Envision08 Give Entrepreneurs A Look At Future

By: Texas A&M News
By: Texas A&M News

Envision08 Give Entrepreneurs A Look At Future
Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Envision08, the inaugural conference for entrepreneurs sponsored by the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship at Texas A&M University, helped the 425 participants do just that – envision what is next for each of their ventures. Passion for their projects and a positive connection with other entrepreneurs propelled the event held in San Antonio.

The entrepreneurial center, part of the Mays Business School at Texas A&M, announced the inaugural program at its Aggie 100 award program last fall that honored the top Aggie-owned businesses.

Presenters at the conference ranged from Steven Covey, (author of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,”) to life coach and best-selling author Marcus Buckingham. Other keynote speakers included Flip Flippen, Peter Schutz and Guy Kawasaki, and each brought his own advice for personal and career success.

A special guest on the last day of the conference was Lowry Mays, founder of Clear Channel Communications and benefactor and namesake of the Mays Business School.

“There really was something for everybody,” commented Carol Davis, owner of Blisswood Bed and Breakfast at Lehmann Legacy Ranch in Cat Spring, Texas. Davis, invited to speak at the conference about ecotourism, said she was positively impacted by the business-enhancing ideas, contacts and new clients she collected at the conference.

Hubert Zajicek, director of a nonprofit business accelerator for medical technologies in Frisco, called the conference valuable. “The speakers delivered passion,” he said, noting that it was good to be reminded by successful people of what one person can achieve with the right focus. “That’s at the core of entrepreneurship.”

Ruben Villarreal, an independent distributor of Nikken wellness products, thinks he might have met a potential business partner at a networking event at the conference. He also said he met several potential customers and felt the conference opened other doors of opportunity for his business.

“We were encouraged to network, which made it more comfortable to meet people,” he said. “The conference was designed for that.”

To enhance networking, attendees spent one evening of the conference at a more relaxed setting: Knibbe Ranch in Spring Branch, about 40 miles north of San Antonio.

Vikki Dearing, director of business solutions for the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, attended Envision08 to scout out information for a similar conference in her own state. “We need entrepreneurs to be aware of the opportunities out there for them, and to give them the chance to network with other entrepreneurs and service providers,” Dearing said.

Plans are already underway for Envision09, and Blisswood owner Davis asked, “My question is, how are you going to top this one next year?”

Contact: Kelli Levey at (979) 845-4645 or klevey@tamu.edu.

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