The Entrepreneurship Center at Ball State University recently carried out another successful
E-Day, where senior-standing students majoring in Entrepreneurship
had the opportunity to present their business plans in front of an external
panel of alumni and evaluators.
On April 20, all eight eligible students successfully defended
their plans and were awarded passing grades, adding to almost four decades of graduates
to the program at Ball State, one of the first universities to offer a major
This year was particularly special, as the program came full
circle: Ball State alumni united to sponsor a reception for graduates from the
Class of 2020, 2021, and 2022, who were unable to gather due to the COVID-19
pandemic. Scott Morris (Entrepreneurship, ’87), co-founder of LML
Estate Management, graciously sponsored the event. Robert
(Entrepreneurship, ’96) and Shanna Haecker (Communications, ’99) hosted both
E-Day and the reception at their business, TRIPhase
Technologies, the concept for which Robert wrote the plan while in
the Entrepreneurship program. Anthony Lazzara (Entrepreneurship, ’13) catered
the event through his restaurant, Anthony’s
“The process of identifying a problem to solve, coming up with a
solution, testing with customers, and writing—and defending—a business plan is
a significant challenge,” said Krystal Geyer, assistant director
of Ball State’s Entrepreneurship Center. “Being able to celebrate not only this
year’s students, but graduates from the last three years, was so rewarding.
Being supported by the dream team of alumni sponsors means the world to us.”
The event culminated in the recognition of the Class of
2022, highlighting two students who earned the prestigious Outstanding New Venture
plan award. Since 1999, the Entrepreneurship Center has been able to
congratulate award winners monetarily through the graciousness of the Ronald
A. Minichillo Entrepreneurship Venture Development fund.
The Outstanding New Venture Plan award recipients this year were Hunter
Beale and Ani’a Walker.
Mr. Beale, from Fishers, Ind., has accepted an Orr
Fellowship following graduation, but plans to work on his business,
Simpler Living, in his spare time. Ms. Walker, from Fort Wayne, Ind., plans to
use the funds from the award to open a storefront for Puff’s Pastries, a
specialty cupcake parlor business she has been running since she was 16.
This year’s graduates also include Sophia Chaillé with
Café Chaillé, a gluten- and dairy-free café in Fishers; Emali Grose with EMG
Commercial Development, a property development firm specializing in Midwest
town revitalization; Drew Holl and his concept, Stork, a transportation service
for children; Holden Robinson of Relixir, a subscription service for
nutritional supplements; Taylor Shockey and her concept, Independence Driving,
a driver’s education program for differently-abled individuals; and Mya
Tolliver for her concept, The Mockingbird, a mid-size, Indianapolis-based music
For more information on the Ball State University
Entrepreneurship Center or to get involved with the program, visit bsu.edu/entrepreneurship or email firstname.lastname@example.org.