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In the news: Chicago Tribune
Scott Fergusson shares entrepreneurial dream
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Trine University’s Ketner School of Business dean Scott Fergusson was featured in the Chicago Tribune on March 6.
Fergusson was the keynote speaker at the Angola Area Chamber of Commerce Luncheon last week. He shared the university’s vision to grow an entrepreneurial program.
"When you think about it, why wouldn't you want to start a business here," Fergusson shared.
Fergusson has taken his business classes and has started a program where student ideas are put to the test and possibly funded as startup businesses. Also, ideas from the community are being taken for development.
One of those ideas was for Pokagon Hard Cider Inc. There are few hard cider brewers in the U.S., Fergusson pointed out. Angola would be perfect for such an operation for many reasons. There's ample supply of apples from sources like G.W. Stroh Orchards. The transportation system is in place with two interstates intersecting the county. There's available manufacturing space in the community. And there's technical expertise in the various schools at Trine.
"We've got the space. We don't need anything fancy. We can do it right now," Fergusson said.
Many people and investment capitalists from outside of the community are looking at the program that got started last fall. A number of entities have met with Fergusson, and that will soon include representatives from the Chicago office of the Federal Reserve.
But Fergusson wants to see this project first get funded by local people so the return on investment stays local. And he wants to see the program grow at the university so it will become sought out by potential students.
The popularity with the program, beyond the teaching, is that students want to stay in Steuben County once they arrive because of the lakes and other recreation opportunities.
Add with that a government -- Angola -- that is willing to make the program go from a regularity standpoint, and it has much potential, Fergusson said.
He said the inbox of his email is filled with people wanting to get involved, yet he encouraged the 200 or so business people attending Friday's luncheon to get involved.
"We're open for business. We have to have your ideas," Fergusson said. "You guys are the future of this and it is happening now."
To share your news, contact Trine University communication specialist Lindsay Winslow Brown at email@example.com.