Entrepreneur Day 2007
Entrepreneur Day was broken into four sessions. The morning session, specifically for students, was hosted by a panel of College of Business management and entrepreneurship students. The students shared advice from what classes they liked best to how they structure their days in order to have enough time to study, work and carry on normal student lifestyles. The second session consisted of young entrepreneurs under the age of 30, who offered real-world advice to individuals considering entrepreneurship. Start-up recommendations, such as how to choose a location for a business to tips on setting one's business apart from the competition, were the primary subjects of the discussion.
Jeff Riggs, 29, owner of four Wheat Montana Bakery and Delis, was the noon hour keynote speaker. Riggs, who was featured in the Wall Street Journal Online's article "Turning Wheat into Dough, discussed how he went from being a student athlete to owner of a brand new franchise. His presentation was peppered with phrases like I never gave up and I love what I am doing. With as much enthusiasm as Riggs displayed, he also was very candid about the challenges and obstacles he faced in pursuing his dream. He talked about the lack of respect he has been shown due to his age and youthful appearance and the difficulty he had in finding someone to finance his business. In the end, however, he got what he wanted. "I can sleep in later than 6:30," he said, "And, I can dress like this," as he directed attention to his corduroy shorts and polo t-shirt.
The afternoon session, which was directed more to individuals interested in starting a business, was presented by a panel of business experts, including a banking professional, human resource consultant, advertising executive, among others. They offered advice ranging from how to go about obtaining business financing, marketing a business, to who to hire and who to avoid hiring.
Overall, the day was a great success. Steve Sanford, co-owner of Salient Technologies said, "It was really helpful and I am really glad we came."
Panel members included the following:
Student Panel: Becky Brewster, Management Student Julie Ho, Management Student Jonathan Sestrich, Entrepreneurial Experience Student
Panel of Young Entrepreneurs: Kalen Caughey, Guarana Energia Hunter Lacey, Bar 3 BBQ Kaycee Majxner, Flying Horse Communication Quinn McGrath, Cold Stone Creamery Marty Ostermiller, BanX and Event Point Brie Schaffer, Oil and Vinegar Jeff Riggs, Wheat Montana Bakery and Deli
Panel of Business Experts Gary Bloomer, TechRanch Wendy Christie, Human Resource Consulting Mike Gold, Flying Horse Communication & Marketing Instructor MSU College of Business Keith Hamburg, Bozeman Area Chamber of Commerce/Gold's Gym Kalli Ryti, First Interstate Bank Jessica Watson, TechRanch Dexter Wester, Bozeman Job Service