless cars, virtual reality, and hearing about all these crazy ideas really just broadened my horizon.” It also allowed him to work alongside of many talented individuals, as well as hear from some of the big names in entrepreneurship,” he said.

In his previous startup, he had to rely mostly on developers to make any progress. His goal was to become more self-reliant, and the best way for him to do that was to learn how to code. So he started small and set aside time each day where he would just practice coding. After enough practice and tutorials, Koshenka decided to branch off and create something different. Using the skill he had learned from digital design, he created his very own game.

“Perfect 10 was really a get my feet wet project. It was really just to say that I had an app on the App Store.” Although it was more of a learning experience for Koshenka, Perfect 10 had huge success and initially had over 10,000 downloads in the first week of release. Now it has grown to over 100,000 downloads overall,” Koshenka said.

Koshenka has recently been working on a new project, one that he plans on releasing this fall. Although he wants to keep the identity of the project a secret, he did tell me a few details.

“Without giving too much away, it’s a social app and I think it’ll be pretty popular here at Ohio University. It’s something that I really wanted to see exist, so I got to work and began building it this summer.”

Koshenka admits that he never really took Perfect 10 seriously because it was a game. He seems very excited about his upcoming project because it will be an actual business.

Koshenka has a bright future ahead of him, no matter what he does. He loves coding, entrepreneurship and plans on mixing the two together throughout his future endeavors. He also loves being here in Athens, Ohio. He thinks this a great place to release an app because of the supportive community.

Although tech used to be claimed by Silicon Valley, startup communities are beginning to pop up all around the country.

“This state is very special to me, and it’s a personal goal of mine to own a successful company while keeping it headquartered in Ohio,” Koshenka said.

So if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, follow Koshenka’s example. After putting in enough hard work and you will be rewarded.

Start Getting Excited for Startup Weekend

By: Terry Plant-Collins

Startup Weekend is an event held by the Innovation Center, geared towards helping individuals develop a startup. Participants of the event pitch their ideas on Friday October 21st and then spend the remainder of the weekend forming teams and refining their initial ideas. The participants will be working alongside professional coaches to practice for their final presentation given on Sunday October 23rd. The participants will present their refined ideas to a panel of five judges. Awards will be given to the top three presentations. In addition to the competition, the participants will have the privilege of hearing a speech from Dr. Christopher Crawford, Assistant Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship in the College of Business.

Here is some more information on each of the judges:

Rob Painter

Rob Painter is the Managing Director and Technologist at Razor’s Edge Ventures. Razor’s Edge seeks to fund startup tech companies that focus mainly in the cyber security sector. They always seek to work towards the advancement of technology, especially in regards to national security. Prior to joining Razor’s Edge, Painter worked for Google as a Business Product Manager. There he focused mainly on supporting and providing technologies. Painter’s history includes several advisory roles that focus on strategic, tactical, and operational objectives within numerous law enforcement agencies.

Vic Matta

Vic Matta is an Associate Professor in Management Information Systems in the College of Business. He is recognized for his student engagement techniques. They are known to be flexible to inspire learning in the complex subjects that Matta teaches. Matta loves analysis, human reasoning and teaching most of all.

Bob Silva

A director in the Tech Transfer Office, Robert Silva has over 25 years of experience in senior level positions, dealing with technology development, technology commercialization, and general company management. He is responsible for administration, coordination, protection and disposition of all intellectual property and technology commercialization matters. He also provides support to the business incubators here at Ohio University, as well as assists the offices of Research and Sponsored Programs and Research Compliance.

Carol Clark

Carol Clark is a Business Consultant with more than 30 years of experience with online education, software development, and professional services. She is strategically focused with demonstrated leadership abilities. Her skills include, but are not limited to: financial analysis, capital procurement, investor relations, profit improvement, and technology management.

Jennifer L’Heureux

Local artist and entrepreneur, Jennifer L’Heureux is the proud owner of Nelsonville Emporium. Her dream came true in 2002 when she first opened her studio. It spent it’s first 10 years as Nelsonville Pottery and Gifts, which featured work from dozens of artists and many locally made gifts. With a new name, the Emporium has its eyes set on the future. The name change was to show that the store didn’t just focus on pottery, but many different types of goods.


If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or are simply looking to create a startup, Startup Weekend may be for you. Even if you aren’t looking to participate, Startup Weekend will be a great place to find out more information about the in’s and out’s of starting a business. Startup Weekend kicks off on Friday October 21st at 6pm at the Innovation Center. More information and the schedule for the event can be found here:

Join us October 11th for the Food Truck Round-Up!


You may be asking yourself, “What is a food truck round-up?” This is an event where the owners of the many food trucks located throughout Athens come together and talk about what it takes to succeed in their line of business. You will be hearing from the owners of Burrito Buggy, Holy Guacamole, Ali Babas, and Petru. Here is some information about the owners of these fine establishments:

Burrito Buggy

Marla Rutter was a freshman when she first got hooked on the Burrito Buggy. She is an Athens native, and graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Musical Therapy. In 2010 the Burrito Buggy nearly closed, but Rutter stepped in to save the truck she had always loved. Rutter quit her job as and insurance saleswoman to operate the Buggy full time. Since then she has expanded upon the original menu and also purchased a second Buggy for special events.

Holy Guacamole

Rudy and Evelyn Nagy, from Chauncey, launched their business back in August of 2012. Rudy, originally from Guatemala, has experience in cooking Mexican, Italian, Chinese, and Japanese cuisine. His dream is to eventually open up a sit-down restraint in the Plains. Evelyn is a caseworker for the Rural Women’s Recovery Program during the day. In the evening and on weekends, she helps her husband run the truck.

Ali Baba’s

Nisar Shaikh started Ali Baba’s back in 1988, making it the oldest single family trailer on the vending row. Shaikh was born in British Colonized India in 1944. He has lived in England, Italy and Libya. He now holds bachelor’s degrees in Economics and Political Science and a master’s in Industrial Engineering, all from Ohio University. Originally having a hard time finding a job, he decided to make his own food truck from scratch. He and his wife, Brenda, used a box trailer and a pile of recyclables to create what is now known as Ali Baba’s. They specialize in the sale of Mediterranean cuisine, specifically gyros.


Stacy Peters has lived in Athens since 2005. Back in 2010 she started a chocolate business named O’Chocolate which sold truffles at the farmer’s market. She expanded upon that by wholesaling chocolate bars in stores all over Athens and Columbus. Since food trucks had always been fascinating to her, she decided to start her own. Thus Petru was launched in February of 2016. She had help from a crew of people to gut and rebuild the inside of a 2007 step van, turning it into a certified kitchen

To conclude, this event is open to anyone who wants to hear from the owners of the famous food trucks from Athens. We look forward to seeing you there!