Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Stretch your brain at the IU Kelley Business Conference

If you've never been to the IU Kelley Business Conference, this is a great year to start. If you've been in the past, it's a good time to revisit the conference to see the changes we've made.

The theme is "Incite Innovation," and we have some great speakers who will do just that.
Ray Kurzweil has been dubbed the "restless genius" by The Wall Street Journal and "the ultimate thinking machine" by Forbes. You may have seen him in the recent Super Bowl commercial for Best Buy Mobile that celebrated inventors who changed the way we use our smart phones. And here he is on "The Colbert Report." He's the author of "The Singularity is Near," which talks about the union of man and machine.
Ray Kurzweil

"Serial innovator" John Kao, also known as "Mr. Creativity," is an expert on innovation, organizational transformation and emerging technologies. He's the author of "Innovation Nation," which I'll let him tell you about in this video.

We've also changed the format to include roundtable discussions, brainstorming and collaboration as Kurzweil and Kao share best practices and encourage us to think about what could be.
John Kao

Providing a company perspective to the interactive conversation will be Sharon Orlopp, global chief diversity officer and a senior vice president at Walmart, and Marvin L. White, system vice president and chief financial officer of St. Vincent Health.

IU alum and Clorox Chairman and CEO Don Knauss, BA'77, will give the keynote address, sharing how he revolutionized the 100-year-old chemical company by emphasizing "our forward-thinking mindset and objective to achieve strong growth, drive innovation and focus on sustainability."

Innovation is a must in today's forever-changing business world, whether you're an entrepreneur, collaborate in a small company or make things happen in a big corporation. We've extended the registration deadline so you can join the conversation and spark your creativity! 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Kelley senior in shark tank to pull off party with Mark Cuban

Mark Cuban and Nick Tippmann
A plea came over the Kelley School Twitter feed just after noon on Friday:  @KelleySchool Help undgrad @ntippman spread word abt #sharktank viewing party w/ @mcuban & @LarryChiang! Free w/ RSVP 

Kelley student Nick Tippman, the man behind the tweet, had talked earlier to entrepreneur Larry Chiang, who challenged him to put together a "Shark Tank" viewing party that night with "shark investor" and Dallas Mavs owner Mark Cuban (Kelley alum, BS'81), who is in Indianapolis for the Super Bowl.

Tippmann opened a
Plancast page for RSVPs and hit social media pretty hard to get the word out. He bought party supplies, got IU football alum Tandon Doss -- now with the Baltimore Ravens -- to make an appearance, and let the Indy media know what was happening. 

A few hours later, he was sitting next to Cuban at the Westin, watching the reality TV show on a flat screen and sharing his opinions about the contestants and their ideas.

Not bad for a guy who didn't know Chiang or Cuban just nine hours before.

Tippmann, who is from Fort Wayne, Ind., and chose IU for Kelley's
entrepreneurship program, is interested in startups and had seen Chiang's name pop up often on the Internet.

"He writes about hacking parties and how to launch stuff, how to network and how to sell," Tippmann said.

In addition to writing "What They Don't Teach You at Stanford Business School," Chiang is CEO of Duck9, a company created to help students improve their credit scores. He's also a venture capitalist, a serial promoter, a speaker, a blogger, and he teaches tech entrepreneurship to engineering students at Stanford. 

Larry Chiang and Tippmann
He saw that Chiang planned to be in Indy for the Super Bowl, so he got his number off the Internet and took a chance and texted him to see if he could set up a meeting. It didn't go all that well. Chiang could tell Tippmann hadn't read his book, and called him out on that. But three minutes later, he texted and asked Tippmann to call him.

"He asked what I thought about throwing together a party for Mark Cuban. He challenged me to get 20 people together and he would make sure to get Mark Cuban there," Tippmann said. 

"He wanted to know if I was a 'hustler,' in his words, and wanted to know if I could put this together."

Tippmann said he could.

After they hung up, he got this text from Chiang: "I hope you don't suck. :)"

In little over an hour, the Kelley senior had 20 people signed up on Plancast. He'd have 60 by the time the viewing party was to start. Others showed up and the fire marshal had to block the door. Among the guests were Scott Case, CEO of Startup America, and several entrepreneurs Tippmann had networked with at an earlier event.

He didn't know if Chiang even knew Cuban, and it wasn't until he saw an exchange of tweets between Chiang and Cuban in the early afternoon that he was sure the guest of honor would be there. 

@LarryChiang: I've made plans for Shark Tank Watching Party in Indy with Mark Cuban.

@mcuban: Yes you did. I guess I have to go now. Didnt you do this to me before? :) See you tonight #sharktank viewing party !

Tippmann said Cuban was really intent on watching "Shark Tank" and tweeting about it, so they had to get closed captioning on the screen because the crowd was loud. But he posed for photos during commercials and even gave feedback to a few of the students about their entrepreneurial ideas after the show.

Tippmann is taking the semester off to work on his own startup, a mobile coupon service called impulsecoupons.com, which he launched in November. He plans to graduate by the end of the year.

Chiang told him he did a great job and said he was surprised at his ability to "make things happen."

And he sent Tippmann one more text (which we won't spell out in its entirety): "U kick ---"

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Kelley learning experiences with local businesses are a win-win

Students line up for a taste of BLU Boy Chocolate treats during a sampling event.
Students in our Graduate Accounting Program spend at least one semester tackling a problem for a local business or agency in a field consulting project.  Teams of three or four students use critical analysis and creative thinking to identify problems, perform system audits and present an implementation plan to clients.

BLU Boy Chocolate was one of the latest in a long line of hands-on experiences for the students, who examined everything from how much heavy cream the shop uses to how it markets its  macaroons.

Other recent consulting projects include a market analysis of downtown Bloomington, developing a system to measure the effect of a longer school day for the Monroe County Community School Corporation and a feasibility study on a new facility for Mother Hubbard's Cupboard, a food pantry that also runs gardening and nutritional education programs.

For BLU Boy, the students developed a pricing model, analyzed the financial trends to forecast production, and helped develop a marketing plan for the shop, which has a focus on using local ingredients for its in-house made treats. The team members were Kevin Bonewitz, Kristen Keeling, Mahek Kothari and Farah Syed.

Co-owner David Fletcher has already implemented some of the changes suggested by his Kelley consultants.

"I can’t really express how well this experience went," he said. "I would recommend it highly to any business interested in having some focused assistance.” 

Professor James Grandorf supervises the field consulting program, which has been active for 15 years and has performed unpaid consulting services for about 250 businesses and non-profits in and around the Bloomington community.

Grandorf said the soon-to-be Kelley graduates will be involved with projects similar to this many times during their careers. The projects give students a chance to test their skills.

And businesses and non-profits get to tap into one of the top accounting programs in the world. 

It's a win-win.