Kinko’s, Bulldog Group founders headline series

BOWLING GREEN, O.—Paul Orfalea, who founded Kinko’s, and Ellie Rubin, co-founder of The Bulldog Group, will be the featured speakers for the fifth annual Sebo Series in Entrepreneurship, April 18 at Bowling Green State University.

Rubin will speak at 9:30 a.m. and Orfalea at 12:45 p.m., both in the Lenhart Grand Ballroom of the Bowen-Thompson Student Union. Orfalea’s address will follow a noon luncheon and introduction of the first nine inductees into BGSU’s Dallas-Hamilton Entrepreneurial Hall of Fame.

At 10:45 a.m. and again at 2 p.m., conference participants may attend any of four concurrent sessions. In the sessions, executives will lead discussions on key entrepreneurial theories and practices, all under the umbrella of this year’s theme, “From Inspiring Ideas to Economic Vitality.”

Orfalea, the keynote speaker, opened the first Kinko’s in 1970 with a simple idea: provide college students with products and services they need at a competitive price. Kinko’s, which he eventually sold to FedEx for more than $2 billion, has been named one of the best places to work in America by Fortune, Forbes and Mother Jones magazines. Orfalea is the author of “Copy This! Lessons From a Hyperactive Dyslexic Who Turned a Bright Idea Into One of America’s Best Companies” and “The Entrepreneurial Investor.”

Rubin is also an author, of the best-selling “Bulldog—Spirit of the New Entrepreneur,” based on her entrepreneurial journey. She transformed her company, The Bulldog Group, from a traditional marketing and design company into one of North America’s leading multimedia production houses and then pioneered its niche in software content management.

Set for other rooms in the Union, the concurrent sessions will be:

• “The Startup,” with BGSU graduate Bill Dallas, who will share the entrepreneurial ups and downs of the development of Fox Sports Grill; the evolution of previous sports/dining concepts and what was learned from those operations, and how to harness a worldwide brand and the power of Fox.

• “Financing,” with David Seidman, who is retired from Emerging Ventures Limited. He will provide an introduction to possible sources of venture funding for a proposed enterprise, looking at the opportunity through an investor’s eyes.

• “Small Business,” with Ron Whitehouse, also a BGSU graduate and a retiree from HQ Chicago Inc. Whitehouse will summarize three of his small business startups and acquisitions, emphasizing what made them successful.

• “Sales,” with Bowling Green alumnus Bob Heckman of The Allen Group. He will examine effective sales and marketing techniques from the buyer’s perspective. His findings are based on interviews conducted with senior-level decision-makers for his book, “Boardroom Selling.”

J. Robert Sebo, a BGSU trustee, is principal sponsor of the conference, which is hosted by the College of Business Administration and the Dallas-Hamilton Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. The center was established in 2004 with seed money from Bill Dallas, also of Dallas Capital, and his former neighbor, Olympic gold-medal figure skater and Bowling Green native Scott Hamilton.

Huntington provides additional support for the event, which will open with an 8:30 a.m. reception and conclude with another at 3:15 p.m. The afternoon reception will feature book signing by Orfalea and Rubin.

Cost to attend is $200 per person, or $1,600 for companies purchasing a table of eight. To register, call 419-372-8181 or 1-877-650-8165 toll free, or go online to Reservations are recommended by April 7.

For more information about the conference, visit

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(Posted April 10, 2008 )

Updated: 12/02/2017 01:12AM