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:


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! 



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! 


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! 


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! 


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.


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