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Beloit College Student Priorities

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Project Pitch Video


A true entrepreneur when confronted with a problem will instead see a potential opportunity to innovate. Beloit College provides a perfect environment for aspiring entrepreneurs to develop their skills. Being a liberal arts college Beloit College’s main goal is to produce well-rounded individuals, who have the tools necessary to critically look at an idea and improve on it. Both the schools administration and faculty have hole heartedly embraced the idea of entrepreneurship being a vital part of a modern day liberal arts education. It has begun to be implemented in every department on the campus in one-way or another.

In 2004 the college opened the doors to its very own entrepreneurship center. The Center for Entrepreneurship in a Liberal Education at Beloit or CELEB is filled with many of the resources that are vital to a start-up. It can provide students with inspiration, office space, legal advice, start-up funds, and the tools they need to establish a legitimate venture. If students are looking to get their hands dirty there is a full machine shop that anyone can get access to. Also there are several labs, and facilities in the brand new science center.

If students need assistance with an idea or using equipment Beloit College’s amazing faculty can help them. With 98% of professors having a Ph.D. and a 12:1 student to faculty ratio there is an endless amount of talent and advice available for students to take advantage of.

If students cannot find the resources they need on-campus Beloit College is positioned perfectly between Madison, Milwaukee, and Chicago all of which have many business incubators and maker spaces. With the combination of all these resources and support Beloit College is set up to innovate.

Clearly the College has shown support, and the talent and resources needed are in place. Beloit College students now need to start taking more advantage of these resources. Many of these resources are not known about or are left unused. This year, with the support of the school and CELEB, student leaders on campus are going to start a campaign to kick-start the entrepreneurial scene on campus. Two main approaches will be taken. First to provide inspiration for students by holding events that makes students aware of what is available and creates an environment for ventures to get off the ground. Secondly to create a community that will be conducive to success through the creation of sustainable clubs and events. This community is more valuable than any one resource. It will be a support system for ventures and as it increases in number so will the amount of ventures getting off the ground.

Outlined below are some of the specific projects and events that we will be implementing at Beloit College this year. The hope is that these will become sustainable ideas that even after every student currently enrolled is gone will continue to grow and produce ideas that will define Beloit College’s student body.

Link to Prezi overview of campus ecosystem:

Calling all Students

Informational Session (come hear plans, offer feedback and help expand opportunities for all students)

  • Where:

437 East Grand Ave Beloit, WI 53511
Phone: 608.361.6611

  • When:

Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday nights 7-9pm.

  • RSVP

Tom Porkka


Strategy #1: Inspire

The first goal is to generate awareness, importance and fundamental elements of I&E to students.

Tactic #1: Monthly CELEB Speaker Series

  • Create a consistent monthly speaker event held at  CELEB. These talks would really help bring students and faculty down to the entrepreneurship center. They would also provide inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs and help build an entrepreneurial community. 
  • Ellery Addington-White
  • Milestones: [A set of bullets that characterize the work that would likely need to be executed, along with mm/yy]

Tactic #2: Bi-Monthly Hack-A-Thons

  • By having these consistent events where students are challenged to create a business venture in a short amount of time it will hopefully generate the creation of many more start-up. It will also help with promoting CELEB and growing our community. 
  • Ellery Addington-White
  • Milestones: [A set of bullets that characterize the work that would likely need to be executed, along with mm/yy]

Tactic #3: Student Lead Trips

  • Lead more trips to Maker spaces in Madison, Milwaukee, Whitewater, and Chicago. 
  • Encourage students to be creative and proactive outside of their studies. 
  • Show students that there are convenient, creative, and inviting places to create nearby.

Tactic #4: Student Led Entrepreneurial Discussions

  • Weekly meetings to have students teach a subject they are passionate about to other students, who many not know a whole lot about it. 
  • Give people the experience of preparing a lesson and public speaking. 
  • Allow students to learn about a subject they otherwise would not have learned about. 

Strategy #2: Create

Theses strategies are for students that realize I&E is important and want to get involved in deeper way.

Tactic #1: Senior & Junior Entrepreneurial Tour Class

  • The objective of creating this class would be to help students who are nearing graduation a chance to become more familiar with the local and regional entrepreneurial landscape. My vision for this class would be having many successful entrepreneurs come in and talk about their start-ups and also have students go on field trips to the surrounding city's. Also maybe have it run in conjunction with some local business incubators.
  • Offering credit for valuable off campus experiences would provide students an incentive to talk with people outside their comfortable circle about different ideas. 

Tactic #2: Computer Hardware Club

  • Create a club that creates a community of students furthering their knowledge in products that help with innovation. My vision for this club is to have members primarily learning how to work with ARM processors. ARM processor are extremely low power and are extremely useful for any project that could benefit a developing country.
  • Ellery Addington-White

Tactic #3: Engineering Club

  • Since Beloit College does not have an actual engineering major but does have students that are interested in engineering this club would be extremely useful for creating a community of engineers. It would allow students who are interested in engineering to collaborate on projects together and build a sense of community. 
  • Resources like the machine shop are underutilized and could be valuable resources for students to learn by making things they are passionate about. 

Tactic #4: Start-Up of The Year Award

  • Create an award for students who do have a successful start-up. This would not only help a start-up develop but also give students something to work towards and encourage healthy competition. 
  • Given to the student who emobodies an entrepreneurial mindset and learns the most by working on a venture. 

Tactic #5 CELEB Maker Space (MakerLab)

  • Create a place for people to work on personal projects and pitch their projects for funding. 
  • Encourage students to be creative and work together with their friends, or alone, and make something together. 
  • Gain experience working as teams and seeing a proejct through to fruition.
  • This project is underway this semester starting with the funds for a couple 3d printers we now have a functioning maker space tied in with our entrepreneurship center. We are currently working to get contunuous funding and campus recognition by becoming an official student organization.

​Tactic #6 Student Led Technical Workshops

  • Students with skills in web design/development, graphic design, mobile app creation, marketing, social media, etc can teach their skills to students who want to make their idea a reality. 
  • These workshop will start with a short lecture then dive into hands on projects like building participant's websites or growth hacking their company's social media and marketing. 

Tactic #7 Design Thinking/Ideation Nights

  • Student gatherings with the goal of solving specific problems in creative and feasible ways. 
  • Students could brainstorm different ideas after laying out their skills and resources. 
  • Students would create an executable plan by the end of the meeting. 
  • Would encourage interdisciplinary problem solving on issues students care about. 

Related Links

Beloit College


University Innovation Fellows:

Spring 2016 Thomas Porkka

Spring 2015 Hunter Elbourn

Fall 2013 Ellery Addington-White