Holiday Gift Guide 2018 - Student and Alumni Edition

This post was originally published on December 5th, 2018

Christmas season is in full swing! So are finals, planning family get togethers, decking the halls, and preparing to exchange gifts! But, what if you don’t have time to pick out the perfect and thoughtful gift for your loved ones? Well, today we are here to help!

Here are ten unique gifts and experiences you can get created by Belmont’s students and alumni:

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[A][DI][A] CANDLE CO.

Candles are a great go-to Holiday gift for someone you never know what to get! These amazing candles come in all sorts of different scents and sizes. The candles are poured by hand to ensure quality of the product, and 50% of their profits go to a charity of their customer’s choice, so you can also feel great about your purchase!

BATCH NASHVILLE

Give your loved ones a taste of Music City (aka the best city in the world) by buying one of these amazing Batch Boxes! From chocolates, from breakfast, to hot chicken and more, Batch Nashville has got all the basis covered for a thoughtful and fun gift. They also do subscription boxes, so if you want to give a gift that keeps on giving, Batch Nashville has got your back!

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COLLEGE IN COLOR

Have an artistic college student in your life? Well we’ve got you covered with that one too! College in Color harnesses the powerful therapeutic essence of coloring and combines it with typical college scenerio to provide you with a relatable, interactive, and calming pastime.

THE LOTUS ROOM NASHVILLE

Maybe coloring is not your thing, but you still want to relieve some stress and tension from the year (2018 was wild after all) check out The Lotus Room Nashville. What better way to wind down than a nice and relaxing massage. They have a variety of massages, therapies, and add ons to get you nice and calm after the Holiday Season.

CONSIDER THE WLDFLWRS

Need a gift for that special person in your life? Look no further that Consider the Wldflwrs. They carry simply beautiful designs for any of your jewelry needs. There are beautiful earrings, necklaces, and even engagement rings if you’re looking to pop the question!

GET FIT 615

This is the perfect gift to help anybody keep their New Year’s Resolution! There are a bunch of different packages, such as memberships, group classes, personal training, and retreats! Plus it is the perfect excuse to get your family and friends active again. Also, maybe just get this gift for yourself!

BISCUIT LOVE

After all that working out at Get Fit 615, treat yo’ self to some self love at biscuit love! Get your gift card now so you and all your friends can go get weekend brunch and one of the best breakfast places in Middle Tennessee!

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PLACEMAT

If you would rather not get out of the house, invite all your friends over for an AMAZING dinner party. You can have everyone over, and just have fun with your friends! No worries about the cooking or the clean up. Just sit back, relax, and laugh while Placemat does all the delicious work.

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RV POTTERY

Now, while you are having that extravagant Christmas dinner party to celebrate with your friends, why not have some equally extravagant plates to eat on? RV Pottery does handmade mugs, cups, plates, bowls, and more. Let me tell you, this pottery is simply BEAUTIFUL! Even if you are not having a dinner party, you can buy one of the cute state mugs for all your friends!! Perfect gift idea.

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WINK WINK PAPER CO

Now if you aren’t wanting to buy a gift for someone, but still want to just send a nice letter, we have got you covered there too! Wink Wink Paper Co has all sorts of thoughtful and beautiful letters and cards for all your sending needs.

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POVERTY AND THE ARTS

For the art-lover in your life that also wants to help the impoverished in our city, check out Poverty And The Arts. They take people impacted with homelessness and give them a creative outlet. You can by beautiful pieces of art with an amazing cause attached to it here.

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THE ESCAPE GAME

A classic gift that is fun for the whole family! Test your skills and try to escape one of The Escape Game’s many amazing puzzles. There are many locations all over the United States, and many more coming! Can you escape?

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RANGER STATION

You can never have enough candles!!! Ranger Station was recently featured in Southern Living’s gift guide. They have all sorts of unique smells, and you can even create your own person fragrance.

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FELICITY AND BLISS

Want some beautiful personalized jewelry to give to your best friends? How about a necklace to give to your sorority sister? Felicity and Bliss has everything you need for unique and meaningful jewelry with great prices!!


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HOUSE OF & BLVD RECORD SHOP

Last but not least on our gift guide is House Of and BLVD! These are our very own student run stores that feature amazing products. At House Of you’ll find many of the products listed here, as well as some amazing clothes and other items. At BLVD you can find all your music needs! We’ll see you there1! :)

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Belmont ETP
Congratulations, Graduates!

This post was originally published on May 8th, 2018

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We are so incredibly proud of every single person who graduates this past Saturday. You worked so hard and you made it!! We know you are going to go off and do amazing things. Just remember to keep in touch with your friends here at Belmont University! We want to give some special recognition to the graduates of our Entrepreneurship program.

Here they are:

Tara Ames

Clarisa Arias

Rebecca Armstrong

Andrew Besl

Haley Gallerani

Jessica Hadik

Andrew Huffman

Tyler King

Chandler Kucera

Charlie Merritt

JT Nelson

Courtney Osborne

Micah Owens

Anna Park

Jed Rice

Suzanna Stapler

Jonathan Stubblefield

Luke Wilson

Hawley Young

 

These students are dedicated and hardworking, and we know they are going to do great.  Some of them have even already started their own amazing, creative, and successful businesses! Congratulations to all of you.

In case you missed graduation, here are some photos to recap! 

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Belmont ETP
2017-2018 Year in Review

This post was originally published on May 1st, 2018

It has been a great 2017-2018 year at Belmont University's Center for Entrepreneurship! Here we reflect on all of the great things that have happened this past year:

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In May, one of our students participated in the LaunchTN's Pitch Competition: "Belmont student and entrepreneurship major Sara Beth Perry recently participated in LaunchTN’s 36|86 Student Pitch Competition and won in her category, Technology Enabled, earning her $15,000. With the Band, Perry’s startup is a platform that allows devoted fans, new artists, songwriters and established artists the opportunity to engage and connect in a collaborative way."

We are so proud of her and all of the Belmont representatives that participated! Our students are doing amazing things!

We started off the school year with an Entrepreneurship kickoff convo. On August 30th, Elizabeth Gortmaker, the Director of the Center spoke about all of the Center's upcoming opportunities. We also got to meet our Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, Shawn Glinter and Victoria Koypar. The convo included donuts (yum) and was a wonderful start to the year!

Following closely behind this event, we had a Back To School Bash at the student-run stores, House Of and Boulevard Record Shop, on August 31st. The event featured live music from the band Rookie Season, as well as food, games, prizes, discounts and all-around celebration.

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 Monday, September 18th through Friday, September 22nd was DECA week. DECA had events Monday and Wednesday to inform students about the organization. During Monday's convo, president Cynthia Klauber told us how to make the most of our time at Belmont by joining DECA and what skills we could learn by participating in DECA's events.

Wednesday's convo focused on one of our EIRs, Victoria Kopyar. Victoria spoke about her past work experiences at places such as Target and Gibson, and how it helped her to become a successful entrepreneur.

Later in the week was the Parents' Weekend Entrepreneurship Village. Ten Belmont students and alumni had booths for their businesses at the event. Some of the businesses included: Runway Audio, No Baked Cookie Dough, House Of, College In Color, and [a][di][a] Candle Company. We were able to meet lots of parents and show some of what the Center for Entrepreneurship has to offer.

October was a very busy month for the Center! To kick things off we had the anticipated Moench Lecture Series Speaker Candace Nelson. Candace is the founder of Sprinkles Cupcakes (and creator of the cupcake ATM). She shared her cupcake journey with us, gave us some inspiration to achieve our goals, taught us that sometimes we can turn the mundane into something magical and ate cupcakes with us too (1,000 of them to be exact!!!). She was an amazing speaker, and we are so happy she was able to share her story with us.

A few weeks later, some of our student entrepreneurs began preparing for our Business Plan Competition by attending the Pitch Prep Convo. In this convo, we learned tips and tools for putting together a pitch deck, presenting to investors and customers, and pitching our businesses.

The week after this convo was dedicated to student entrepreneurs meeting with our EIRs to come up with their best pitches in preparation for the competition.

On October 27th Enactus hosted a convo with the CEO and founder of FashionABLE,  Barrett Ward. Barret is a former member of Enactus, and he shared his story with Belmont students.

Nearing the end of October, our student-run business, House Of, hosted Spooky Saturday. There were games, trick-or-treating, and apple cider, as well as a pop-up by [a][di][a] Candle Company had a popup shop.

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Global Entrepreneurship week happened in November, and the Center for Entrepreneurship celebrated with events throughout the week.

First, on Monday, November 13th, we held a convocation on Emotional Intelligence. The speaker for the event was Matt Davis, who is the founder of Grapevine Interactive Technologies. Matt gave us tips and tricks on how to practice Emotional Intelligence in our day-to-day lives.

Wednesday, November 15th was our Business Pitch Competition with 10 student entrepreneurs. Each entrepreneur had 2 minutes to present and 1 minute for our panel of judges to ask questions. It was intense! All of the competitors did a wonderful job, and the winners were:

3rd Place: PlaceMat, winning $100

2nd Place: Squillustrate, winning $200

1st Place: Dime, winning $500

To finish up Global Entrepreneurship Week our student-run stores had a Thanksgiving Celebration called House Of Thanks on Friday, November 17th. They celebrated with live music and a Sweet Creations Pie Bakery pop-up.

On Friday, December 1, House Of helped us get in the holiday spirit with hot chocolate, cookies, gift guides, and a special Vintage Sparrow pop-up.

After finals, students travelled home to spend the holidays with their families! 

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Students were welcomed back after winter break with a snowy surprise! Belmont had two snow days as the semester was trying to begin, not that any of us minded! 

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After getting settled back in, the Center for Entrepreneurship hosted #coffeehour on January 24th. During this, our EIR Victoria Kopyar and students got to talk about their businesses and network with other students! Not only this, but we had coffee and bagels. 

On January 31st, we partnered with the Office of Career and Professional Development to host the Creatives Chat! During this event, we learned from a panel of creatives in Nashville as they "told all" about the realities of pursuing their passions. We gained tips for developing our brand, marketing ourselves (and our work), how to aquire customer, fans, and resources for the creative Entrepreneur! 

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On February 21, Victoria Kopyar hosted a convo. She guided us through the principles of putting together a business plan, helped us avoid common pitfalls, and prepped us for the competition. All the applicants registered by February 28! 

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As midterm week slowly went by, students prepared for Spring Break!

Not too long after spring break was our Business Plan Competition on March 14! Students competed for thousands of dollars in cash prizes during this Shark-Tank Style competition. A panel of expert judges will provide valuable feedback for the competitors, and picked the winners.

The winners are: 

1st Place: PlaceMat: Ryan Reisdorf

2nd Place: Squillustrate: Suzanna Stapler

3rd Place: With The Band: Sarah Beth Perry

People's Choice Award: Alate: Karyme Meixueiro Cravioto and Emily Knapp 

Thanks so much to everyone who participated! 

April was an extremely busy month for the Center for Entrepreneurship! 

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From April 10-14 we had the DECA Competition in Washington DC! 27 DECA members and our advisors.

Belmont students were finalists in almost every competition that we competed in, and won tons of awards! 

Not only this, but Belmont DECA as a whole got the #1 award for Entrepreneurship! 

If you want to hear more about how DECA did in the competition, you can see Belmont's press release for that here.

On April 18th was our very successful 6th Annual Entrepreneurship Village! Our very successful student and alumni showcased their businesses! We had around 30 tents and it was a beautiful day! Students got to network and see what these businesses had to offer.

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It was an amazing year for the Center for Entrepreneurship, and we have even higher expectations for next year! Heres a big thanks to all the faculty, staff, and students who made it possible! Good luck with all you do and have an absolutely amazing summer. We can't wait to see what's in store for next year. 

Belmont ETP
Entrepreneurship Advice from Johnny Cupcakes

This post was originally published on April 24th, 2018

Johnny Cupcakes is an entrepreneur famous for having "16 different businesses before he was 16."

Johnny has created an amazing T-shirt business disguised as cupcake store, and it is now worth millions. Through unique branding, word-of-mouth marketing, and just an all around crazy and creative idea, Johnny Earle has been able to make more than a living doing something he passionately loves. 

At the Collegiate DECA International Career development office, Johnny gave us his insight on what it takes to be an Entrepreneur. 

Here are his tips:

1. BE CREATIVE, ESPECIALLY IN ADVERTISING

"We’ve been in business for 15 years and I’ve spent little to no money on traditional advertising." Instead of traditional advertising that many businesses can spend thousands on, Johnny spends his advertising budget on creating an experience for his customers. He does this in many ways, starting with his store.

Instead of a regular t-shirt shop, the Johnny Cupcakes stores are designed to look like a bakery. He even has ovens, refrigerators, and mixers in his stores to give it a bakery feel! Not only this, Johnny even hides vanilla-scented car fresheners in the air vents of his business so it smells like cupcakes! He knows that when customers come into his store, that they are going to have an experience and talk about it to their friends and family. 

By being extremely creative and "out there," the popularity Johnny Cupcakes T-Shirt Bakery has spread like wildfire almost solely through word-of-mouth advertising.

2. BE PERSONAL

Know your customers, and make sure they know that you are grateful for them. 

Johnny likes to write personal thank you notes in many of the online orders he gets. He says that because of this, he will have lifelong customers. Hardly anyone gets handwritten notes anymore, and this is an easy way to let your customers know that you appreciate their business. 

Not only this, but he gets to know his fans and customers through social media! He makes sure that they feel like the experience associated with purchasing a Johnny Cupcakes shirt is a good one.

3. TELL A STORY

People will be able to connect more with a story instead of just feeling like they are buying a product. Johnny always shares his stories, from his beginnings and financial struggles as a child to how his personality got him in trouble in school to how he came up with the idea for his t-shirt bakery. Johnny loves sharing how he started and where he's going, and people connect with him and continue to support and follow his brand. 

4. BE PASSIONATE ABOUT WHAT YOU DO

Johnny Cupcakes is always extremely excited about his brand and keeps others excited about it as well. He is constantly thinking of new designs or things to keep not only himself but also his customers engaged. If you are passionate and put your all into something, people will take notice and support you. Johnny is living, breathing proof that this is true. 





Belmont ETP
DECA Recap

This post was originally published on April 16th, 2018

Over the past few days (4/10/18 - 4/15/18), Belmont's DECA Chapter has been competing in many entrepreneurial events in Washington, DC in the Collegiate DECA International Career Development Conference!  

Let's take a recap of the competition! 

We all got to the airport at 6:30 PM on Tuesday, April 10th, only to find out our flight was delayed until 10 PM! We spent lots of time doing homework in the airport cafeteria as well as eating pizza and drinking Starbucks. 

We arrived in DC at around midnight and piled up in our busses to go to the Crystal Marriott Hotel.

Everyone got checked in and settled into the rooms around 1:00 AM to get some sleep before the conference began the next day!

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In the morning, we had a bit of free time to enjoy the city. We explored DC and some of the museums! The cherry blossoms we also blooming, and it was beautiful! 

Cherry Blossoms!

After exploring, we all went to get ready for the opening ceremony. The president of DECA spoke and kicked things off. After the introduction, Johnny Earle, creator of Johnny Cupcakes, gave us his insight. He spoke about the importance of branding, word-of-mouth marketing, and following your passions having fun with what you do. 

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Thursday, April 12, was spent going to lots and lots of orientations. We had orientations for either our Individual Case Studies, Team Case Studies, and the Entrepreneurship Challenge. We also spend some time networking with businesses such as Walgreens, Men's Wearhouse, and Marriott. 

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Friday, April 13th was the day of our competitions! All Belmont DECA students participated in 2 events. Our individual or team events were in the morning, and the entrepreneurship challenge was in the afternoon. Not only this, but there were many seminars on things such as franchising and bootstrapping! 

The Entrepreneur challenge was super fun and fast-paced! All the Belmont teams had amazing business ideas, and even two teams were finalists in the challenge. 

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Saturday, April 14th was when the finalists from all the challenges competed for the win, and Saturday night was the awards ceremony. 

Belmont took many many awards, including the cluster award in #1 in Entrepreneurship as a whole! 

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Katie Coens and Renee Ramirez: First Place in Entrepreneurship (Starting a Business)

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Mollie Montgomery and Becca Wagner: Second Place in Sports and Entertainment Marketing 

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Eric Rall and Julia Keefe: First Place in Business Ethics 

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Ally Misch: First Place in Accounting 

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Cynthia Klauber: Finalist in Marketing 

All finalists and winners of entrepreneurship centered challenges 

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All of Belmont DECA who competed

Congratulations the everyone who competed. You all did such an amazing job. Also, thank you to all the amazing advisors of DECA and the DECA Officers for making it such an amazing and successful trip!

Belmont ETP
Know The Difference: Business Formal vs. Business Casual Dress Codes

This post was originally published on April 9th 2018

Many of us are going to go into careers that require a dress code. Whether it be for certain corporate events, networking, or even just the DECA ICDC trip, we will be required to wear business professional or business casual many times in our life.

But how do you even dress business professional or business casual? 

Here are some infographics of what to wear for either business casual or business professional.

Image from Fashion In https://purduecco.wordpress.com/2014/04/18/dress-to-impress-business-casual-vs-professional/

Image from Fashion In https://purduecco.wordpress.com/2014/04/18/dress-to-impress-business-casual-vs-professional/

found from https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/477803841689613837/

found from https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/477803841689613837/

image from playzoa.com

image from playzoa.com

image from https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/477803841689613837/

image from https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/477803841689613837/

Belmont ETP
Sigma Nu Tau Induction

This post was originally published on April 2nd, 2018

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Sigma Nu Tau is an academic honors society dedicated to Entrepreneurs. 

Sigma Nu Tau's Mission: 
To promote, recognize, and reward academic excellence in entrepreneurship and to encourage and recognize the practice of principled entrepreneurship

“Principled Entrepreneurship is maximizing long-term profitability for the business by creating real value in society while always acting lawfully and with integrity.”

On March 20th, Belmont University's own Sigma Nu Tau chapter held an induction ceremony. 

In order to be inducted, students must have at least a 3.5 GPA and must exhibit honor, integrity, and a strong entrepreneurial spirit.

 

The following Belmont students have been inducted into Sigma Nu Tau: 

 

Megan Albright 

Meredith Bowden

Maria Cerrato 

Lee Craft 

Meredith Edwards

Andrew Gardner 

Kyle Heisey 

Hannah Kersey 

Tanner Landolt  

Rachel Marcum 

Hope Mather 

Rebecca Meigs 

Allie Morris 

Sarah Perry 

Grace Pritchard 

Lauren Ringo

Jordan Sanders 

Austin Sellinger 

Johnathan Stubblefield 

Micki Werner 

Kameron Ziesig 

Congratulate these students for their persistence and excellence within the major of entrepreneurship! 

If you have an interest Sigma Nu Tau you can visit our website at Belmont Sigma Nu Tau or email Dr. Mark Schenkel at mark.schenkel@belmont.edu 



Belmont ETP
Best Co-Working Spaces in Nashville!

This post was originally published on March 26th, 2018

Co-working spaces are a great way to connect with other like-minded people, share ideas, and most importantly get stuff done! 

Here are some of the best places in and around Belmont and Nashville to work on your business, or even just work on homework. 

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1. THE HATCHERY

Located in the Beaman of Belmont University, this co-working space is perfect for any and all of your entrepreneurial needs. The Hatchery gives students who are in the process of working on a business a quiet and collaborative space to work on refining their ideas and achieving their business goals. The Hatchery has lots of desk space, as well as whiteboards for you to jot your ideas on. On the wall lies the logos of Belmont Graduates who have gone off to create amazing businesses such as The Escape Game, Biscuit Love, and No Baked Cookie Dough (to name a few). 

Get to work on your business in the Hatchery! 

Gain access to the Hatchery by applying here: http://www.belmontetp.com/hatchery/ 

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2. BONGO JAVA

Bongo Java is a great student-friendly place to get some work done (as well as have a snack). Work away on your business plan, have interviews, or just simply finish up your entrepreneurship homework. If it's nice out, you can sit on the deck, drink a seasonal latte, and watch students pass by on the sidewalk. A little fresh air always gives me great ideas! You may even find your newest business partner sitting at a table next to you. 

You can check out their website here: http://www.bongojava.com/

3. THE LAWN

On warm Spring days, the lawn is a perfect place to work on accomplishing things. While you work, you can listen to our people strum a guitar or watch them toss a frisbee. Just grab a blanket and some friends and get to work! Like I said, fresh air is a great way to get fresh ideas. Just be aware of the few times a year the lawn is closed for restoration. 

Just look at how beautiful and inspiring it is! 

Also: this is a great place to take Instagram photos. What other college has grass that is this perfect???

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4. FROTHY MONKEY

This is another great, quiet, and spacious place to work on homework and have some coffee. Frothy Monkey has many locations, but their 12s location is an easy walk from campus. The chill atmosphere will inspire you and the caffeine will allow you to work hard on your projects! And if you need a break from working you can grab a yummy pastry. There are lots of outlets so your electronics will not die as well! 

You can check out what they have on their website here:https://frothymonkey.com

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5. WORK BELCOURT

Located on 21st Ave, Work Belcourt provides fully furnished executives suites, conference room access, ultra-fast internet service, free parking, utilities, shared kitchen and coffee bar, and a business class printer!Work Belcourt is located on the second floor above Hopdoddy and next to Double Dogs. To tour the space, you can call Brittany Sears at 615-490-6723.

Flexible monthly memberships starting at $275! 

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6. THE REFINERY

"Join our diverse community of entrepreneurs and innovators, where the coffee & tea are free, the WiFi is fast, and you can park your bike or car, hassle-free. With our productive environment, low-cost, and great networking, your business is guaranteed to grow." 

The Refinery has tons of resources to help your business grow, including and the memberships range from "drop-ins" at $99 a month all the way to full time working space for $400 a month. 

You can try out the Refinery co-working space for free here: http://www.refinerynashville.com/free-trial

Bonus: The refinery also hosts classes that are put on by various organizations in the Nashville community! Learn something new AND work on your business here! 

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7. WE WORK

"WeWork enables you to secure space with all the everyday amenities that spell success—dedicated Community Managers, spacious conference rooms, and impressive private offices—along with modern perks like month-to-month flexibility, passionate Community Managers, and special events. WeWork's locations in Nashville are music to your ears, taking your business to new heights." 

You can check out more about We Work at https://www.wework.com

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8. FORT HOUSTON

Last but certainly not least on our list of great co-working space was created by one of Belmont's Alumni! 

"Facilitators of Human Potential.

Fort Houston is a place for you to facilitate, grow, learn and work. We occupy 10,000 square feet in the Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood of Nashville, TN, complete with a full-scale wood shop, print shop, metal shop, 3D printers, darkroom, and miscellaneous work and desk space. Here’s how it works: You pay a monthly membership fee, and you get to make things in here. Oh, and taking a class or two can be fun, too, but you don’t have to be a member to do that!

A basic membership includes access to all of our facilities and 20% off services and classes. A premium or team membership allows access to all shops and facilities plus your own personal or team desk. Click here for more membership details!" 

 

See what you can create today using these amazing co-working spaces in and around the Belmont and Nashville community.

As always, stay up to date with all of the Center for Entrepreneurship's events on our website belmontETP.com

Best of luck with all of your business endeavors!  

Belmont ETP
Business Plan Competition Contestants

This post was originally published on March 12th, 2018

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As you may know, one of the Center for Entrepreneurship's biggest events is coming up. Get excited for our 2018 Business Plan Competition, in which students present in a Shark Tank style competition for thousands of dollars in cash prizes. 

Lets take a look at who is competing:

COLLEGE IN COLOR: JORDON WASHINGTON

"College in Color is an online, life-saving lifestyle brand dedicated to creating products and media centered around generating thought and conversations on mental health, stress management, and overall student success. Our vision is to become the defined mental health focused social enterprise for a new generation beginning with the collegiate market, but eventually moving into churches, high schools, and healthcare industries."

College in Color is bringing out the importance of mental health through the healing qualities of coloring and creativity. It encourages one to think about how they feel and know that they are not alone in the struggles they may be dealing with in college. Included in the books are access to many mental health hotlines to assist those who need it, as well as many coloring pages designed by college students to give a much-needed break from student stress.

STYLE 12: AUSTIN SELLINGER AND ANDREW CRANNY

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"Style12 is an app that matches users with freelance hairstylists in their area, allowing people to quickly find twelve-dollar haircuts. After the haircut is performed, users rate each stylist's profile for quality assurance. On top of that, users of the app have no wait times. They simply drive to the stylists’ locations immediately after booking them. The app will also offer a more luxurious service: a “home delivery system.” The hairstylists come to the customers’
locations and cut their hair for a higher cost."

Style12 connects people with the best hairdressers in the area. With this app, there is no need to waste time waiting in line for a hairdresser. Also, Style12 has a rating system for their hairdressers, so you will be able to know that your stylist is going to do a great job instead of randomly being assigned a hairdresser like you would in a regular barber shop. This is basically the Uber of haircuts and is 100% amazing. 

SQUILLUSTRATE: SUZANNA STAPLER

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"Squillustrate is an illustration and branding firm specializing in visual storytelling. It provides clients with an efficient, creative, and personalized experience for making their ideas come to life through design. With a focus on contract design and building out the identities of companies and individuals, the company prioritizes effective communication in both the production and distribution of the end products. Squillustrate started building its brand and
meeting the needs of (now, over 50) clients and projects in the fall of 2016. In five years, the goal is to have earned a reputation as a Nashville-based firm with distinctive flair and most importantly, happy customers. The owner, Suzanna Stapler, founded this business to answer
needs and pursue a creative calling. She plans to use it to benefit others through the satisfaction
of client goals, the realization of personal vocation, and eventually, the support of employees."

Suzanna will bring any of your artistic needs to life! Whether it be story-tellering, dream interpreting, vision building, or pun-making.. depending on what you need. In a very visual world Suzanna's business is a must for any business who wants to capture the attention of their target audience! 

ALATE: EMILY KNAPP AND KARYME MEIXUEIRO CRAVIOTO

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"Our company Alate strives to empower women to feel more safe, confident and give them more freedom to enjoy and explore public space through discrete, fashionable, and easily accessible self defence products. Our product, the PepperPuff, combines pom pom keychains, which are currently a considerably in demand fashion accessory , and pepper spray, one of the most common self defense products among consumers, in order to create a convergence between the self-defense and fashion indutry. "

The PepperPuff is a unique and discrete way for women to protect themselves. With quick and easy access to pepper spray on a key chain, rather than having to dig around in a purse to find pepper spray (which may take away much needed time). "PepperPuff product aims to provide simple, reliable, and affordable form of pepper spray self-protection that does not detract from an outfit, but rather adds to it." 

 

PLACEMAT: RYAN REISDORF

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"PlaceMat, LLC is a local private chef service that provides unforgettable dining experiences in the comfort of your own home or AirBnb. PlaceMat comes to your home to create an authentic brunch or dinner in the place most comfortable for you and your gatherings.
PlaceMat only sources organic and local ingredients which not only helps ensure quality but also
helps form strategic relationships throughout the community."

"At PlaceMat, health starts with food. The PlaceMat vision is that communities, both macro and micro, become stronger and healthier through eating locally-sourced ingredients prepared with care by individuals who understand flavor and nutrition. Together, we can prevent many of the chronic illnesses and diseases that impact our world today through better and more intentional relationships with food. However, none of this matters if eating healthy is not easy
and convenient. At PlaceMat, we make eating healthy easy."

FELICITYANDBLISS: BAILEY JACKSON

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Felicity and Bliss is an amazing little minimalist jewelry store on Etsy. Their products are cute, customizable, and really perfect for any occasion. With almost 10,000 sales on Etsy since their opening in April 2016, Felicity and Bliss continues to grow. 

"Felicity And Bliss is where you can find minimalist jewelry for all occasions. We are a family business consisting of my mother and I based in Nashville, TN... well more like everywhere. Not only do we sell in Nashville, but we also sell in New York, Florida, California,
and even Alaska! We sell in every state. We are actually an online company that tailors our products to fit our customer’s needs and wants with precision. We have been in full operation since April of 2016 and have absolutely blown all of our expectations out of the water. We do everything that we can in order to handcraft the perfect gift for any of our customer’s needs. If you order from Felicity And Bliss, we promise that it will be nothing short of a 5 star experience and you will not be able to wait until you get the opportunity to give our jewelry as a gift again."

TURNING LEAVES: ERNEST WALTER

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"Through farming practices, art exploration, and community engagement we use our short-term housing service to provide a substance free environment that focuses on working towards personal health goals and diversifying skill set."

"We accept residents that need a place to take time to work on
themselves for varying reasons; difficulties with addictions, relocation/release from incarceration, stress management, and even self-discovery. We have an initial conference with everyone we vet, this allows us to walk through their personal health goals and to give us an idea of how we can help make their time with us successful. If substance abuse is a factor, we offer drug testing and accountability checks. Every individual has a unique set of circumstances and a unique set of goals, we aim to help guide our residents through their unique set of circumstances. All this is done alongside garden responsibilities/training and an ongoing encouraged art project of their choice. In addition, a contracted specialist will help us plan our individualized approach to helping each resident. This will be a full time position we will be working to fill.

OCTO MUSIC GROUP: TALLY BEVIS AND DAVID SCHULTZ

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"Octo Music Group LLC is an Event Production company based out of Nashville, TN. Founded by David Schultz and Tally Bevis, OCTO is a self-contained entity that creates, facilitates, and manages every aspect of throwing their underground dance parties and private events for high brow clients. OCTO is setting the new standard for local DIY shows by putting on some of the most extensive local productions that Nashville has ever seen! Wherever the shows take place, OCTO brings the experience to a whole new level. Keeping the shows up to date with new stages, popular entertainment, the best up and coming DJs and Producers, and exciting attractions, OCTO continues to impress its clientele by going above and beyond & holding each and every event to the utmost professional standards."

Octo has already held many successful music events in Nashville, and plans to keep it up! 

WITH THE BAND: SARAH BETH PERRY

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"With the Band is a mobile app designed to bring a whole new level experience to dedicated fans. With the Band was created by Sarah Beth Perry in March of 2017. In order to further enhance the fan experience, With the Band will be creating a community for dedicated fans by using an app. Fans will be able to keep up to date with their favorite artists as well as connect with other fellow fans and discover new artists. With the Band will also provide a
platform for the artist which enables them to become closer with their fans. With the Band will be introducing the new modern version of a fan club. Each artist’s team will also receive analytic
data about the fans who follow the artist’s page, to further target their market. With the Band wants to create a positive atmosphere in the office, in the venues, and online by bonding people
together through music. With the Band is creating in inclusive culture where there are no boundaries. No boundaries between an artist and their fans, and no boundaries on how much content can be in one place. We are eliminating boundaries, so now you can go behind-the-scenes, With the Band."

Who doesn't want to connect with their favorite bands on a more personal level? With the Band gives you this opportunity with a subscription-based business plan. This business launches in September, after the heavy concert season (May to October). Be on the look out to keep up to date With The Band! (also, With the Band won last year's Business Plan Competition! 

 

Come out to the competition to see all of these students present their businesses in front of a panel of judges. There will be an opportunity to speak with the competitors after the event. Come support your favorite and to learn what our amazing student entrepreneurs are up to! 

The competition will be held on March 14, 2018 from 4:00PM - 6:00PM in the 4th Floor Massey Boardroom. 

For any questions or concerns, please email us at belmontetp.edu! 

Belmont ETP
Creatives Chat Recap

This post was originally published on February 5th, 2018

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On Wednesday, January 31st the Center for Entrepreneurship co-hosted a convo with the Office of Career Development to give students the opportunity to learn from some of Nashville's creative entrepreneurs. 

Belmont Alumna Libby Oellerich (2014) moderated the event and interviewed our creative entrepreneurs. She is the Creative Content Manager for Nashville Songwriters Association. She also has her own podcast called "The Local Lady."

Our interviewees (also Belmont Alumni) were:

Megan Beaven, who graduated as a Music Business major in 2015. She is now the proud owner of No Baked Cookie Dough.

Amanda Mazzo, who graduated in 2003 as a Commercial Voice major. She is now the Creative Director and COO of Mazzo Media.

Paul Nelson, a Commercial Cello major who graduated in 2002. He is now a  Session Musician, Educator and Musicpreneur and has worked with artists such as OneRepublic and U2. 

Ryan Schemmel, who majored in Music Business and graduated in 2010. He is the co-founder of Fort Houston. 

In case you missed it, here is what we learned: 

BIGGEST CHALLENGES OF BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR:

Megan said that one of the biggest challenges of being an entrepreneur is trying to make enough money to match what you would have been making in a more traditional position. She worked in the music industry for a year after she graduated from Belmont and felt like she could either "keep climbing the music industry ladder" or do something for herself. 

She said it was a challenge to risk the income she was making in order to pursue No Baked, but her passion for cookie dough and the desire to get out of the music industry helped her to take the leap of faith. 

For Amanda, the biggest challenge is keeping track of everything. She has to keep very detailed records of everything for her business. She said that when she first started her business she had to "change hats from being a creative to running the details of everyday things."

Paul said that his biggest challenge is "[being] harder on [himself] than a boss would ever be on [him]." He has to keep himself on track and work very hard in order to achieve his goals. 

When he first began as an entrepreneur, Ryan's biggest challenge was money. There is a lot of money that goes into making your own business, and if you don't have sufficient funds, it can be detrimental. He recalls moving back in with his "folks" for a year in order to save up enough cash to start Fort Houston. 

Another big challenge for Ryan was customer service. If any of you have ever worked in retail, you know that dealing with unhappy customers can be quite the challenge. Ryan said that he learned this the hard way! 

EMBRACING THE COMMUNITY AROUND YOU:

When he first started out as an entrepreneur, Ryan didn't have the funds for traditional marketing channels, so instead he tapped into the Nashville community. He had friends in local bands play at Fort Houston's events and promoted his business through them.

Amanda said,"If you're not going to be an advocate for your business, no one else is going to do it for you." This means that if you are not going to promote your business, then it simply won't "get out there." You have to put work into making sure people know about your business and who you are, and you can grow from there.

Making contacts or networking can help with this. Amanda suggested the Nashville Junior Chamber and Young Alumni as great organization with which to get involved. 

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Megan also harnessed Nashville's expansive and supportive community. Like Ryan, she did not have the funds for a big advertisement campaign when she first began her business. "The Nashville Community was great for getting the word out! I harnessed Nashville's love for local business." She reached out to lots of Nashville-based social media accounts and asked them to try her cookie dough and post about it. 

She also had to learn the do's and don'ts of setting up pop-up shops. There are a lot of rules and regulations that go into selling on public property, so she had to work with private businesses to set up shops. 

FINDING OUT WHERE YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE IS/GROWING YOUR BUSINESS:

Megan admits that she didn't really know what to expect when she first started No Baked. It was a lot of trying to keep up with orders, and she quickly saw that she couldn't do it all by herself. It goes to show that you don't know the issues until you actually start the business.  Megan used targeted instagram pages that focused on the trends in Nashville and marketed toward Milennials.

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On her marketing strategy, Amanda said, "The most cost effective marketing is definitely social media."

For Paul, it isn't about social media marketing. For him it's all about trying to make money doing what he loves most: music. But, to get his stuff out there, he doesn't just play music. He does it all. He describes it as "going through the open door."

The small businesses that worked with Ryan began collaborating with each other. His business became a great place for businesses to connect. Some businesses have been working with Ryan and his business since day one, and they are extremely loyal. He says, "They watch each other grow as we grow." They have now grown to hosting just over 60 businesses.

SAYING NO:

For Megan, learning to say no was very important.  People often come into her store saying, "I can do this, if you pay this amount." Instead of paying people to do various things for her business, she steps back and tries to see what she could do for No Baked. "If it's something I can do, then I will do it to save the company money."

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"Make the decision to put your all into something. If you really believe in something and put your all into it, it's worth it"

Amanda's advice for saying no is to look at your own goals. If a request aligns with your goals for your business, consider doing it. If a request fails to align with the goals of your business, tell them no. 

When Paul gets a request, he tries to incorporate it into a system he already has. He also tries to align it with what he's trying to do: "Can you put together a brass section? I could but it's not part of what I'm trying to do."

RISK-TAKING:

"Taking the jump is scary but so worth it." Amanda recalls being afraid to make the change from working a steady job to being her own boss. 

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Paul said finding a rental property for his business was extremely difficult. Nashville properties are really expensive, something that needs to be taken into consideration if you are planning to have your business in Nashville.

Ryan said, "The risks of starting something new at the beginning is pretty obvious. Choosing whether or not to continue to take risks is more complicated. Once things kind of level out it is good. Do you want to take the same risks? It's important to level the risks out as they go along." 

LEARNING THINGS ABOUT YOURSELF:

"You all know what your skill sets are. If you do something really well don't stop doing that thing or spread yourself thin. Getting better at allocating duties or saying no. Don't spread yourself too thin." Ryan gave the advice of using your strengths to your full advantage but not to get in over your head. If you can delegate tasks to other people so you can focus on what is most important, do that. 

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Paul said that learning balance was a struggle for him, but a very important skill for the entrepreneur. Paul said, "Getting up by 5AM and getting everything together has been the biggest game changer." Getting up early to get stuff done and have a productive day helped Paul get where he is today. 

Balance was important for Amanda as well. "It's easy to get wrapped up in something that you love. I am not my job. There has to be that separation to still create and have a personal life." Making sure you have a life outside your business and learning to leave your work alone for a few hours will help you to relax and keep your sanity. Balance between home and work life is very important.

Work and home life balance was also a struggle for Megan for a while. "It's hard to turned No Baked off. It's hard to ignore all the notifications." It was also difficult delegating her attention to certain things because she is "playing every single role in the business." But, she is learning new things, and even got to uncover a new passion:  "[I'm] Passionate about marketing, and I found out I love this and I get to do that every day."

EXPANDING & GROWING:

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No Baked just signed a lease for a second store in Louisville, KY. They are also about to start selling franchises to make the brand known nationwide. 

Amanda's company just landed an account in Las Vegas. They are trying to spread their wings a bit more and expand their business. 

Paul is currently working on pushing a record onto a Spotify playlist and is also working with OneRepublic. 

Ryan is looking to grow the experiential art fabrication side of things. His company just set up a nonprofit section for what they do. He is looking to eventually add job training for skill sets to this area of the company. 

WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED:

As an entrepreneur, you will learn as you go. Have the courage to make what you love into your career and don't be afraid to make the jump from employee to employer.

Belmont ETP