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McPherson College Rewards Students During Global Entrepreneurship Week

posted Dec 02, 2013 in ACADEMICS

A class where students learn by developing and doing their “Bucket List,” a new app to gather and share sources of inspiration, and a concept that takes a page from Harry Potter to improve the appearance and upkeep of the McPherson College campus.

All of these were some of the results of McPherson College students coming up with great ideas during Global Entrepreneurship Week last week.

“We have students with great innovation, creativity, and daring,” said Dr. Kori Gregg, vice president of entrepreneurship and innovation at McPherson College. “The contest entries and the winning ideas during our participation in Global Entrepreneurship Week reveal that in a big way.”

Founded in 2008 by the Kauffman Foundation and Enterprise UK, Global Entrepreneurship Week promotes the development of entrepreneurs through events worldwide. This year, Global Entrepreneurship Week boasts more than 40,000 events in 140 countries with more than 10 million worldwide participants.

McPherson College has participated in Global Entrepreneurship Week since 2010, when it began a new initiative to promote the liberal arts through the concept of entrepreneurship. MC has incorporated the concept of entrepreneurship as a mindset across the curriculum and student life. At MC, entrepreneurs are in the business department, but they are also teachers, scientists and artists.

Some ways that the program has taken root at MC are the Horizon Fund, which provides up to $500 to students who want to pursue a great idea; the Transformative Entrepreneurship Minor, open to students in all majors; and “Etch” - a student-run graphic design and marketing venture that offers its services to non-profit organizations on a donations basis.

The highlights of the week were five entrepreneurial contests, which received 40 entries overall from McPherson College students. In addition to the contests, the week also featured guest speakers such as Kara DeFrias, who advised the President of the United States in 2012-2013 as one of 18 people in the first class of “Innovation Fellows,” helping to solve the problems of bureaucracy through innovation. Stops along the way for her have included “Time,”, “The Los Angeles Times,” “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” the 75th Annual Academy Awards, Super Bowl XXXVII and Manchester United. She’s currently the senior user experience writer and innovation catalyst at Intuit, which creates the popular Turbo Tax software.

Some recipients of Horizon Fund grants also had an opportunity to showcase their projects at across three days, and Etch held an open house on Monday night in downtown McPherson to show their offices and the work they’ve been accomplishing.

The results of the competitions are as follows:

• Jump in for Change: Students develop an idea for social change on campus or in the community. Kristie Gutierrez, senior, Quinter, Kan.; D’Anthony Tabb, senior, Houston, Texas; Ethan Quinn, senior, McPherson, Kan.; and Tyler Bruton, senior, McPherson, Kan., with “The House Cup.” Playing off the concept of the House Cup in the Harry Potter series of books, the entrants researched what it would take for better appearance and upkeep of campus. They discovered the answer was better student responsibility and accountability. To encourage this, they proposed a competition between all residence halls and among each floor within those halls. To motivate students cleaning up after themselves and not damaging their own living spaces, the winning halls and floors would receive smaller monthly prizes and longer semester and yearlong prizes. Judges would be the janitorial staff, maintenance crew and resident assistants and directors. For their effort, they’ll split $500 (in quarters - hence, jump in for “change”) and assistance in developing implementation of the idea.

• What’s Appening: The challenge was to develop a concept for a new app that solves a problem or fills a need. Becca Heeke, junior, Spearville, Kan. won with her mobile app concept “Elaborate.” Her idea is to provide for a single app that allows the collection of a variety inspiring sources – such as websites, images, sound and video – and placing them on a single visually appealing page that users can make available publically or send only to specific people. Those sources can be grouped onto different “notes” to show the good idea that was ultimately inspired by those sources of inspiration. Heeke received a new iPad Mini for her concept.

• Best...Class…Ever…: Students worked in teams to create a new and innovative class they would like to see offered on campus. Brady Sherman, junior, McPherson, Kan., and Heeke won the competition with “Bucket List 101.” The new class concept would allow students to come up with a combined “Bucket List” as a class of experiences – both big and small – that they want to do in their life before they “Kick the Bucket.” The idea is to learn through experience, face down fears, meet goals with a limited budget and time, and make priorities to accomplish meaningful dreams. They will split $500 prize money and have the opportunity to present the concept to the Educational Policies Committee.

• Makerspace Design Contest: The contest asked students to describe how they would go about designing the upstairs space in MC’s Miller Library to create a “Makerspace” - a creative, technology-rich space used for collaboration and innovation. Jordyn Lipe, freshman, Hutchinson, Kan., and Lance Butler, senior, Torrance, Calif., won for their proposal for how they’d go about leaving a lasting legacy by creating an innovative Makerspace. They’ll split the $500 in prize money and have the opportunity to lead the development of the space’s design. They’ll also be able to enroll in a spring course for their work on designing the space.

• Rube Goldberg Contest: The challenge was to design a complex “Rube Goldberg Machine” to cut the ribbon for the Makerspace after it’s completed. Alejandro Esparza, freshman, Rosemead, Calif.; Herminio Flores, freshman, Los Angeles, Calif.; Dixon Cooney, freshman, Loveland, Calif.; and Michael Janzer, freshman, Peyton, Colo., won with their concept for a Rube Goldberg Machine, which includes falling dominoes that create the McPherson College “M” logo, a stairstepping slinky and, of course, a mousetrap. They’ll split $500 in prize money and the opportunity to build the machine for the official ribbon cutting for the Makerspace in Miller Library.

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