Innovation-Collaboration-Creation-Entrepreneurship: Why It Matters


ICCE 2014 AlgerReducing night time glare for drivers may soon be a reality, thanks to the “Sight Shield” student team, which won $1,000 for its new product pitch.  Two other student teams proposed new business venture ideas at the inaugural ICCE 2014 event.  The second place team took home $500 for their app “Happening,” which gives students a concise look at relevant events on their campus. The third place team earned $250 by proposing “Jobly,” which seeks to better connect student job hunters with employers. Audience members selected the winning team via a voting app. 

This first-ever university-wide entrepreneurship event was well attended, with close to 150 alumni, faculty, staff, and students. Music professor Lori Piitz heard about ICCE, and decided to come. She says, “I have a component in my class that involves entrepreneurship, which is not my area. I was curious about ICCE, and decided to come and learn more about it.”

Featured speakers for the ICCE talks were Virginia Coles, Don Rainey, and John Rothenberger. Coles focused on innovation, the driving force behind entrepreneurship. She says, “Innovation and education go hand in hand. It’s crucial in business that we innovate, and find new ways to solve problems. Innovation starts with every person in the organization.”

Rainey’s remarks revolved about what makes a success entrepreneur. He believes, “Courage, vision, and tenacity are critical. It’s important to dream big and be passionate and focused on your dream.”

The evolution of entrepreneurship at JMU was Rothenberger’s theme. He and Carol Hamilton, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship, started the Venture Creation class at JMU eight years ago. He says, “We reached across campus and opened the class to all students, regardless of their major.  This is the only university to offer this sort of class to undergraduates; it’s typically only offered to graduate students.  Schooling students in entrepreneurship teaches them how to assess risk and failure differently.” He adds, “The power of entrepreneurship lies throughout JMU.”

CoB Dean Mary Gowan notes, “The ICCE event was truly a celebration of entrepreneurship at JMU. We had excellent participation from our alumni, faculty, and students, who had ample opportunities to network and share ideas throughout the evening. We look forward to making ICCE an annual celebration.”

Published: Monday, September 15, 2014

Last Updated: Tuesday, November 8, 2016

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