Entrepreneurship Minor Propels Recent Graduates to New Ventures
Entrepreneurship Program Jumpstarts Businesses
Written by Bailey Smith, Communications Intern
Elodie Schreiber ’18, Tom Crookston ’19 and Joe Lisa ’19 all agree that BGSU’s College of Business’s entrepreneurship minor helped launch not only their careers, but successful businesses as well. They are proud to be new business owners.
K&E Interior Design was founded by Schreiber and her partner, Kimberly Beach, in October 2019. Schreiber had been working with Beach as an intern for the past couple years and discovered they work well together. This led them to start K&E. Both graduated from BGSU with a true passion for design. K&E Interior Design offers guidance and expertise in picking flooring, paint colors, tiles, countertops, lighting, furniture or any other design aspect for new constructions or remodels. “Sometimes remodeling or building a new home can be very stressful and overwhelming and we are here to guide people to make it a really fun experience for them. We try to take the design somebody has in their mind and make it reality,” stated Schreiber.
While studying entrepreneurship at BGSU, Schreiber learned to look at the big picture of starting her company to view the firm as a whole and to take it step by step to make sure everything is taken care of the right way. Some of the other important things Schreiber learned from her education in the College of Business includes perfecting her pitch, learning about marketing and how to differentiate her business, being familiar with vocabulary and understanding it when it comes to a real business, and learning from others’ mistakes and how to avoid those when she started her own company.
While still in college, Crookston was going to school and working on business projects with his partner, Doug Doren. During that time, Crookston and Doren developed a dynamic working relationship that led them to their venture, Reverend’s. Reverend’s Bar and Grill is an American gastro pub with Latin and Southwestern influences, located in downtown Bowling Green.
The entrepreneurship classes at the College of Business helped Crookston better understand the financial and legal process of starting a business. He learned about what it means to be an entrepreneur and the expectations he should have when entering a new venture. “I was able to go through the process of acquiring a business while enrolled in classes, which provided me with a unique and valuable experience,” says Crookston.
Joe Lisa started up High Point Paint and Property Solutions, an all-in-one business that ties in painting, remodeling/reconstruction, fix and flips and several rental properties. Lisa is currently building a “tiny house” Air BNB that will be available for booking in the spring along with another Air BNB property that is already available.
Lisa credits the College of Business’ entrepreneurship minor for his business success by giving him the fundamental information to getting a business started. The most impactful thing Lisa took away from the minor was passion. Being passionate about what you are doing will help your business grow.
Numerous professors and faculty at BGSU and the College of Business have left a lasting impact on students. One faculty member in particular, left an impression on these three entrepreneurs, Kirk Kern, entrepreneurship associate teaching professor and director of the Paul J. Hooker Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. It is obvious that Kern cares so much about each person’s success that he invests a lot of his time into helping students.
Crookston identified Mearl Sutton, associate teaching professor in marketing, as a memorable professor alongside Kern. “These two gentlemen have helped me in a multitude of ways throughout my four years at BGSU and beyond. Their balance of academic knowledge, real-world experience, and inspirational thinking brought the best out of me and made their classes so much more than a grade or three credit hours toward a diploma!” stated Crookston.
Schreiber recognizes Jim Rogers, attorney and faculty member, for leaving a lasting imprint on her as well. “I learned so much from his classes and use a lot of what he has taught me in my new venture. Even today, I still go back to my notes from his class to find information I need,” Schreiber remarks.
Schreiber, Crookston and Lisa encourage students to consider studying entrepreneurship at BGSU. “Being around professors and fellow students who built or are building successful businesses instilled in me a desire to take on things I never thought I could,” Crookston explains.