North Texas Daily

Entrepreneurship “Boot Camp” offers expert advice

Entrepreneurship “Boot Camp” offers expert advice

June 18
15:15 2013

Obed Manuel/Staff Writer

The Murphy Center for Entrepreneurship at UNT is hosting its fourth annual Entrepreneurship Boot Camp.

The five-week program gives graduate and undergraduate students the opportunity to hear from experts in the fields of accounting, legal affairs, investments and other crucial elements of business. The camp began June 6 and runs through July 2.

This year, the boot camp will host a total of 22 participants, 14 of whom are students in a graduate-level business course at UNT.

Dr. Tony Mendes, director of the Murphy Center, said participants of the boot camp learn about the feasibility of a business idea or an already-existing business.

“Some decide they will not go forward,” Mendes said. “Sometimes the capital expense and the revenue they project do not work.”

Photos by Nicole Arnold/ Senior Staff Photographer

Information science graduate student Sara Ruppel said she was attending the boot camp in order to get the finishing touches on her non-profit start-up for veterans called Decompression Dynamics Inc.

Ruppel’s non-profit, which she said she hopes to launch in August, would provide counseling services for returning veterans who have directly experienced combat to gradually ease them back into the normal pace of their lives.

“I think it will contribute to a decline not only in PTSD diagnoses but also particularly treatment or misdiagnosis,” Ruppel said.

At the June 6 workshop, attending students heard from April Cain, a certified public accountant at Merki & Associates. Cain spoke to students about the need for growing businesses to constantly maintain their accounting systems.

Participants also heard from Jo Temming, a retired corporate strategist and member of the board of directors for the Murphy Center. Temming spoke to students about how angel investors have changed their strategies since the 2008 financial crisis.

Temming said angel investors, who once predominantly invested in start-ups, are now looking to invest in businesses that are already producing revenue or profit.

“If you’re going to start your own company, you need to have the ability to get enough founder capital to be able to get yourself to the point that you can be attracted to either angel investors or private equity,” Temming said to the participants.

Over the coming weeks, participants will continue developing their business strategies and refining the presentation of their pitches. The participants will be given the opportunity to present their plans to a group of potential investors July 13.

Mendes said he hopes the students will make the most of the opportunity the boot camp provides for them.

“I hope that they learn what it takes to successfully launch and sustain their venture,” Mendes said. “I want to provide them with all the tools they need to succeed in their entrepreneurial venture.”

Temming, who is in her third year with the boot camp, said the business world is brutal and no entrepreneur succeeds without first acquiring some scars.

“If sharing some of the strategies that I have learned or developed, or the experiences that I have had can help another entrepreneur either become more successful and/or avoid some costly mistakes, then it just creates bigger, farther-reaching ripples that turn into waves of positive change.” Temming said. “And for a person like me that enjoys making waves, it makes all of the scars from entrepreneurship mean something.”

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