The Entrepreneurship Spectacular 2017

The Business Builders Club is holding the biggest speaker event of the year – Entrepreneurship Spectacular 2017!


Success in entrepreneurship requires grit and creativity. Come listen to well-known, successful entrepreneurs and thought-leaders tell the exciting, perhaps not-so-public details about their climbs to success, by means that many of us might consider… unusual.

The event is on February 18th from 1-4pm in Mershon Auditorium right here on campus and tickets are FREE! To register, visit:

Speakers this year include (with a couple more being announced shortly!)

  • EVERETTE TAYLOR – Top 10 Snapchat influencer, CMO at Skurt, former CMO at Sticker Mule, internationally acclaimed marketing genius and entrepreneur.
  • MICHAEL REDD – Former NBA Star, Entrepreneur/Investor, venture partner at Third Wave Digital, a VC firm in California.
  • ROGER BLACKWELL – World renowned speaker, author, and namesake of the Blackwell Inn.
  • DANNY ORTIZ – Investor relations at Third Wave Digital and has traveled the world speaking in countries such as Thailand, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico and almost every major city in the United States.
  • XANDER SCHULTZ – Founding team member of multiple notable consumer tech startups, former CEO of Complete (an Apple Best New App).
  • BILLY GOLDBERG – Founder and president of The Buckeye Group, author, and former Vice President at Bank of America.
  • CONNOR BLAKLEY – At 17 years old, he worked and continues to work alongside Intercept Group, a North American Gen Y & Z consultancy, who supports brands like Microsoft, 3M, 7-Eleven, Unilever, Toyota and L’Oreal.
  • JONATHAN LACOSTE – an award-winning entrepreneur and writer, co-founder and President of Jebbit, the youngest entrepreneur to Forbes’ “30 Under 30” in Marketing and Advertising, was the “Emerging Executive of the Year” in the state of Massachusetts and is considered one of the youngest entrepreneurs to raise venture capital, at age 19.

Thank you to our sponsors, AWH, Startup Grind Columbus, and Lumos Innovation!

No meeting this Thanksgiving week!

There is no meeting Tuesday, November 22nd!

Instead, tonight will be the “BBC Turkey Pub Crawl” starting at Out-R-Inn at 8:30pm. We’ll have a great time grabbing drinks, hanging out, and shooting pool, and then start our crawl down down High Street.  We’ll be ending up at Mirror Lake as part of the Mirror Lake Crawl.  Join the BBC open floor slack to stay up to date @

What better way to start your Thanksgiving Break?!  Hope to see you there!


Join us November 29th at 7:30pm in the Mason Hall Rotunda for our annual IdeaPitch Competition!  It will be a night to learn and grow as an entrepreneur. You’ll be able to network, meet Columbus hustlers and wave-makers, and see what your fellow BBCers are working on. 

We will be providing FREE catered BBQ sandwiches from BBC’s very own FlyByBBQ, a past winner of IdeaPitch (vegan options available!)

If you are interested in attending as a spectator, RSVP on Facebook.

The 2016 Fall IdeaPitch Competition

Are you working on growing a business right now? Have you been thinking about a business you’d like to start but haven’t found the time or money? Want to work on your own business instead of a part-time job and could use some money to do so?

14202508_972248429570884_8286815731181556186_nIf you answered yes to any of these, apply to pitch in this semester’s Business Builders Club IdeaPitch competition!

The BBC will be awarding THOUSANDS of dollars to support you in starting/growing your new or existing business, getting your foot in the door, and learning a ton about the world of entrepreneurship! 

The event will have FREE catered BBQ sandwiches from BBC’s very own FlyByBBQ, a past winner of IdeaPitch (vegan options available!) 

Time is running out! 

Click here to apply to IdeaPitch 2016! It only takes a few minutes!

What if I just want to come watch?

If you are interested in attending as a spectator, RSVP on Facebook or email Mike here with your name and guest names.

Starting a Startup with Rob Nicholson

Rob was awesome this week. If you weren’t able to attend you missed out on a highly energetic talk and simulation of what it’s like to start a business from virtually nothing!

To be your own boss, it helps to know a little bit about how you get to that point. Rob took us on a little role-play adventure, explaining the process of assigning your company a certain status (LLC or C Corporation etc.) and the ins and outs of hiring a lawyer for help with that. He also explained the difference between Venture Capitalists (investors with a lot of cash), Bankers (bureaucrats from whom you borrow money, to be paid back at a later date), and Angel Investors (financiers who might ask for a stake in your company or just expect a return on their investment).

“Now, now,” he cautioned, “not everyone might support you in your venture.” Chad the Dad certainly had his doubts about his daughter’s ambitions  to start her company. However, if it’s something you’re passionate about, there’s [almost] always a way to make your dreams and plans come to fruition. Most importantly though, you should never be afraid of asking for help. Hard work, a dedicated team, and innovation tend to be rewarded with success of some sort.

Make sure to follow Rob on Twitter! @rjncarpediem

It’s Not About Being A Woman (Or A Man)

Startup Culture Has Gotten Too Focused on Gender

There’s a lot of talk about the gender disparity in tech startups these days. Everyone can cite a study or two about how few female CEO’s there are, how little they get invested, so on and so forth. Everyone and their sister writes an article about “How we need more women in tech” and “we need more women in startups.”

The thing is, nobody is on the other side of this argument. Nobody needs to be convinced of this. Nobody is saying “bah! there are enough ladies around.” By writing an article about how we need that, you’re merely soliciting agreement and nods from your fellow coworkers. 

Congratulations, you brave, brave soul. 

In reality, I agree; there’s definitely a problem somewhere. The startup gap seems much wider than what the gap would naturally be (based on life choices, e.t.c.). But standing around writing soulful blog articles isn’t the solution.

We’re not going to fix this problem if we continue to focus on the gender of it all. The answer is not to obsessively focus on women in entrepreneurship just because they’re women, to the exclusion of more qualified men. The answer is not to create communities of women in tech that are characterized only by what’s between their legs; where we all get together and sit around and talk about what it’s like to have lady parts under our pants at work.

These communities can be important in limited doses, but too much of it and you have a whole group of people who are focusing on the negative in their life and belatedly sighing about how hard they have it — instead of actually getting up, going out, and doing stuff. 

I wasn’t even aware I faced any struggles as a woman with a tech startup career until I was invited to speak at one of these events — and that’s exactly what I said. “Perhaps it’s because of my generation, or my age, but I’ve never faced any extra difficulty or prejudice because I am a woman with a tech startup…

…if anything, I’ve been disproportionately rewarded for it. Many scholarships, awards, competitions, and other opportunities were afforded me that were not afforded my male peers.”

When we focus on gender with these gender-based career rewards, we’re saying that the equality of the outcome — ’having an equal amount of men and women in entrepreneurship’— is more important than equality of opportunity. In other words, we think that a 50/50 split is more important than rewarding the best and most motivated people.

I don’t know about you, but I want the people who worked hardest for something to get the reward — even if that person is a white, upper class male in San Francisco. 

“But Megan, that won’t fix the problem! If we get rid of those things, there will be less women!”

You’re right. That alone clearly wouldn’t fix the problem at all. But what is currently being proposed is a painkiller, treating the symptoms and not the disease.

When I go to the doctor for a broken arm I don’t want him to treat me with a lot of painkillers, I want him to fix my arm.

So how do we fix this? Why aren’t there more women in tech and startups – why are they turning away?

We have to ask women why they did or didn’t choose the startup life. Then, we sift through those answers. Some women will say “it’s not what I wanted for myself,” and we have to accept their personal choices. What we’re looking for is people who said “I wanted to, but — ” and then find out what stopped them.

This doesn’t occur in late high school or early college, where most of the earliest female-startup efforts are being targeted. Entrepreneurs seem to know by that age that that’s what they want to do at some point in life.

Any entrepreneur knows that being an entrepreneurial sort of person is partially a question of personality, so we have to discover why these personalities are being turned away so early in life – in early high school or even before.

The answer is not to make entrepreneurship disproportionately easier for women who are already there, but to get more women interested in the first place. Women-based awards, competitions, e.t.c. only reward women already decided on entrepreneurship, not women who were chased away before they even had a chance.

In the recent past I have seen some groups like this start; CoolTechGirls being one of them. They are few and far between but much appreciated.

I can be found on Twitter and my personal website, among other places.

Finding Your Mojo With Brian Reed

We had a great time this week with Brian Reed, founder of Mojo Tago, a local food truck company that just recently opened its first brick and mortar location in Powell. Brian’s path wasn’t a straight one, he dealt with several hardships including the loss of one of his dear friend and cofounder. For a while he was feeling like he lost his Mojo and this inspired Mojo Tago, the thrill of this Mexican food truck helped him to find new meaning and pick himself back up from such a tragic loss. Throughout his story there were many twists and turns he encountered before reaching the level of success he has today. Some key lessons from his talk are:

• Having a single focus is really key, if it’s something you have a passion to do, unexpected things will happen out of no where, people will support you if they feel your passion
• Find health in the business on a smaller manageable level before you find growth
• It’s important to know when it’s time to change, when it’s time to adapt
• Strive for that unique edge, what gets you up in the morning and keeps the business alive
• As for the path to finding your own mojo, there’s no clear path, it seems to come in a myriad of ways, just explore your interests and try to follow the signs that you receive

We can’t thank Brian enough for coming out during such a busy time for his business!

IdeaBox 2015, Ohio State’s Entrepreneurship Fair

The first step before beginning any new venture is to receive feedback. The stone cold truth, what you need to hear from the people you need to hear it from. Hearing the opinions of your peers: good, bad, and indifferent is an essential mechanism in determining if your idea is worth pursuing. Instead of our twice yearly IdeaPitch competition, the BBC decided to focus on knocking IdeaBox out of the park this Spring. Think of IdeaBox as a science fair for startup ideas, a place where like-minded individuals gather to talk business, life, and enjoy themselves. On April 2nd, 2015 in the Ohio Union the BBC hosted its largest IdeaBox contest to date. With more than 25 entries and over $1,000 in prizes at stake, this was no ordinary science fair.


We were blown away as an organization with the quality and effort put into the business concepts. Almost all entrants had some sort of minimum viable product already built, some had patents, and others were already selling product. Many of the ideas and concepts that were presented have not been discussed at BBC meetings or related events, this was not only encouraging but refreshing. Approximately 75 people attended this year’s event, making for a lively evening of all things entrepreneurship.


All attendees to this year’s IdeaBox event had the option to become “investors” in the competitor’s ideas for their chance at a share of the prizes. We believe that this added a unique element to the event, audience participation. We hope if you were able to attend that you enjoyed this quirky twist.


This year’s event would not have been possible without the generous contributions from our many sponsors. First off, thank you NCT Ventures for being the event’s official sponsor. NCT, a local venture capital firm, is helping to make Columbus the start-up hub of the Midwest. Also a huge thank you goes out to Columbus State Community College’s Small Business Development Center, FlashNotes, Metcalf & Associates, Start-Up Weekend Columbus and Fundable. Giving away prizes would not have been possible without these companies and their leaders.


We would also like to thank our judges for taking time out of their Wednesday evenings to be with us. Calvin Cooper of NCT Ventures, Rich Langdale of NCT Ventures, Ariana Ulloa-Olavariettta of Columbus State, Michael Bowers of Columbus State, Dan Rockwell of Big Kitty Labs, David Sherry of Death to Stock Photography, and Damon Caiozza of Fundable were all generous enough to take on the intimidating task of judging this event. Again, IdeaBox would not have been possible without them.


The Business Builders Club would like to extend our congratulations to the 3 grand prize winners of $500, $250, and $100 respectively. In 1st place, Titan Mixer Bottle, an innovative solution to all of the common problems that protein shaker bottle users have. In 2nd place came Tokeables, a festival accessories company. And in 3rd place we had SolveIt, a crazy cool app that can decode your hand writing of math problems and solve those subsequent problems for you. Thank you to all who competed, it takes a lot of guts to get in front of people and talk about something you are passionate about, especially when you have to do it almost 100 separate times.


IdeaBox this year was a huge success and something that the BBC sees growing in the future. Thank you to all who supported this event and made the effort of attending. Personally, as event organizer, I had a blast being able to meet judges, participants, and attendees alike. IdeaBox was nothing but a fulfilling experience. We look forward to seeing you all next year! #BBCMafia


Lessons of a Startup Tale with Danielle Walton

This week we had a splendid time hearing from Danielle Walton, founder of BringShare and Adept Marketing. Her experience is extensive, 3 years as a consultant at Deloitte, 2 years as Marketing Project Manager at Lifestyle Communities, and over 8 years in startups, one bootstrapped, and one with venture capital, she learned a lesson from every obstacle and mistake along the way. Here are some of the learnings she had to share:

• If you want to be successful you have to be willing to work harder than everyone else

• You can’t let things get you down, learn how you can get better from each mistake, be optimistic

• Balance vision and reality, there is a point where you can take positivity too far

• Don’t underestimate the value of experience

• Get a job,work for a startup, don’t experience the pain of failure and mistake first-hand, learn through someone else’s pain

• Don’t feel like you have to rush it, the dumbest thing we’ve ever done is quit our job to startup the company with no money

We are very grateful to have Danielle, such a well seasoned marketing mind and entrepreneur, come share her insights with us.

Recap of the 1st Ever Emerging Entrepreneur Competition

Mark Zuckerburg was 19 when he started Facebook. 17 year old Nick D’Aloisio sold his app Summly to Yahoo! for $30 million in 2013. Brian Wong, at age 19, founded a gaming rewards program called Kiip which earned over $15.4 million in funding and a spot on the DOW Jones FASTech50.

These few examples go to show that when it comes to startups, age is no boundary. These tech-savvy teens have proved that in the 21st century the pups are perfectly capable of playing with the big dogs. Little did we know, Ohio is home to many teens who share the same vision.

At the beginning of the year, the BBC decided we would set out to spark interest and support for Ohio’s youth entrepreneurs. We decided to host the 1st annual Emerging Entrepreneur Competition to take place March 29th in the Ohio Union. We invited high school entrepreneurs from all over Ohio to pitch their products and ideas to a panel of judges for feedback, advice, and the chance to grab a $500 grand prize.

After each entry came in, we were more and more thrilled at how many high-schoolers wanted to come out to OSU and pitch their projects. Students with improved 3D printers, digital liquor control devices, and online live personal training platforms greatly exceeding our expectations. On paper these ideas seemed great, but once we saw the full presentations, we were blown away. Some of these students had spent years developing their products, establishing LLCs, patents pending, and working prototypes. Who knew there was so much talent and ingenuity right here in our own backyard?

Taking home the grand prize was Carson Fox from Saint Francis DeSales for his company Head Hoodies which produces stylish head protectors for lacrosse sticks. The 2nd place prize was given to Matthew Boles, creator of a microwaveable, totable oatmeal. In 3rd place, Sammie Sommerkamp who designed the WorkoutWonder, an easy, simple to use piece of equipment which helps strengthen and tone core muscles.

Overall, the judges and the BBC were more than impressed with the great ideas and products that were presented. At such a young age, these students sure were able to bring their wow-factor! Congratulations to all presenters. We are greatly looking forward to see what the future has in store for you.

We at the BBC would like to thank all judges, participants, and spectators for helping to make a very successful Emerging Entrepreneur Competition.

See you next year!


Judges for the Event:

David Comisford

Doug Myers

Brooke Paul

Dan Rockwell

Greg Ruf

Cherylyn Rushton

Guest Speaker:

Steve Gacka


2014-2015 Leadership Applications

Deadline: Sunday, April 5th at Midnight

It’s that time again! The Business Builders Club will be transitioning leadership very soon and we encourage you to apply to join the team. Here is a rundown of the positions we think are suitable:

  • President: You ensure that everyone has the right tools to get the job done. The captain of the ship.
  • Vice President: You help create the vision for the future and are chief get-things-done’er.
  • VP of Marketing: You make the world know what the BBC is!
  • VP of Communications: You write about the BBC and share it with our community.
  • VP of Company Relations: You are the point of contact for companies in the community to reach the BBC.
  • VP of Events: You make sure the BBC does what it can do best; run awesome events!
  • VP of Membership: You are in charge of selling membership and are the number one promoter for the BBC.
  • VP of Operations: You make sure the details are not forgotten.
  • VP of Finance: You make sure we don’t run out of money.
  • VP of Technology: You are the techy guru for the club.
  • VP of Design: You make sure that we look pretty.
  • VP of Alumni Relations: You make sure that our older, graduated friends stay in love with BBC.

To apply, simply download this form and return it (typed) to along with a copy of your resume. Leadership Application_2015

Deadline: Sunday, April 5th at Midnight – but we appreciate timeliness