Published 11/06/11

Bryant CEO is nation's best

SMITHFIELD, R.I. (Nov. 6, 2011) -- For the fourth time in five years, Bryant University's Collegiate Entrepreneurs' Organization (CEO) has been named the best chapter in the country. The announcement was made Oct. 29 at the CEO national convention in Fort Worth, Texas.

The award to Bryant recognizes the outstanding tools, workshops, guest speakers and hands-on learning activities the chapter has sponsored in the past year. "Moreover, the club has nurtured and supported young entrepreneurs who have actually launched businesses while here on campus," said Michael A. Roberto, Trustee Professor of Management, who with M. Cary Collins, Trustee Professor of Entrepreneurship, advises the club.

The award -- the fourth in five years -- recognizes the outstanding tools, workshops, guest speakers and hands-on learning activities the chapter has sponsored.

The mission of CEO is to inform, support and inspire members of its 230 chapters throughout North America to be entrepreneurial and seek opportunity through enterprise creation. Some of Bryant CEO's standout events, programs and achievements include:

  • co-sponsoring Startup Weekend New England, an intensive 54-hour event at Bryant that immersed dozens of aspiring entrepreneurs in the process of moving a business idea to market;
  • helping more than 15 students launch their own businesses, including a social website, a T-shirt design company, and two DJ companies;
  • offering "How to Find Your Inspiration," a workshop featuring keynote presentations by a number of entrepreneurs including Miguel Dominguez '10, who discussed his startup, Avant Tea;
  • highlighting students' businesses and entrepreneurial ideas in radio spots produced for student-run WJMF;
  • providing free consulting services. Recent projects included developing a marketing plan for a nonprofit organization and working with a group of local entrepreneurs to develop a nonprofit accounting platform;
  • planning the regional CEO conference, which Bryant will host Feb. 3-4, 2012. The conference will feature a variety of "how-to" workshops led by entrepreneurs and other business professionals.

"Entrepreneurs often get so caught up in dreaming that they never start doing," said Kenneth Roberts '12 of Higganum, Conn., president of Bryant CEO. He credits the organization's success to its ability to execute ideas.

"Bryant CEO is so successful because we have become experts at collaboration and cross-functional teamwork," noted Laura Yepsen '12 of Saratoga Springs, N.Y.,  the club's event coordinator.

Sarah Rubel '12 of Westport, Conn., and vice president of Bryant CEO, agreed, adding, "We have an abundance of resources on campus that we use to our full advantage."

Such resources, along with national awards won by Bryant CEO and regional awards won by Bryant's chapter of Students in Free Enterprise, contribute to the University's growing recognition as a campus that nurtures entrepreneurs. At a recent Bryant open house for high school students, "there were many students asking about entrepreneurship. They all seemed very impressed that Bryant CEO has won the national competition repeatedly in the past few years," said Associate Prof. Christopher Roethlein, chair of Bryant's Department of Management.