Kent Entrepreneurs — Taking Care of Business
Kent Elementary School Kids
Entrepreneurship is all about having an idea and making it happen. There shouldn’t be an age limit on good ideas and Kent’s very own Alexandra McDaniels is proving that age has nothing to do with creativity and initiative. She represents the best of Kent’s spirit of unconventionality and she could teach all of us a thing or two about making dreams come true.
Kent High School Kids
Eight Kent Roosevelt High School students joined nearly 15,000 students from the United States, Germany and other countries in Dallas, Texas, April 29 – May 2, to compete in DECA’s 60th International Career Development Conference.
Each year more than 140,000 DECA members, from around the world, start out competing at their local school or district competition in one or more of 70 different competitive events. Those students refine their skills and projects and move on to their state and provincial conferences, from which roughly 10,000 have earned the right to compete at DECA’s International Career Development Conference.
This year’s conference brought together nearly 15,000 students, teachers and business and industry representatives from all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, Canada, Mexico, and Germany will compete for top honors, participate in leadership activities, and some take home roughly $300,000 in scholarships. Kent came out on top.
As you’ll read below, Kent’s kids did us all proud.
Kent College Kids
To be successful in today’s society, you need to be an entrepreneur, said Julie Messing, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation at Kent State University. Kent State launched the center in March and this fall will begin offering entrepreneurship courses to all students and will devote an entire floor of one residence hall to students interested in that field, regardless of their major, she said. Those students will attend classes together, work on business projects and take entrepreneurship-related field trips, she said. We want to fully immerse our students in entrepreneurship from the moment they walk on campus until they graduate, Ms. Messing said.
The entrepreneur lab on campus serves as a kind of safety net for businesses. The entrepreneur may have a good idea, but may not know a lot about running a business. The lab can provide help along the whole spectrum of business operations — accounting, taxation, marketing and inventory — everything the students will encounter in their textbooks.
Kent Business Incubator
One of Kent’s first incubated businesses (Alpha Micron) grew so fast that they ended up buying the whole building from the city. That’s a problem when you’re trying to make space available for other interested businesses but that’s a good problem to have. To solve it, the City has added new incubator space and the success stories have continued to roll in, including Liquid Learning who seems to be copying Alpha Micron’s lead as they have outgrown their current space and are moving into a different part of the city building that can accommodate their business growth.
The incubator space is located at the corner of Summit Street and Depeyster. It hosts a variety of small businesses that are working hard to be successful and carve out their niche. Interested entrepreneurs should call MIke Weddle, the City’s Economic Development Coordinator at (330) 678-7306 to find out how to get in and get started.
No matter what age, experience or expertise, Kent has everything needed to “take care of business.”