02 Aug Extreme Entrepreneur Tour coming to Fox Valley
Appleton, Wis. – Cramped living, microwave dinners, and tuition payments compel many college students to dream up creative ways to make money. And while inventiveness and business savvy flow naturally for some, every young capitalist needs a role model.
To fill this need, Fox Valley Technical College will host a “bus load of young, millionaire entrepreneurs” visiting Wisconsin this fall semester as part of a nationwide campus tour designed to “spread the word of innovation.”
“The Extreme Entrepreneur Tour,” sponsored by the Community First Credit Union, will highlight the achievements of Blake Ross, creator of the Web browser Mozilla Firefox, plus serial entrepreneur Ryan Blair, health policy entrepreneur Devi Sridhar, and others in a one-day workshop program slated for October 19. The event will be held from noon to 9 p.m. at the Appleton Player’s Choice sports and entertainment center.
A statewide spin-off tour, the entrepreneurial “teaser bash” supported by the Fox Valley Venture Center, could reach an even broader collegiate audience. It will feature video samples of the national tour and a musical acts at 10 Wisconsin campuses.
Tour organizer Trudi Arnold explained that music would be highlighted in the teaser tour to grab the attention of young people and illustrate the connection between creativity and innovation.
“Not only is it fun, but music is also a business like anything else,” Arnold said. “A business that requires planning, creativity, marketing and risk.”
Rockin’ the corporate world
Arnold, a planning consultant at Event Resources Presents, Inc., is herself an entrepreneur. She is currently building her own company, a social networking community called “Rockin’ Women,” and her work as a talent buyer and booking agent in the college market demands a variety of entrepreneurial skills to reach a fickle audience. “Our survival depends on how we reinvent ourselves,” she said.
Arnold has assembled a group of young Wisconsin entrepreneurs to join the tour and raise awareness about entrepreneurial thinking. This group includes her old friend, musician and businessman Rob Anthony, who will use the tour to promote his third album titled “Inside You And Inside Me.”
The album, slated for completion in early October, will showcase the edgy side of Anthony’s acoustic roots-rock sound influenced by musicians like Matt Nathanson and Pete Yorn.
“Its going to be a little bit more of a rockin’ album,” Anthony said.
Anthony, an Appleton native with a 14-year career in music, will graduate next week from the Venture Center’s E-seed entrepreneurial training course, a 12-week session offering assistance to start up, early-stage, and experienced small business owners developing management and planning tools for their ventures.
Anthony said the training has helped him construct his business plan and taught him to focus on goals and deadlines for co-branding his original music. The tour represents an initial project to strengthen his connection to consumers.
“This is my first co-branding opportunity and it’s the most important one,” Anthony said. “In the entertainment business, you need business skills. It’s very important.”
Amy Pietsch, director of Fox Valley Technical College Venture Center, touted the tour as a way to awaken the students’ innovative mindsets, regardless of their specific career path. The Venture Center was formed by Fox Valley Technical College, the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, and northeastern Wisconsin business leaders to establish an entrepreneurial networking and training organization, and to foster regional business start-ups, growth, and expansion.
“The future of Wisconsin businesses depends on the ability of the people they hire to create, innovate, and evolve as the world around you changes,” Pietsch said in a release. “The top companies and top team members in them will need the ability to think like an entrepreneur, even within an established organization.”
• State commits $500,000 to boost bachelor’s degrees
• UW-Oshkosh launching Global MBA with schools in Germany, India
• Wisconsin’s tech employment shows increase, HR firm reports
• Fox Valley Tech, Kuka Robotics team up on high-tech training center
• Teresa Esser: A new high-tech networking event buzzes in Appleton