MU Business Plan Competition

Last night, I was fortunate enough to attend the awards banquet for the 2012 Marquette University Business Plan Competition. This was the 10th annual competition held by the university. It gives emerging entrepreneurs a chance to develop business ideas through workshops, mentoring, and feedback from judges. The competition is open to Marquette students, faculty, staff and alumni.

Tim Keane

Last night’s event started with a reception honoring Tim Keane (@tkeane2701), Entrepreneur in Residence and Director of the Kohler Center for Entrepreneurship. Tim has been instrumental in developing Entrepreneurship at Marquette including the development of the university’s annual Entrepreneurship Week and Business Plan Competition. Tim is also the Director of the Golden Angels Network.

Next up was an opportunity to network and view the business plan summary posters for several of the 2012 competition entrants. I visited the posters of BoothTag, GearMoney, RedSqwirl, and others.

Eric Koester

Next, we sat down for fantastic dinner and a wonderful keynote presentation by Eric Koester (@EricKoester), Co-founder and CMO of Zaarly, a location-based, real-time commerce platform. Eric also talked about how he and his co-founders met and started Zaarly at a StartupWeekend event. Eric, of course, is a Marquette alumni! The key points from Eric’s talk were:

Be a Life-Preneur: 10 Things I’ve Learned on my Journey in Startups, Business, and Life

  1. Just Show Up (Better)
  2. Hustlegy: Get Some
  3. Your Journey (It’s Yours)
  4. “It’s Nice” is not “Eff Yeah”
  5. Be a Goal Checker
  6. Make Your Luck
  7. Be a DaVinci
  8. Be Inspired by Others
  9. Wear Crazy Socks
  10. Life is a Blast!
Overall Winner: BoothTag

The last event of the evening was the announcement of the winners of the Business Plan Competition. There were winners in several categories but the overall winner was BoothTag. Congratulations to all the winners, especially to the members of the team from @BoothTag.

While I’m on the topic of “congratulations”, I’d also like to say “thank you” to everyone who organized, sponsored, and participated in this important event.

Overall, the Marquette Business Plan Competition Awards Banquet was really interesting. It brought together entrepreneurship, competition and networking (not to mention food and drinks), and was another sign that Milwaukee is participating fully in the technology startup revolution sweeping the nation and the world!

If you’d like to leave a comment, click on the link under the title of this post at the top of this page. I know, it’s confusing and I’m working to improve it.

jQuery Air Class

I’m taking the jQuery Air First Flight online class. It’s a free product by Envy Labs created in association with JumpStartLab. The class consists of five levels; each with a video hosted by Jeff Casmir (@j3) of JumpStartLab and series of challenges. Complete the challenges correct and you can move on to the next level.

Yesterday, I completed the first two levels. Today I’m working on level 3. The challenges have been very easy for me so far, but that’s probably because I already know HTML, CSS and some JavaScript. I’m also currently learning more JavaScript by way of CodeYear.

I’m impressed with the quality of these web-based trainings … far better than most corporate training resources; especially those that are simply a recording of  someone talking over a PowerPoint presentation!