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Testimonials & Press Releases


"The Entrepreneurship Department helps to train my mind on how to view business. Through the in depth discussion and business principles taught in class, I can now see venture opportunities and ways for business improvement that I could not see before. This new vision will make the difference in my entrepreneurial efforts."

- Chris Kinney

"When I started looking into developing a system to franchise my friend's business I quickly realized that I wasn't equipped with the knowledge necessary to start a franchise. This realization is what lead me back to WKU. After 5 years out of school I decided to take business and entrepreneur classes and complete not only my degree but my business knowledge foundation. WKU's entrepreneurship department has been a critical part of developing the knowledge I need to be a successful business owner and franchise developer."
- Quentin Miller

"I had an Entrepreneurship class and a Business Plan class my senior year. During the business plan class I was in a competition with other classmates in which we presented our business plans. I was fortunate to win and move on to the state level. My company now works with school districts in Texas, California, Utah, Arizona and Florida. The company is experiencing rapid growth with an
excellent outlook for the future. I am glad I took the risk and started my own company. I am excited to see other WKU students start their own enterprises with the help of the Entrepreneurship Center. I can certainly say that the Entrepreneurship department had its hand in helping launch Alpha Media."

-Michael T. Beauchamp, President & CEO: Alpha Media

Recent Articles

KEYS TO SUCCESS? Two Bowling Green men get WKU's help to launch organizer

Student, SIFE to develop aquaponics project. A desire to do more humanitarian work overseas led one WKU student to an idea for a business venture.

Students improving local businesses. While other classes are stuck in the buildings at WKU, the university's entrepreneurship program is throwing tradition to the wind.

Students asked to turn ideas into cash at WKU. Dr. Wilburn Clouse created the Business Plan Competition at WKU three years ago in hope of finding the next Bill Gates.

Students run downtown store. There's a new shop in Fountain Square downtown, and it's not another coffee shop.

Real-World Lessons, Students study downtown Bowling Green business. Entrepreneurship students at Western Kentucky University are acting as consultants to downtown businesses in an effort to help revitalize the area.

Press Releases


Bowling Green, KY. (April 5, 2011) – The Western Kentucky University Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) Team returns again to national competition again after winning in SIFE Regional championships at the Atlanta SIFE Regional Competition on April 4, 2011. In total, sixty-three teams competed in ten separate leagues. WKU SIFE now advances to the National finals to be held in Minneapolis, MN, May 10-12.

The WKU SIFE Team has spent over 3,500 hours since May 2010 solving problems for the community, the region, and the world through the positive power of business. Its projects teach market economics, personal success skills, entrepreneurship, financial literacy, business ethics, and environmental sustainability. The Team's winning multi-media presentation detailed how its projects were self-sustainable, prepared members and participants for business careers, and specified the value of the free market system in the U.S. and abroad.

"Our regional competition in Atlanta yielded the ultimate recognition to all of the efforts put forth by every member on our team and the fantastic efforts by our presentation team", said WKU SIFE CEO Joshua Shuck. "There is much work to do still to ensure our successful placement at nationals, however we would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the project leaders, everyone involved with preparing for competition, all of our supporters and most importantly, the presentation team members for their great performance."

There are some 550 active teams at US colleges and universities, and 1,500 teams worldwide in some 40 countries, according to SIFE personnel. SIFE teams use the principles of free enterprise to solve problems challenging communities and nations across the world. The national organization is sponsored by many of the Fortune 500 firms who actively recruit SIFE graduates every year.

Traveling to Atlanta were 21 members of Team:
Melissa Ackerman, Cameron Aly, Chad Ball, Allison Beeson, Clifton Bonner, Brittany Burch, Jacob Crider, Samantha Culver, Gayla Garrett, Nicole Johansen, Scott Kercheville, Christina Kerulis, Amy Logan, Jay Mcdorman, Dao Nguyen, Wheeler Painter, Laura Ringer, Jeffrey Sharp, Joshua Shuck, Tyler Underwood, and Zhang Wei.

Also accompanying the Team were J. Krist Schell, Co-Sam Walton Fellow, Sandra Patterson, Co-Sam Walton Fellow, and Dalla Emerson, Aramark-SIFE Alumna & Corporate Advisor.

The WKU SIFE Team is sponsored by the Gordon Ford College of Business and is an outreach activity of the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at WKU.

17 April 2010

Western Kentucky Business Plan teams win over $23,000 in the Kentucky state "Idea U" competition held Friday and Saturday (April 16-17) in Lexington Kentucky. Taking 2nd place in the Graduate Business Concept Division was Y&C Silks won over $2100. Y&C Silks is a venture to import high quality silk textiles from Vietnam. The team's members were Thang Le, Anh Nguyen, Julie O'bryan, Phuong Vu. In the Graduate Business Plan Division, Top Shelf Wine & Spirits, LLC won over $21000. The venture looks to begin operations in coming months offering well priced wines and liquors with weekly wine tastings at 300 Industrial Drive next to Star Light Cinema in Bowling Green. The plan was presented by MaryAnn Bokkon, seeking a graduate degree in Folk Studies.

Winners of the Undergraduate Plan were New Grounds Energy, a venture to create and sell electricity from kinetic energy (University of Kentucky). Winning the Graduate Plan Division was CALMSenior, a venture to provide web based interface for seniors and their families, taking home over $43,000.

Also presenting in the Undergraduate Plan Division was Nerd Rage Games, a venture to develop and publish a new line of interchangeable table-top role-playing games. The plan was presented by Richard Green. Also accompanying the WKU teams were Wil Clouse, Executive Director, and J. Krist Schell, Director, of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at WKU. The WKU participants were all selected through a campus wide competition sponsored by the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation this term.

The annual event, now in its third year, is sponsored by the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. "This is the largest group of presenters we have taken so far that the Center has been sponsoring this event," said R. Wilburn Clouse, Executive Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at WKU.

Bowling Green, KY – April 10, 2009

The WKU Entrepreneurial Academy of Excellence (EAE) is holding its first Entrepreneurial Think Tank Institute (TTI) on April 24, 2009 from 8:30 am to 4:15 pm at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College. 

The Think Tank Institute is a dynamic one-day forum to encourage new business startups and create working relationships to help develop the entrepreneurship spirit for the Lincoln Trail Region.

The TTI is free to entrepreneurs and small business owners who are 18 years and older. Registration is required. Register online at www.wku.edu/EAE/TTI or call 270.799.9441

The Entrepreneurial Academy of Excellence is a team of dedicated entrepreneurs from diverse, local backgrounds. Under a contract awarded to Western Kentucky University, the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at WKU works jointly with the Innovation Center and other local resources to infuse the entrepreneurship spirit into the Lincoln Trail Region of Breckinridge, Grayson, Hardin, Larue, Marion, Meade, Nelson, and Washington counties.

WKU and Lincoln Trail Innovation Center To Launch The Entrepreneurial Academy Of Excellence In Lincoln Trail Region
August 10, 2008

Elizabethtown, Ky. - The Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Western Kentucky University's and Lincoln Trail Innovation Center have been awarded a $400,000 contract by the Lincoln Trail Area Development District (LTADD), to develop and launch an Entrepreneurial Academy of Excellence in Breckinridge, Grayson, Hardin, LaRue, Marion, Meade, Nelson and Washington counties. The EAE will develop a year-round program to catalyze and support innovation, entrepreneurship and economic growth for the region.

Under the direction of Dr. Wil Clouse, Project Director and Morris Miller, Local Coordinator, a team of experts at WKU's Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, the Lincoln Trail Innovation Center (LTIC), the South Central Kentucky Innovation and Commercialization Center and the Elizabethtown Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the Lincoln Trail Workforce Investment Board, the Elizabethtown Community and Technical College and other organizations in the Lincoln Trail area will be draw upon a broad base of expertise and resources to develop and deliver entrepreneurship programs and services.

The Academy will assist current and future entrepreneurs to develop skills and tools to take their ideas for products and services from an idea stage to a product and business launch. The Academy also will link entrepreneurs with the existing services of the SBDC and the LTIC to help participants gain access to resources and expertise to conduct feasibility of the ideas, developing business plans and strategies to raise debt, equity, and grant funding.

"This is an important initiative to help support innovative efforts for economic development for the Lincoln Trail region by fostering an entrepreneurial community and nurturing entrepreneurs to translate their dreams into realities, at the same time creating jobs and a tax base for the region", said Dr. Sadiq Shah, associate vice president for Research and Economic Development at WKU.

Lisa Williams, Director of the Lincoln County Trail Innovation Center noted: "We are excited about this opportunity for our struggling entrepreneurs. The programs will address so many of the needs that our clients have. Many times inventors/entrepreneurs have wonderful ideas but have no clue about how to turn them into a successful business ventures. The hands-on approach offered here with real-life, local, successful entrepreneurs serving as lecturers and mentors will just be invaluable.

Site coordinator Mo Miller, a Kentucky native and long-time entrepreneur, will connect local entrepreneurs, their ventures, and critical area resources. "We are very fortunate to have Mo in this important role in this project" said Wil Clouse. "Working together with Mo and Lisa and others in the local community we have a great opportunity to develop creative, entrepreneurial thinkers.

Sherry Johnson, Associate Director, Lincoln Trail Area Development District, said "We are very pleased to work with this team of entrepreneurs and look forwarded to many new and innovate ideas to emerge from this effort that will help improve the local opportunities".

Dr. William Tallon, Dean of the WKU's Gordon Ford College of Business said "We are excited to have the opportunity to help spearhead this effort and look forward to supporting this effort in anyway we can by developing programs that support "making a job" instead of "taking a job".

Anyone interested in becoming part of the Entrepreneurial Academy of Excellence is urged to contact Morris (Mo) Miller, Local Project Coordinator, WKU Radicliff Campus, xxxx.www, phone------ email mo.miller@ wku.edu, Lisa Williams, Director of LTIC, Elizabethtown, KY xxxxx, or Dr. Wil Clouse, Project Director, CEI, WKU Bowling Green, KY 42101-1063, phone 270-745-5325 cell xxxxx

This project is funded by The Lincoln Trail Area Development District (LTADD), the administrative entity for the Lincoln Trail Workforce Investment Board. It's charter provides workforce investment activities through workforce investment systems to increase employment, retention, and earnings of participants through increased occupational skills, and improve workforce quality and competitiveness of the region and the nation.


Bowling Green, KY. (April 1, 2008) – The Western Kentucky University Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) team is now four for four since 2004 after competing in the SIFE Regional Competition in Cincinnati, held March 28, 2008. In total, twenty-eight teams competed based on a variety of community outreach programs designed to teach free enterprise in society. The team now advances to the national finals to be held in Chicago, Illinois, May 13-15.

The WKU SIFE team creates projects which teach surrounding communities market economics, personal success skills, entrepreneurship, financial literacy, business ethics, and sustainability. The team's multi-media presentation detailed how their projects were self sustainable, prepared its members and participants for business careers; and specified the value of the free market system in both the U.S. and abroad.

A recent and innovative project of the twenty completed, is SIFE's Kenyan Basket Project. This will be the second rewarding year SIFE will partner with the Women's Cooperative in Kasigau, Kenya taking on promotion and sales of their beautiful, hand-made baskets. In order to help their community create a stronger livelihood, the goal is to help these aspiring entrepreneurs attain microloans, teach their community about marketing channels and sales skills; and how the quality of baskets produced equates to higher profits.

Judges wrote excellent comments for the SIFE team, "Their interaction internationally is a pivotal point in providing education, and to expand economic growth. Superb!"

Another impressed judge wrote, "They were only 1 out of 50 teams to receive a $5,000 grant for the 'I-Choose Program'. WKU SIFE Print Center is worth $300,000 since September of 2006. It's currently a huge success with a gain of $100,000 in hard assets. Wow!"

"Best presentation skills we've seen all day. Thank you! It's encouraging to see how many of your projects are ongoing. This demonstrates your dedication."

"Unbelievable presentation! Great job and just keep up your efforts. You clearly have many, very bright and dedicated individuals on your team."

"Your team has not only made an impact on your campus and community, but globally as well."

WKU SIFE Team President, Senior John Lamon, says he, "insert quote."

The team's Sam Walton Fellow, Mr. Krist Schell, delightedly said "insert quote!"

The 28 members of the 30 person team who traveled to Cincinnati were: Beth Carden, Jonathan Castro, Willie Cunningham, Aubrey Davis, Natalie Denney, Dalla Emerson, Adam Emrick, Eric Gulley, Renee Hadorn, Amber Hanon, Amber Heady, Aaron Hodges, Jacob Kassinger, Lauren Kerulis, Shannon Kleis, John Lamon, Katie Little, Shaun Nichter, Chris O'Dell, Ron Ryne, Lauren Torger, Tyrone Walker, Robert Whittley, etc.




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