The Appalachian State University Transportation Insight Center for Entrepreneurship hosted the 15th Annual Carole McLeod Entrepreneur Summit on November 2, 2018. The day-long event brought hundreds of students and community members together on ASU campus with interest of the personal journey entrepreneurs take to become successful.
If you missed this year’s event, please keep it in mind for November 2019!
Laying the Groundwork for Entrepreneurship
Managing Director of the Transportation Insight Center for Entrepreneurship (TICFE), Erich Schlenker, opened up the event with high energy that carried on throughout the rest of the day. A student participant noted that Schlenker’s “opening presentation was excellent! With his warmth and great rapport with the audience, it really set the tone for the summit and introduced attendees to the foundations of entrepreneurship.”
Rachael Jarosh, President and CEO of Enactus, delivered the keynote address. The topic of “Building a Sustainable World through Entrepreneurial Action” inspired many in the room to question how to make businesses even more helpful in today’s global landscape. Jarosh charged students to “utilize their creativity, energy and optimism to spur forward a wave of change in congruence with the United Nations’ 17 sustainable development goals to transform our world.” Jarosh expressed the importance of how people must recognize the positive impact they can make in their local communities.
Contributing to Change
Art and Susan Barber, co-founders of Boone-based Charleston Forge, discussed how they use their business as a platform to give back to the High Country. The success of their handmade, metal furniture business has allowed them to invest into other areas of Boone in order to help the community flourish.
Co-founder of No Evil Foods, Sadrah Schadel, also connected with the key point that businesses can be a “force for good.” Her business “creates” meat from plant resources. Schadel is building a niche for vegan meat needs, while showing individuals the importance of creating sustainable foods that utilize nature.
Adapting to the Digital Landscape
Ryan Kirby detailed his adventures in creating a business model that allowed him to make a living doing what he loves. With nothing more than a paintbrush and a laptop, Kirby has made a name for himself and his brand, Ryan Kirby Art, by managing his online presence to target particular market segments.
Google representative Deming Bass helped the summit participants understand how to generate web traffic for online business. Bass pointed out reasons why businesses should continue to innovate on their marketing process as technology develops over the next decade.
The Creation Process Behind Startups
These speakers represent only a fraction of what the Entrepreneurship Summit had to offer. Attendees also selected one of ten breakout workshops, with speakers and topics including:
- Brian Greer, Sandra Williams, and Chad Smith from LifeStore presented You Have Started a Business! What Next?
- Josiah Davis from Local Lion presented Turning Passion into Profits
- Tyler Moffatt from Attorney at Law presented Legal Aspects of Entrepreneurship
- April Lambert from Accounting Studio presented Accounting 101 for Startups
- Boomer Sassman from Big Boom Design presented Demystifying Website Tracking
- Chris Grasinger from Mountain Bizworks presented Funding Options for Startups
- Jessica Stansberry from jessicastansberry.com presented Digital Media for Customer Engagement
- Crystal Kelly from The Children’s Council of Watauga County presented Nonprofits are Businesses Too!
- Kara Tanenbaum, Founder of Podsquad Production Services presented Six Steps in Creating a Winning Social Media Strategy
- Josh Brown from Knockahoma Nation presented Nation Building: Podcasting and Community Building from Scratch
This event was made possible with support from LifeStore, North Carolina’s Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC) and Skyline/SkyBest.
The summit is hosted by the TICFE and is named in honor of Advantage Waste Recycling & Disposal CEO Carole Moore McLeod. McLeod is a 1981 Walker College alumna whose support has provided the opportunity for students and community members to meet, network and learn from successful entrepreneurs.
About the Center for Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship is a crucial tool for economic development, especially in Western North Carolina, where many traditional industries have declined in recent years. The future economic development of Western North Carolina is critically related to the region’s ability to grow from within. As a reflection, student interest in entrepreneurship is growing at Appalachian, and the Walker College of Business is committed to fostering students’ entrepreneurial energy and ambition. With support from the Transportation Insight Center for Entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial-minded students create and launch businesses through an accelerator program in Peacock Hall and receive hands-on advice and experience through co-curricular and outreach programs.