Ivy Tech Northeast receives $45k pledge for College’s student entrepreneurial program

Ivy Tech Community College Northeast has received a $45,000 grant from the Edward M. and Mary McCrea Wilson Foundation toward the College’s New Venture Competition program. The first $15,000 installment of the grant will be awarded in January 2015, and some can be used to start an endowment, assuring the New Venture Competition can continue for years to come.

The New Venture Competition is for any current student or alumni of the College with an interest in starting his or her own businesses. A panel of community judges choose three finalists, who compete in the New Venture Competition, presenting their business plans to local business owners, who vote on the winner.

In its three-year existence, the New Venture champion has won $20,000 in start-up capital for his or her business, sponsored by Dave Bear and JB Tool, Die & Engineering Inc.

From left: James Tolbert, Business Administration assistant professor; 2013 New Venture champion Robert Bibbo; Dave Bear, president of JB Tool, Die & Engineering, Inc., and New Venture sponsor; Mary Bear, Dave Bear’s wife; and Jerrilee Mosier, Ivy Tech Northeast chancellor

From left: James Tolbert, Business Administration assistant professor; 2013 New Venture champion Robert Bibbo; Dave Bear, president of JB Tool, Die & Engineering, Inc., and New Venture sponsor; Mary Bear, Dave Bear’s wife; and Jerrilee Mosier, Ivy Tech Northeast chancellor

“This (Wilson Foundation) grant adds significantly to the award capital available to distribute to student entrepreneurs,” says James Tolbert, Business Administration assistant professor and head of the competition. “Also, it begins an endowment, which assures that the New Venture Competition will continue.”

Previous winners include Olivia Fabian (2011), whose Ofabz features swimwear and related accessories; Jon-Paul Capito (2012), whose DeRossi started as a menswear company and has morphed to specialize in shoes; and Robert Bibbo (2013), whose American Combat Veteran Clothing produces clothing and accessories made by and for veterans.

Robert Bibbo wins Ivy Tech Northeast’s 2013 New Venture Competition

After Thursday night’s awards dinner, Robert Bibbo has been named the 2013 New Venture Competition champion.

Bibbo

Bibbo

As the New Venture champion, Bibbo won $20,000 to use as start-up funds for his company, American Combat Veteran Clothing. The company provides military-themed clothing and accessories, and Bibbo plans to hire only veterans. Bibbo is an Iraq veteran, serving in 2008-09.

“(Winning) definitely gave validation to the idea itself,” Bibbo said. “With the amount of support I had from the idea, both from veterans and civilians, whether I won or not, the company would be fine. Our unique selling position is that it’s hard to beat: a combat vet creating jobs for other vets, creating clothing for other veterans.

“I know that things like this are very special. Being a service member myself, I know what I’ll be able to do for other service members. This check is a large part of what I’ll be able to do for them.”

In its third year, the New Venture Competition is sponsored by Dave Bear and JB Tool, Die & Engineering Inc.

For the first time in the competition’s short history, three businesses will launch: Before the event, the three finalists all stated they planned to proceed with their businesses, regardless of the outcome of the competition.

In 1985, more than 250 entrepreneurship courses were offered in colleges across the country, according to the Kauffman Foundation, an entrepreneurship research group. Since then, that number has quadrupled and quintupled, according to the Galant Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce.

From left: James Tolbert, Business Administration assistant professor; 2013 New Venture champion Robert Bibbo; Dave Bear, president of JB Tool, Die & Engineering, Inc., and New Venture sponsor; Mary Bear, Dave Bear’s wife; and Jerrilee Mosier, Ivy Tech Northeast chancellor.

From left: James Tolbert, Business Administration assistant professor; 2013 New Venture champion Robert Bibbo; Dave Bear, president of JB Tool, Die & Engineering, Inc., and New Venture sponsor; Mary Bear, Dave Bear’s wife; and Jerrilee Mosier, Ivy Tech Northeast chancellor.