It’s your business

Startup goals include team development

By Steve Bryant
Special to The H-T
November 25, 2011

Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington and the Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship recently hosted the second Bloomington Startup weekend ( at our main campus.

Our event was part of Global Entrepreneurship Week ( and more than 100 events were held around the world to promote entrepreneurship in its rawest form.

We were fortunate to have three communities in Indiana that launched startup weekend events, including West Lafayette and Indianapolis. We were also the only site hosted by a community college.

Bloomington Startup Weekend attracted 35 participants who pitched 20 new business ideas and formed teams around 9 of them.

The teams were all trying to solve a problem and provide a solution that could also make money. Most all of the teams had some form of a technology component, be it a website, Facebook page or mobile application in some form of development. Twitter fans were “tweeting” all weekend about the event and the team projects.

Our participants included technology developers, product specialists, business people and regular people with good ideas looking to explore them further. What was most satisfying was seeing complete strangers take an idea, bring their collective expertise and wisdom to bear and create a working business model in 54 hours.

It is my best guess that these budding “entrepreneurs” will move forward to full execution of their businesses, as they were quite motivated by the end of the sessions.

This is certainly one way for us to grow the Bloomington economy and make it more dynamic! By creating our own jobs, developing new technologies and empowering the next generation, we can improve the wage and income gap detailed in the Bloomington Economic Development Corp./Indiana Business Research Center report released last week.

My hope is that next Thanksgiving, there are nine new business startups in our community that we can be proud of.

Have a great weekend with your family and friends, and if one of your guests comes up with a good idea after the third helping and subsequent “turkey nap,” send ’em our way — straight to

See Page D4 for a story on the competition winners.

Steve Bryant is executive director of the Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech Bloomington. Next week’s column will be by Danise Alano with the city of Bloomington.

Copyright: 2011

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor's degree.