Upcoming Venture Café Featuring Guest Speaker Michael Giuliano!

thumbnail_venture-cafe_digital-display_michael-giulianoMichael Giuliano is frequently requested by name for his widely-published results with Fortune 500’s Elite and Private Equity (Including 38 of the Fortune 100). He has enjoyed leading operations and successful product launches in excess of $1B. Giuliano has managed and/or directed P&L’s as large as $11B for several major M&A turnarounds and successfully led multiple start-ups.

Giuliano is most recognized as the United States Patent and Trademark Owner of certifiedlean. In 2014, he proudly donated his “certifiedlean” mark to Ohio University to introduce and increase access to key learnings earlier in the education process as students versus later in life as professionals. Giuliano has directly trained and authored formal Corporate Lean-Sigma Programs (utilizing Hoshin Kanri and Shingijutsu methodologies) spanning nearly every industry, discipline, and profession. He has directly trained over 40,000 professionals worldwide since 2000.

Giuliano started his career a tech-giant Intel where he earned distinct Engineering honors throughout numerous high profile product launches and served as Intel’s First Lean Content Expert at their Flagship Manufacturing Lab.

The Center for Entrepreneurship hosts various Venture Cafes throughout the semester as a way to connect students with an expert in their field of study. They are a great way for business oriented students to learn the ins and outs of the various aspects of becoming a successful entrepreneur. This event will be held on Friday, February 24th from 12-1:30pm at the Living Learning Center. We look forward to seeing you there!


Bobcat Launchpad Kickoff

Many Bobcats have gotten their business rolling using Bobcat Launchpad. We will be posting articles highlighting the students, their startups, and how Bobcat Launchpad turned their dreams into reality. First up is Drake Crabtree and The First Rendezvous which offers The First Date Box.

Drake Crabtree and The First Date Box!

Drake Crabtree came up with the idea for the First Date Box after brainstorming over the summer with his business partner about potential startup ideas. They both came to an agreement on an idea of a first date box subscription service. With school starting back up soon, they both decided that there wouldn’t be enough time to make their dream of owning a startup come true. As the fall semester went on, Crabtree and his partner found a renewed energy for the idea and dove right in to creating a business. Thus, The First Rendezvous was created. rc7yn2rh

What is The First Date Box, you might ask? It includes a collection of games and activities designed to spark a connection between individuals on a first date. After having his fair share of bad first dates, Crabtree explained that they wanted everything in the box to contribute to a unique first date experience. Everything down to the colors of the box itself contributes to the overall theme, which is of course love. The First Rendezvous focuses on creating a unique experience for its consumers, and also has a unique story of its own creation process.

“We didn’t go the traditional startup route with The First Rendezvous. A lot of our process involved researching as we went along. Anytime a new challenge came up, we would look up ways to solve the problem”, said Crabtree.

He explained that the whole process of creating The First Rendezvous was a great learning experience. Although his partner had ran a business before, Crabtree said that there are a lot of little things he learned along the way, such as paying attention to details. He also learned the importance of preparation, especially with regards to giving public speeches. One of the key resources in helping Crabtree overcome the many challenges of creating a startup was The Center for Entrepreneurship.

“One thing that the Center really did for me was give me the courage and drive to keep pushing forward. It really helped to listen to different perspectives from other entrepreneurs and gain more experience on what our future should be”, said Crabtree.

Crabtree explained that another major benefit from working with the Center for Entrepreneurship was the networking possibilities. He explained that by going to these events, he was able to connect with many different individuals, ranging from professors, businesses, and other entrepreneurs. It gave Crabtree the courage to go up and talk to his professors and actually be proud of what he had done as an entrepreneur. It also gave him other opportunities with local entrepreneurs. Because of the success of The First Rendezvous, Crabtree was

contacted by the entrepreneurship fraternity here at Ohio University, Epsilon Nu Tau, where he now works as the Vice President of Pledge Education and as an executive board member.

When asked about advice for any upcoming entrepreneurs, Crabtree said this, “Just go for it because if you hesitate then you won’t get anything done. Without even trying, you won’t know if your ideas will be successful or not”.

Any young entrepreneurs should take Crabtree’s advice. Go out and try something while you are still in college and have these opportunities. Without trying, you really won’t know if you can succeed. For more information about Drake Crabtree and The First Rendezvous, visit their website at: http://www.thefirstrendezvous.com/ picture1

Entrepreneurship Around the Globe

thumbnail_19703557230_a95f9845bd_z-1_2Faith Knutsen, Associate Director of TechGROWTH Ohio, visited Dr. Uzuegbunam’s Ideation class and gave a presentation on a few social entrepreneurs from Africa. Along with hearing from these entrepreneurs via skype, students were also able to hear from a local entrepreneur, Megen Weber. After a brief introduction about social entrepreneurs, Knutsen prompted Weber to talk about her experiences as a local entrepreneur.

Weber currently runs a preschool which is located in The Plains, Ohio. This preschool is currently run by 9 staff members, all of which are in charge of teaching a group of roughly 40 children. Weber started out working at a private school, located in the same area, until it was later closed. When the school shut down, many parents were concerned for their children’s education. Weber saw there was a clear problem, and wanted to solve it. Weber used this example of her business and explained how individuals could look more locally when they are trying to solve a problem, instead of trying to solve problems on a national level.

“When starting a business, the most important thing is that you have a whole lot of initiative. The process is going to be all consuming and require a great deal of your time and energy”, said Weber.

After Weber concluded her speech, Knutsen gave a presentation on one of the African Entrepreneurs, as there were some technical difficulties with Skype. Lucy Athieno was an impoverished Ugandan woman who saw that basic sanitary supplies were unavailable in her area. She said that often girls were forced to miss school when their monthly cycle came around. Athieno saw that when these girls missed school, they were missing out on education opportunities. She didn’t want these girls to be held back because of a natural bodily function. She then designed a sanitary pad that could be locally made, which made it very inexpensive. Once she created the product, it was then shipped out to local schools which helped girls achieve a higher attendance rate and also learn more about their bodies.

Next up to speak was Kakel Mbumb, an agricultural entrepreneur from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mbumb focused on agriculture because 80% of the region he lives in is rural, and the agricultural produce was being undermined by imports from other countries. Eventually he decided to expand his area of focus to youth and digital connectivity. Now, Mbumb wants to work towards helping people gain access to electricity and the internet.

“This way they can gain more knowledge about what they are doing”, said Mbumb.

Mbumb also wants to improve literacy levels in youth, so that way they can actually access the internet and eventually gain more knowledge. Mbumb believes that this integrated process will greatly help youth in his area, and it will also allow him to keep a closer eye on every aspect of his organizations.

The last person to speak was Alfred Godwin Adjabeng, another agricultural entrepreneur that works to improve the food security problems in schools in Ghana. Adjabeng works as a director in his organization to reach out to other communities to gain support for his program. The program aims to gather community support and after which they will provide a small amount of land which will be set aside for the school growing zone. This way, schools have the ability to produce the food that their students eat. They also support government work, which contributes to 40% of the food security in the region. He said that the government works to provide subsidized settings to make sure the crops do well.

“Our definition of success is seeing the school attendance rate rise. Our program greatly benefits the youth and we have seen tremendous growth in the attendance rates of the schools that support our program,” said Adjabeng.

Overall, the event was a huge success. Students were able to hear from entrepreneurs from around the world and gain more knowledge on how to solve problems at a local level. They were also able to learn a little bit more about various problems that people face outside of the United States. Make sure to stay tuned to our blog for more information about upcoming events!

Guest Speaker Mark Foley Visits MGT 3720 Class!

thumbnail_photo-1-rev5Mark Foley, Technology Commercialization Manager at the Technology Transfer Office, visited Dr. Luke Pittaway’s MGT 3720 class today and gave a brief presentation on how inventors can go about getting protection for their inventions. Foley talked to the students about the four main categories of intellectual property (IP); Patents, Copyrights, Trademarks, and Trade Secrets. He then briefly talked about the details of each of these categories, as well as the pros and cons of using them. Foley also talked about the process in which an inventor would file for one of these protections. He wrapped up the presentation by answering some questions surrounding different aspects of IP.

The Technology Transfer Office’s mission is to facilitate the transfer of intellectual property to business and industry through the development and management of high-quality portfolio of diverse technologies; ensure intellectual property rights; negotiate and execute licensing agreements; and, when feasible, assist in the formation of start-up businesses that utilize the university’s technology in order to provide benefits to the university as well as the regional economy.

Ohio University Alums Design Anti-Drone Countermeasure


In 2015, Dan Stamm and Alex Morrow saw a need for protection against the growing trend of unmanned drones. With a small amount of capital, and permission from their scientific leaders, the two set out to create a piece of technology that would provide people with protection from pesky drones. DroneDefender, as the technology is being called, is a directed-energy unmanned aircraft system countermeasure. The countermeasure disrupts communication between the drone and the user and neutralizes any remote actions, such as detonation. This way, there is very little damage done to the surrounding area, as well as to the drone itself. Due to regulations placed by the Federal Communications Commission, DroneDefender is only able to be used by authorized personnel. The two creators have sold over 100 of these devices to the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security. With high demand for their tech, the creators surely have their future work cut out for them! More information about DroneDefender can be found here: https://www.battelle.org/government-offerings/national-security/tactical-systems-vehicles/tactical-equipment/counter-UAS-technologies