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Business not as usual

For Randal Schober of the Fermanian School of Business, entrepreneurship isn’t about starting a business, it’s a mindset for students that means maximizing one’s resources no matter what his or her career path is.

“It’s a process of creating value, while leveraging resources around an opportunity,” said Schober. “(…) and we all have a various number of re- sources that we may or may not even identify to have.”

Schober is an associate professor of management and an advisor for Launch Point, a new club at PLNU that aims to provide students with re- sources for beginning their own start- ups and working in business. Launch Point evolved out of the Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) club run by senior Austin Donovan, an accounting and finance major who shared Schober’s interest in increasing the scope of PLNU’s business oriented club.

“The biggest problem I saw with people’s perception of entrepreneur- ship is that it’s solely focused on starting your own company,” said Donovan. “Really it’s about applying an innovative kind of thought process to everyday problems and so our club really stressed the fact that entrepreneurship isn’t just a business things, it’s cross disciplinary.”

Donovan is now one of the co- presidents of Launch Point with the other being junior marketing major Brittany Williams. She approached Schober with the idea of creating an entrepreneurship club before she learned that Donovan was already leading SIFE.

SIFE communicated with ASB to get their name changed to Launch Point and are going through the process of rewriting their mission statement.

“It’s still a work in progress, but at least we’re official, and we’re having meetings. We’ve had two so far, they’re going really well,” said Williams.

It also represents an effort by Schober to encourage a forward thinking mentality as part of the university’s Entrepreneurship Advisory Counsel, or “E. Council,” which aims to increase the school’s entrepreneur- ial presence in the San Diego community with alumni, faculty and community business leaders.

For Schober, this process begins at home with Launch Point.

“As a club, if we’re not being entrepreneurial, then we’re hypocrites,” he said.

Launch Point will soon be hosting the first part of its “Innovation Incubator” series with Bob Dalton who founded Sackcloth & Ashes which provides a blanket to a homeless shelter for every blanket sold.

“We’re hoping it’s going to be kind of just like a business idea think tank, essentially, where students can come share their ideas and get feedback from other club members and professionals who have been in their shoes before.”

The event this week will feature a talk from Dalton as well as activities for students share their ideas and get critiques from Dalton and other attendants, part two of the series happens next week when Launch Point hosts a visit by the makers of Yago, a newly developed social media app.

Later this year Launch Point will host a “San Diego Startup Tour” to places like Evo Nexus, located in the downtown area but headquartered in La Jolla. Students and club members will visit Evo Nexus and several other startups to get feel for the business room and startup environment.

 

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Jonathan Soch

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