CofC Logo

Charleston is exploding with entrepreneurial activity, and College of Charleston students are fueling the fire. Later this week, several students will pitch their business ideas in front of hundreds at Dig South, the Southeast’s interactive festival. They’re hoping to woo investors and win start-up cash.

Will Jamieson '16

 

 

 

 
Will Jamieson ’16

Sophomore Will Jamieson has already secured venture capital funding for mobile app development.



RELATED
: Sophomore founds company, launches apps.


Dozens of students have launched companies while enrolled at the College, and some of the region’s most successful companies are founded by alumni – look at Amazon-owned BiblioLabs.

“The support for entrepreneurial students, whether you are a business major or not, is abundant in Charleston,” says alumnus John Rizzo ’06, founder of GlobeOnDemand. “I was able to start a business seven years ago as a college senior thanks to the growing tech community, as well as resources and inspiration from leaders at companies like Amazon.com and Google. The College of Charleston made it really easy to tie in with hundreds of successful business people right when I landed on campus. Take advantage!”


 RELATED: Business student graduates with more than a degree


In fall 2014, the School of Business will offer a new minor in entrepreneurship, as well as a course entitled “Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice.”

“I know there are dozens of student entrepreneurs on our campus. In just one of my classes, I have two business owners,” says Professor David Wyman, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship in the School of Business. “The new course, and our Entrepreneur of the Year competition bring together students from all majors who are entrepreneurs.”

RELATED: Charleston business incubator helps entrepreneurs get started.

Wyman’s advice for budding entrepreneurs is to consider scalable businesses – the kind that can earn a profit while the owner sleeps.

“It’s not always the idea that makes a great start-up,” Wyman explains. “It is all about the team you have in place. It is very rare that someone can operate a successful business on his or her own. Find a diverse team that complements your skill set and supports your weaknesses, then find your idea.”

He says there is no typical business that starts on a college campus. At a previous institution, he had a student start a business growing mushrooms -  it brought in $100,000. “Who would have guessed?” Wyman remarks.

For more information about the Center for Entrepreneurship, contact David Wyman at wymandm@cofc.edu or 843.953.5181.

MBA Information Session & Free Lunch – April 2

Posted on 27 March 2014 | 5:07 pm — 

Please join Alan T. Shao, Dean of the School of Business, for an MBA information session and free catered lunch on Wednesday, April 2 at 12:00 p.m. in Tate 207.  Learn more about the high-value, one-year MBA program.  Ask questions to Jim Kindley, the MBA program director, and Penny McKeever, associate director of the MBA program.

Applications are being accepted now for the 2014-2015 academic year.  If available, attendees are welcome to go to an MBA class after the session from 1:30 to 2:45 p.m.

Register today with Penny McKeever, associate director, at mckeeverp@cofc.edu.

In an effort to streamline the process for declaring a business major, improve the quality and flexibility of our programs, and to enable academic advising early on in a student’s academic career, the School of Business has revised its grade requirements for the core business courses.

Given the increasing quality of students admitted to the College of Charleston and issues related to the prior admission policy, effective June 1, 2014, the School of Business will no longer require a “C-“or better in ACCT 203, ACCT 204, DSCI 232, ECON 200, ECON 201, MATH 104 or MATH 250, and MATH 105 or MATH 120 to be able to declare a major in the School of Business.

Students who earn a D-, D, or D+ in the above courses will no longer be required to retake those courses to earn a “C-“ or better to be able to declare a major in the School of Business.  Students will be required to repeat those courses that they fail with an “F”, “WA”, “XF” or that they withdraw from with a “W”.

Students who previously passed one or more of the above courses with a D-, D, or D+ and are currently (during Spring 2014) retaking one of the above courses may opt to withdraw from the course with a “W” if the withdrawal is completed  BEFORE 11:59 PM on  Friday, March 21, 2014.

Students who previously passed one or more of the above courses with a D-, D, or D+ and are currently registered to retake the course(s) during Summer 2014 should drop the course as soon as possible if they do not wish to retake the course(s).

The option of a pre-declared major in accounting, business administration, economics, finance, hospitality and tourism management, international business, and marketing will no longer be available after June 1, 2014. After that date, all students will be able to fully declare a bachelor of science degree in the above School of Business majors.  All students who have already declared a pre-major in the School of Business will be required to go into the Program of Study Management channel on the Academic Services tabin My Charleston and declare a Bachelor of Science degree in their major after June 1, 2014.

The School of Business has not lowered its standards or commitment to offering quality programs. We continue to expect our students to perform well in all of our courses.  The new policy allows the School more flexibility to continually improve our programs and academic advising.

Marcia Snyder, assistant dean of student learning and accreditation.

Marcia Snyder, assistant dean of student learning and accreditation.

Please contact Marcia Snyder, Assistant Dean of Student Learning and Accreditation, with any questions or concerns at snyderm@cofc.edu

 

 

Eric Bannerot and Daniel Greene were among the brightest minds in private equity at the University Private Equity Summit (UPES) that was held in Salt Lake City, Utah, on January 16-18.  The School of Business Investment Program students were given the opportunity to attend the 11th annual student-run conference that is well-known as the premier gathering for private equity students and investors.

UVF is the leading student-run venture capital fund with over $18 million under management and more student associates than any other fund in the world. The UVF bridges the gap between the classroom and the real world of private equity investing just as the Investment Program at the College of Charleston hopes to achieve, albeit on a smaller scale.

“It was a great opportunity to experience how the academic world and the world of professional finance can not only coexist,” Daniel Greene stated, “but can each benefit from their relationship with the other.  We hope that in the future, the Investment Program in our School can be viewed in the same light.”

This annual summit brings together college students from around the globe to learn from top entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and private equity investors.  The UPES provided them an opportunity for professional development and enhanced leadership skills, while also providing an excellent opportunity to network with similarly motivated students across the U.S. 2014 UPES included panels covering technology, entrepreneurship, venture capital, impact investing, and growth-based private equity.  Each panel included a moderator with four highly accomplished individuals within their specific tracks of finance.  The moderator would directly question the panel in an attempt to stimulate the thought process for all in attendance.  This allowed the students to gain a vast amount of valuable insight into each of the respective industries.

 had the added opportunity to represent the College of Charleston in a leadership case study directed by a Stanford professor, who notably serves on the board of JetBlue.  This helped improve his critical thinking skills and provided insight into how finance professionals deal with problems in the real world.

“It was a great challenge,” Eric said, “but also very much enjoyable.  I learned a great deal from the process.  It is eye-opening to see all the different angles that have to be examined in the world of private equity before a deal is made.”

The resumes of UPES attendees greatly varied, with both professional and academic backgrounds.  Bannerot and Greene were given the chance to network with younger individuals as well as professionals who have already earned their MBA, CPA, and even CFA designations. Throughout the conference both students made multiple acquaintances and connections via LinkedIn and personal networking.

Mark Pyles, Ph.D., and director of the School of Business Investment Program, sees experiences such as this as integral to the development of our students as young professionals.

“There’s only so far we can take them in a classroom on Liberty Street,” Dr. Pyles stated. “Finance is a global business and for our students to be put on a level playing field, they need to experience it firsthand.”

“These networking and real world experiences are exactly the opportunities the College of Charleston students need to be competitive in the financial industry,” Dr. Pyles added.  “We very much appreciate all of the time, effort, and support that make things of this nature possible. We hope to make this an annual event.”

Participation in the conference was made possible through the generosity of two friends of the School of Business Investment Program, Caleb King ’94 and program advisory committee member Dr. Katrina Sherrerd.

Schottland Scholars Get Face-to-Face with Alumni

Posted on 12 February 2014 | 12:51 pm

 The College of Charleston School of Business’ Schottland Scholars will get the chance to speak with alumni anywhere in the world through the Skype-A-Scholar program, introduced February 10, 2014.

Using Skype and FaceTime, the Schottland Scholars will connect with alumni of the program working in Washington, D.C., Guatemala, California, New York City, and Massachusetts among other locations.

The highly engaged alumni include a Senior Research Manager for Energy and Industrials at Gerson Lehman Group, a Project Manager for Product Development & Procurement at David Yurman in Bangkok, a Plant Finance Manager at GE Oil & Gas in Oklahoma City along with several others. Each will offer their advice on networking and leadership development to the Schottland Scholars, who graduate in May.

[RelatedLearn more about the Schottland Scholars Program]

Dr. Carrie Blair Messal

Dr. Carrie Blair Messal

“We plan to reward the student who can achieve the highest number of contacts through Skype-A-Scholar by sending them a Schottland Scholar mug” Carrie Blair Messal, associate business professor and director of the Schottland Scholars Program said. “By the time they graduate, the students will understand the importance of effective networking.”

Messal will keep the Schottland Scholars Facebook page updated with information about participating alumni throughout the semester.

[RelatedStay up-to-date through the Schottland Scholars Facebook page]

The Schottland Scholars Program was established in 2009 through the philanthropic support of Peter and Susan Schottland. The program’s mission is to help select business students to develop the skills in ethical and global awareness, problem solving and effective communication to become outstanding business leaders.

For more information, contact Carrie Blair Messal at messalc@cofc.edu.

Looking for the Student Entrepreneur of the Year

Posted on 31 January 2014 | 11:12 am

Charleston, S.C. is exploding with entrepreneurial activity, and College of Charleston students are fueling the fire. Some of the region’s most successful companies are founded by alumni – look at Amazon-owned BiblioLabs. Now the search is on for the 2014 Student Entrepreneur of the Year.

[Related: Sophomore founds company, launches apps.]

Any College of Charleston student who is currently operating a business can apply, with the potential to win $1,000. Applications are due by February 28, 2014.

“I know there are dozens of student entrepreneurs on our campus. In just one of my classes, I have two business owners, but I want to find the entrepreneurs I don’t know,” says Professor David Wyman, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship in the School of Business. “I’d love to bring these student entrepreneurs together so they can learn from each other and really use the resources the College provides.”

Wyman’s advice for budding entrepreneurs is to consider scalable businesses – the kind that can earn a profit while the owner sleeps. Technology companies usually fit the bill, while more traditional bricks-and-mortar businesses, like hair salons and restaurants, do not.

[Related: Charleston business incubator helps entrepreneurs get started.]

“It’s not always the idea that makes a great start-up,” Wyman explains. “It is all about the team you have in place. It is very rare that someone can operate a successful business on his or her own. Find a diverse team that complements your skill set and supports your weaknesses, then find your idea.”

He says there is no typical business that starts on a college campus. At a previous institution, he had a student launch a mushroom-growing business that brought in $100,000. “Who would have guessed?” Wyman remarks.

[Related: Download the Student Entrepreneur of the Year application.]

Students from every department and major on campus are encouraged to apply. The final three will be participate in video interviews, and the winner will be chosen and announced in a ceremony.

For more information, contact David Wyman at wymandm@cofc.edu or 843.953.5181.

The Center for Entrepreneurship announces this year’s competition for the top #CofC student entrepreneur.  If you think you’ve got an idea for a business, no matter how big or small, then jump into the competition for your chance to win $1,000.

The deadline for a one-page application is Friday, February 14.

Your application should include:

  • Your name
  • Your CofC email address
  • Name of your business
  • A photo of the product or service and any associated website
  • 2013 revenue and projected 2014 revenue
  • Whether you are seeking capital investment and how much
  • A brief explanation of your dream for this business
David Wyman, Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship

David Wyman, Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship

All entries should be submitted to David Wyman, Director for the Center for Entrepreneurship, at wymandm@cofc.edu.  Only the Center for Entrepreneurship staff and selected judging panelists will view preliminary applications.  All information will be kept confidential.

This event is sponsored by Enactus, in partnership with the Center for Entrepreneurship.

Buoyed by the strength of Charleston’s port and increased investment by international manufacturing companies, South Carolina has established itself as a prominent player in global trade and commerce.

And those who have worked to bring about these successes say that one segment of the economy in particular – the growing fields of logistics, transportation, and supply chain management – has the potential to become a major driver in South Carolina’s economy.

[Related: College’s academic program in Global Logistics and Transportation prepares students for careers in international commerce.]

In 2013, the College of Charleston’s School of Business hosted the inaugural South Carolina Supply Chain Summit for leaders in business, higher education, and state government to identify potential areas for collaboration.

Based on positive feedback from attendees and panelists, organizers are planning the 2nd Annual South Carolina Supply Chain Summit for March 28, 2014. The event will take place in Wells Fargo Auditorium in the Beatty Center, 5 Liberty Street. For more information on the summit and to register, visit go.cofc.edu/summit.

South Carolina Secretary of State Robert M. Hitt

South Carolina Secretary of State Robert M. Hitt

“This year’s Summit builds on last year’s success in bringing industry and higher education together to strengthen supply chain capabilities and resources in South Carolina,” says South Carolina Secretary of Commerce Robert M. Hitt. “The line-up of topics and presenters from our corporate partners and universities is strong and will help shape the continued dialogue about the supply chain’s importance in our state.”

This year’s summit will be organized around three key issues: Managing supply chain risk and disruption; opportunities in supply chain education; and deepening the Charleston Harbor.

Featured speakers include Secretary Hitt and Jim Newsome, President and CEO of the South Carolina State Ports Authority, who will provide an update on Charleston’s harbor deepening project.

Faculty from the College of Charleston, Clemson University, and the University of South Carolina will be on hand to discuss academic programs in supply chain management and related fields, while alumni from such programs will share their experiences in the job market.

[Related: CofC MBA graduate launches career in maritime industry.]

Alan Shao, dean of the College’s School of Business, says the timing and location for the summit couldn’t be better.

“With the continued energy and growth of manufacturing and exports in our state, Charleston is the ideal place to hold this year’s Summit,” Shao says. “We’re excited to work closely with the Department of Commerce, the Port, and corporate partners in raising awareness about supply chain opportunities between industry and higher education.”

Forty-two students in the College of Charleston School of Business MBA program departed for Brazil last week to study and discover the world’s sixth largest economy.  The study abroad trip is one of the requirements to earn the MBA degree in one year.

The class of 2014 is comprised of 42 students representing six different countries, and is the largest cohort since the program began four years ago.

They began the two-week study on December 4 in Sao Paulo where they learned about local industries, met with corporate representatives, and experienced the country’s rich cultural sites.  This week the students are in Rio de Janeiro, home of the 2014 World Cup.  Follow the MBA Cohort’s trip in Brazil at @mbacharleston.

“Brazil has been steadily on the rise for the past 10 years, but has recently hit some road bumps, financially,” says Jim Kindley, director of the MBA program. “The learning opportunity in this emerging, yet turbulent market is substantial as our students meet with some of Brazil’s executives across several different industries.”

The trip is especially timely for a travel study experience. Brazil’s economy, the largest in South America, has been a growth powerhouse in the last decade, but the economy has shrunk for the first time in nearly five years, according to third-quarter GDP figures. The students will learn about factors impacting the country’s economic slide as well as the expansive preparations and economic impact for the World Cup next year.

The Sao Paulo agenda included site visits and meetings with:

  • Apontador, a leading geolocations website and growing tech company;
  • Sabesp, a waste management company;
  • BM & F BOVESPA, the largest stock exchange in Latin America;
  • Natura Cosmetica, a large consumer cosmetics manufacturer.

The Rio de Janeiro itinerary includes meetings, tours and lectures at:

  • Brazilian Council for Sustainable Development;
  • A Coca-Cola Bottling Company;
  • Petrobras, a multinational energy corporation and the country’s largest company;
  • Fundacao Getulio Vargas, a business higher education institution;
  • Brazilian Development Bank and funded public works projects;
  • World Cup and Olympic stadium.

Previous MBA classes have studied in China, Vietnam and Dubai.  Several MBA graduates are now working in those countries at places such as Anheuser Busch Inbev Vietnam and the State Grid Corporation of China in Shanghai.

[Related: Watch video about this year’s diverse MBA cohort.]

Upon their return to campus in January, the MBA students will choose their individual focus areas of study in finance, hospitality revenue management, or marketing.

About the School of Business
College of Charleston’s School of Business offers seven undergraduate majors and several interdisciplinary concentrations, an honors program, an M.S. in Accountancy and an MBA.  Approximately 1800 undergraduate and graduate students attend from as far away as China, Germany and Brazil. The faculty has research expertise in areas such as supply chain management, hospitality and tourism, political economics, commercial real estate, financial investment, bankruptcy, business intelligence, and sustainable business practices. Visit http://sb.cofc.edu/to learn more about our students’ achievements, undergraduate and graduate programs, faculty, and Centers of Excellence.

 

Despite the stock market’s YTD run-up, student portfolio managers in the College of Charleston’s School of Business Investment Program are constantly asking themselves how much farther it can sustain this trend. The market has hit record highs multiple times over the past several months in the last year, but this unprecedented market behavior has also brought with it the threat of a plummeting decline.

As active money managers these students must always watch for small corrections, which help to stabilize the market but that can negatively impact the portfolio value, and the real-world actions that can cause them. They have compiled their five biggest present concerns and fears, along with a few tips for avoiding losses, as we look toward 2014.

Four students out of the 20 enrolled in the School of Business Investment Program.  Caption: L - R: James Michelle, Alaina Watkins, Justin Coppola ,and Alli Crowell.

Four students out of the 20 enrolled in the School of Business Investment Program. L – R: James Michelle, Alaina Watkins, Justin Coppola, and Alli Crowell.

[Related: Learn more about the Investment Program at the College of Charleston School of Business]

1. Asset pricing levels

The most obvious cause for concern centers around the fact that the markets have increased by almost 30 percent over the last year without a significant correction. Investment Program students naturally wonder how long the markets will be able to sustain such rapid growth.

This overarching fear trickles down to investors when asset prices are elevated relative to don’t have earnings, making value plays difficult to implement. At current levels, it is difficult to identity undervalued assets, making value-based investment management a difficult proposition. Investors must instead rely on growth beyond that currently justified by firm fundamentals, which is a worrisome proposition.

2.  Action by the Federal Reserve

Perhaps the average investor’s greatest fear relates to uncertainty regarding the Federal Reserve’s plans. With new Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen preparing to step in, money managers are concerned about how Yellen will change current policies, thus potentially dramatically affecting the economy. Despite the notion that Yellen is traditionally dovish, there exists the very real possibility that she will soon begin to taper the quantitative easing program, which would likely create significant volatility in the markets.

The student money managers note, “Over the past year, a mere mention of tapering has led to a near immediate correction within global equity markets.”

3. Analyst predictions

Many professional analysts have also begun arguing that the market is due for a double-digit market correction soon. Some of the country’s most respected investors and scholars say they are having a difficult time finding things to buy because stocks are fairly priced. Student investors recommend a healthy level of skepticism when looking at potential investments in 2014.  A quick review of any financially related news item of late will include discussion of a possible “bubble”, which naturally has the potential to “pop” and create chaos in the market place.

4. Government shutdown

After October’s government shutdown, Congress postponed the deadline for a new long-term budget for the U.S. Government to early February. Though members of Congress are surely working to avoid it, another government shutdown is certainly a possibility.

This possibility could create a negative shock in the markets. For example, the October shutdown brought the S&P 500 from 1725.52 on September 18 to 1681.55 on September 30 (the night before the shutdown), a 2.61 downward correction. Student investors fear a repeat shutdown could induce more severe economic repercussions.

[Related: Learn more about the October shutdown’s effect on the real estate market]

5. Bank rating downgrades

Finally, Moody’s Corporation recently downgraded many large U.S. banks, including Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan Chase among others. Since the American banking system was a driving force behind the 2008 economic collapse, such actions should not be taken lightly as they perhaps create a negative signal regarding the current state of the U.S. financial system.

Over the coming weeks and months, the student investors who have been carefully watching and managing the donation they invested with this fall recommend for investors be mindful of these market factors. Market conditions can change quickly, so the student investors advise that serious investors consider adding contingency hedging plans to minimize their exposure to the more risky market assets.  Diversifying, both globally and across asset classes can help minimize some of the loss exposure.  The conscientious investor should understand the current financial environment, objectively weigh the risk/reward tradeoff, and give careful thought to issues such as those raised above.