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Learning Sessions

2014 Business Plan Competition Learning Sessions

A series of workshops designed to empower promising entrepreneurs and ambitious small business owners with tips for writing a business plan, tips on finding money and designing the right operation for success!

Get prepared for the 2014 FAU Business Plan Competition

Learning Session Topics Date Time Register
Business Fundamentals 101
Instructor: Ron Cocquyt
Jan. 17, 2014 9:00 am – 12:30 pm Thanks for attending!
Business Plan Competition Resources & Meet the Winners
Instructor: Kimberly Gramm
Jan. 24, 2014 9:30 am – 12:30 pm Thanks for attending!

Financial Series Part I: Market Analysis & Financial Basics
Instructor: Jean M. Evans, Evans & Associates

Jan. 31, 2014 9:30 am – 12:30 pm Thanks for attending!
Financial Series Part II: Financial Modeling
Financial Forecasting Template
Instructor: Bob Nelson 
Feb. 7, 2014 9:30 am – 12:30 pm Thanks for attending!
Top Tips for Entrepreneurs
Instructor: Ron Cocquyt
Feb. 14, 2014 9:30 am – 12:30 pm Thanks for attending!
Raising Capital & Pitching to Investors
Instructor: Ross O'Brien
Feb. 21, 2014 9:30 am – 12:30 pm Thanks for attending!
Elevator Pitch & Presentation 101
Instructor: Hein Onkenhout
Mar. 7, 2014 9:30 am – 12:30 pm Thanks for attending!
Digital Marketing for your Business
Instructor: Danielle Leitch & More Visibility Team
Mar. 14, 2014 9:30 am – 12:30 pm Thanks for attending!
Social Media for Entrepreneurs
Instructor: Murray Izenwasser
Mar. 21, 2014 9:30 am – 12:30 pm Registration closed
Social Entrepreneurship
Instructor: Bill Burdette
Mar. 28, 2014 9:30 am – 12:30 pm Register Here!
Bitcoin 101...and Beyond
Instructor: Charles Evans
Apr. 4, 2014 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm Register Here!

 

Business Fundamentals 101

Date: January 17, 2014
Time: 9:00 am – 12:30 pm
Location: OD 101
Instructor: Ron Cocquyt

Session Overview: Entrepreneurs don't necessarily come from business backgrounds.  Many of the most successful entrepreneurs of today come from science, engineering, the humanities and more.  Yet, regardless of how brilliant your idea, product or service may be, every aspiring entrepreneur needs to sharpen their business acumen in order to be successful.  Business Fundamentals 101 is structured to fulfill this need.  From interpreting "business speak" to understanding the purpose of a business plan, Business Fundamentals 101 will provide a foundation on which attendees can build a wealth of business based knowledge.

Speaker Bio:  Ron Cocquyt, President of Hylander Management, LLC., has maintained his business coaching practice since 1992.  Prior to that, Mr. Cocquyt was president and co-founder of Monarch Products, manufacturer of a patented method for sterilizing surgical instruments, eventually sold to Johnson & Johnson.  Mr. Cocquyt has also been involved with the establishment and development of two other medical companies, both of which are still in operation.  For the past four years, Mr. Cocquyt has participated in FAU's Business Plan Competition as a mentor and judge.  In addition, he mentors business owners through the Great Lakes Entrepreneurial Quest, a program focused on entrepreneurs and sponsored by Michigan State University.

 

Business Plan Competition Resources & Meet the Winners

Date: January 24, 2014
Time: 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Location: OD 203
Instructor: Kimberly Gramm
Click here for presentation

Session Overview:  Are you ready to compete for your share of $200,000 in case and prizes to launch your business idea?  Attend this informative workshop to learn how!  Attendees will learn how to register for the FAU Business Plan Competition (BPC), how to access business development and startup resources, and receive tips on competition preparation.  In addition, attendees will have the opportunity to meet and network with former BPC winners and the Entrepreneurs in Residence, our highly experienced executives, entrepreneurs, engineers and attorneys who are here to guide you on your path to competition success!

Speaker Bio:  Kimberly Gramm is the Director of the Adams Center for Entrepreneurship and the Assistant Dean for Community Relations at Florida Atlantic University's College of Business.  She began her role in early 2008 to create and develop a new strategic overview for the entrepreneurship program which began in 2000. Under Ms. Gramm’s direction and leadership she champions the effort with the help and support of her colleagues at FAU and in the business community of south Florida. The signature FAU Business Plan Competition has grown over the years to review over 200 business plans for funding, and offering cash and in kind prizes of over $200K annually with the help of over 125 business expert volunteers to support local entrepreneurs.  Ms. Gramm’s professional experience focuses in the areas of entrepreneurship, business development, marketing, and global corporate strategy. Her most recent professional experience she served as a corporate market strategist for a global business United Parcel Service a solid platform for strategy and business development in her current role at FAU.

 

Financial Series Part I: Market Analysis & Financial Basics

Date: January 31, 2014
Time: 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Location: BU 120
Instructor: Jean Evans
Click here for presentation

Session Overview: This session is designed to help entrepreneurs understand how to evaluate and articulate a company's market opportunity in a business plan. Being able to accurately identify a new or existing market is a significant challenge for entrepreneurs and managers. The outcome of this analysis will have a material impact on the strategic plan, budgeting, forecasting and sales and marketing activities. In addition where a management team and investors seek a business with high growth potential, the size and market trends are a critical component to support the overall business opportunity. This session will focus on how to define and analyze a market at a macro level and also to define a company’s Total Addressable Market ("TAM") to be used for short term planning and presentations.

 

Financial Series Part II: Business Forecasting with Financials

Date: February 7, 2014
Time: 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Location: BU 120
Instructor: Bob Nelson
Click here for presentation
Click here for Financial Modeling template

Session Overview: Part II of the Financial Series explains why financial forecasting is important to a business and the assumptions necessary to create a credible forecast.  This workshop will provide a basic template to create the financial projections required for the FAU Business Plan Competition.

The key benefits of this session include:

  • An understanding of why financial modeling is important in developing a business plan
  • The critical role business model assumptions play in the development of a financial forecast
  • The knowledge base to develop the Profit and Loss, Cash Flow and Balance Sheet statements required for the FAU Business Plan Competition
  • A set of excel based Financial Model spreadsheets that meet FAU Business Plan Competition requirements

Access the Financial Forecasting template here.

Speaker Bio:  Bob Nelson is an investor, entrepreneur and executive with 40 years of business experience in the software development, financial and transportation industries. His angel investments and advisory positions include OrthoCore, Talk2Rep, CallMiner, Shadows in Darkness, MCC, Inc. (Miles Consulting, HugeMagnet & PayPerCloud,) AutoFuse (acquired by ADP), Nexland (acquired by Symantec), Institutional Deposit Corp., EdVerify, Healthwise Travel, Fourbit and Depot86 (eBay’s 10th largest seller). Mr. Nelson is a founding member of The New World Angels investment group and serves as a member of the Enterprise Florida SBIR/STTR Steering Committee and the Florida Atlantic University Technology Transfer Advisory Team and was one of the finalist judges for the 2011 Cade Prize. Mr. Nelson also serves as one of the FAU Adams Center for Entrepreneurship’s prestigious Entrepreneurs in Residence.

 

Top Tips for Entrepreneurs

Date: February 14, 2014
Time: 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Location: OD 203
Instructor: Ron Cocquyt

Session Overview: Entrepreneurs make for unique individuals who typically see the world much differently.  They have their own distinct sets of rules, habitats and strategies that lead to success, and yes, sometimes failure.  The key is learning from each success and failure in order to respond to the next challenge.  This session will review top tips for entrepreneurs and include pragmatic, real-world examples from one of the Adams Center's most respected and candid mentors, Ron Cocquyt.  

Speaker Bio:  Ron Cocquyt, President of Hylander Management, LLC., has maintained his business coaching practice since 1992.  Prior to that, Mr. Cocquyt was president and co-founder of Monarch Products, manufacturer of a patented method for sterilizing surgical instruments, eventually sold to Johnson & Johnson.  Mr. Cocquyt has also been involved with the establishment and development of two other medical companies, both of which are still in operation.  For the past four years, Mr. Cocquyt has participated in FAU's Business Plan Competition as a mentor and judge.  In addition, he mentors business owners through the Great Lakes Entrepreneurial Quest, a program focused on entrepreneurs and sponsored by Michigan State University.

 

Raising Capital: Pitching to Investors for Entrepreneurs

Date: February 21, 2014
Time: 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Location: OD 203
Instructor: Ross O'Brien
Click here for presentation

Session Overview: Most entrepreneurs will seek outside capital to grow their business. In order to be successful the entrepreneur needs to understand what types of investors are available to them, how to access them, and what they look for in order to evaluate an investment opportunity. This seminar will focus on defining the different categories of investors including Angel investors and Venture Capital. We will focus on what investors typically look for in a company and why and take those criteria and characteristics to formulate a proposal. The final part of the seminar will demonstrate how to structure a presentation for investors.

Speaker Bio: Ross is a Partner in Fieldstone Equity responsible for sourcing of new opportunities, due diligence, M&A advisory, strategic planning and investor relations.  Ross brings a variety of expertise ranging from starting and operating high growth companies, to direct investing in Venture Capital, M&A advisory and working with family offices making direct investments in private companies.

Ross was most recently a Director of National Finance Companies, a Florida based family office, where he was responsible for evaluating new investment opportunities, performing due diligence, financial and business analysis, and ongoing operational support including assuming management positions, strategic planning, business planning, research, financial modeling, acquisitions and capital formation for a portfolio of companies.  He currently sits on the Board of Directors of Vista Springs, a senior housing owner/operator and is an affiliate of Spearhead Capital, a registered Broker Dealer.

Ross holds an MBA from Fordham University and obtained a BS in Business Marketing & Management from Ferris State University.  He also holds his Series 79 and 63 securities licenses.  Ross is an Adjunct Instructor at Florida Atlantic University, teaching classes on Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital, and is a member of many industry groups and frequently featured as a panelist for venture capital symposiums.

 

Elevator Pitch & Presentation 101

Date: March 7, 2014
Time: 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Location: OD 203
Instructor: Hein Onkenhout

Session Overview: Learn how to structure a presentation that makes your audience listen and enables you to tell the whole story no matter how little time you get; your story fits in 12 seconds, or in 1 minute, or in one hour. How to structure a communication for rational audiences and for irrational/emotional audiences. Learn how to ensure that your presentation is waterproof i.e., facts are complete, nothing is missing and there is no overlap of arguments. Why Pliny the Younger added a P.S. to a particularly lengthy letter to a friend, saying: “I am sorry this letter is so long, but I had very little time to write it.”

Speaker Bio:  Throughout his international career Hein Onkenhout has been recognized for his ability to significantly improve business performance. He has worked in different countries, speaks several foreign languages, and is at home in a number of industries. Most recently Onkenhout has been focusing his efforts on making a success out of his second start-up. Earlier in his career at Rexam, a top tier packaging company Onkenhout ran two of its US divisions.

 

Digital Marketing for your Business

Date: March 14, 2014
Time: 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Location: OD 203
Instructor: Danielle Leitch and Khrysti Nazzaro

Session Overview: What is it you really need to market your company online?  Learn about a variety of interactive marketing and digital media offerings to gain more visibility!   Begin to understand the costs involved with creating an effective online marketing.  Learn how to implement a media plan as part of creating awareness of your products and services.  Which online efforts will work for your business and once executed how to determine their ROI? The importance of a website is critical for your business, where does Mobile fit.  Based on your target audience, certain channels may be more appropriate then others.

Speaker Bios: Danielle Leitch is a graduate of FAU and current Board Member for both the Alumni Association and College of Business, ITOM Dept. She currently serves as Executive Vice President of MoreVisibility,
a leading Interactive Advertising Agency in Boca Raton, FL. Danielle was one of the first 100 professionals to become Google Adwords Certified.  She is sourced frequently by a variety of publications
and conferences to instruct and provide commentary on SEO, SEM, Social Media and overall Digital Media trends.
 
Khrysti Nazzaro is a Vice President at MoreVisibility and been with the agency for 7 years.  During her tenure, she has focused on website strategy, search engine optimization, web design and content curating.  Previously, Khrysti spent years in the publishing industry, including nonfiction book production, design, and editing. Her print background has uniquely prepared her to consult with companies on issues of website layout, taxonomy, content optimization, and copywriting.

Social Media for Entrepreneurs

Date: March 21, 2014
Time: 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Location: OD 203
Instructor: Murray Izenwasser

Session Overview: With the incredible adoption of social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and now Google+, not only by hundreds of millions of people, but also by most businesses, marketing and sales have changed forever. Contemporary marketing programs must not only support a strong, positive brand image and drive demand, but must engage with customers to be effective. Marketing has become a conversation that is being driven by the customer. The question is whether your organization is truly engaged or simply talking to itself?

Regardless of whether you are a small, local business or the largest global company, chances are you’ve already implemented a number of accounts on multiple platforms, but you are still asking the question “What do we do now?” or you are being asked “What is this going to do for our business?”  

The problem is that most organizations never truly created a plan for social media. We hear this all the time from our clients, and from audience members when we are speaking at conferences. So we created a workshop that distils down into one half day the process and thinking that we go through with our clients to deliver a true, integrated social marketing strategy.

This half day workshop will cut through all the “social media” hype and help attendees understand how to leverage these new “two-way” channels to engage directly with your customers and drive better business results.   As an attendee, you will learn what the major social platforms are really good for, the best way to engage on them, techniques and tips we use with our clients, how to effectively integrate these platforms into an effective contemporary marketing mix, and the process you should follow to make all of this happen. You will learn how to build an effective online presence and a strategy for listening.

Speaker Bio: With more than 20 years experience, Murray Izenwasser has planned and executed online marketing strategies on behalf of some of the world’s largest and most recognized organizations and brands.

Murray is a creative thinker who understands the opportunities presented by the ever-changing Internet marketing landscape. His vast expertise across all interactive disciplines allows him to cut through the clutter of the current ‘hype’ and deliver marketing programs that drive business.

Currently recognized as a top Interactive Social Media strategist, Murray has been invited to be a featured speaker at a variety of events and industry forums. His entertaining yet thoughtful presentation style distills esoteric ideas into actionable insights. He was recently named as one of the five Social Media Masters by Social Media Club International.

Murray’s pragmatic approach not only comes through in his presentations but also in his work as Strategy Practice Lead for Biztegra, an interactive and social media strategy agency. His focus is on helping Biztegra’s clients drive their businesses by designing appropriate interactive and integrated marketing strategies and tactics to fully engage their customers. He is also the founder of SMWorkshop.com , which offers workshops on developing REAL social media strategies, based on the proven process he uses with his clients.

His previous positions include Global Director of Marketing for Sapient, as well as Director of Strategy for Razorfish, two the world’s premier interactive agencies. He began his career as a business/management/technology consultant for Andersen Consulting (Accenture).

 

Social Entrepreneurship

Date: March 28, 2014
Time: 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Location: BU 120
Instructor: Bill Burdette

Session Overview: Social entrepreneurs are individuals with innovative solutions to society’s most pressing social problems. They are ambitious and persistent, tackling major social issues and offering new ideas for wide-scale change.  Today's social entrepreneurs are challenged to not only consider the humanitarian impact of their efforts, but must also consider the business aspect of their social ventures.  Through this workshop, attendees will gain a better perspective of what social entrepreneurship means today and how a sharper business acumen can facilitate social change.

Speaker Bio:  Mr. Burdette has practiced law since 1972.  He is a graduate of Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois (B.A., 1969), Columbia Law School, NY, NY (J.D., 1972) and University of Miami, Coral Gables (MBA, 1982).  He has almost 40 years of experience in many fields including securities law, finance, investment banking, patent prosecution and litigation and contract law.  In addition to his legal work, Mr. Burdette has a strong background in business, having translated his education in both law and business into a practice that included doing debt and equity reorganizations (turnarounds) of businesses that found themselves in difficult financial condition.  The Charities Law Centers P.A. (now Charity Service Centers P.A.) was founded by Mr. Burdette as a means of offering practical as well as legal assistance to charitable organizations so they can make the greatest possible contribution to the people who need their services in communities throughout the United States.


Bitcoin 101...and Beyond

Date: April 4, 2014
Time: 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Location: DeSantis Pavilion Theater, B 87, Rm 202
Instructor: Charles Evans

Session Overview: Bitcoin: what is it? Why should you care? How might it benefit your business or charity, whether already running or still planned? This Learning Session introduces Bitcoin (the payment system) and its relevance to business owners, managers of charitable organizations, and those who aspire to become cryptocurrency consultants. This non-technical presentation covers Bitcoin from the perspective of a user; buying, holding, and spending bitcoins (the cryptocurrency units); commercial services that ease the acceptance of bitcoins worldwide; and use cases. Come learn why many believe that Bitcoin could have potentially as big an impact on global commerce as the Internet a did quarter-century ago.

Speaker Bio: Dr. Charles Evans was a financial cryptography consultant on several moneypunk projects during the 1990s Dot.Com Era. Since 2003, he has taught Economics and Finance, and has kept his eye open during this time for the Next Big Thing. He now balances his time between teaching and working with Bitcoin entrepreneurs in South Florida and in the Developing World. He is co-founder of Miami International Bitcoin, one of the largest Bitcoin user groups in the USA, and Founding Director of the Conscious Entrepreneurship Foundation, the members of which are using Bitcoin and related technologies to realize the Bono Declaration: "Capitalism takes more people out of poverty than aid."

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