This fall, Saint Louis University's John Cook School of Business and its Entrepreneurship program are launching the Diamond in the Rough Student Entrepreneur Competition. The winning student entrepreneur, who best embodies the key idea of SLU's Entrepreneurship program, "Do good. Do well," will be awarded $5,000.
|John Cook School of Business|
"Diamond in the Rough represents an outstanding way for SLU to show its support for our students who are already running their own firms," said Jerome Katz, Ph.D., Coleman Foundation professor of entrepreneurship.
"We are excited to be able to offer this program to our student entrepreneurs and expect it will help SLU attract and keep these future business and community leaders."
Initial support for the Diamond in the Rough program is being provided by a gift from the Tim Fogerty family. Fogerty, CEO of Gateway EDI, and his wife, Diane, have three children in whom the entrepreneurial spark also burns bright. They were introduced to SLU's Entrepreneurship program through their daughter, Katie, a 2007 Cook School of Business alumna.
"She had a great experience at SLU," Fogarty said. "I became involved because of the strong entrepreneurial program. We would like to see more people start businesses and help strengthen the St. Louis economy, and we share that vision with Professor Katz."
Originally, Fred Kiesner, a professor at Loyola-Marymount University, started Diamond in the Rough. The Fogerty family's gift of $270,000 is helping establish the program in St. Louis as a way to support and develop student entrepreneurs at SLU.
The entrepreneurial spirit thrives in the Fogerty family. Diane runs her own interior design business, and daughter Katie recently launched her own event planning company.
"We want to nurture young people's passion for starting and running their own businesses. Starting your own business allows you to establish values that are important to you, and to your family. Giving back to the community and helping others is another important aspect of small business ownership," said Fogerty.
"Tim's devotion to supporting entrepreneurship is evident to those who know his firm, Gateway EDI, and through his involvement in activities supporting entrepreneurship in the St. Louis area," said Katz.
"Taking the leadership to bring Diamond in the Rough to St. Louis and to SLU speaks volumes about his family's willingness to roll up their sleeves and help create and fund efforts that can make a material difference in the entrepreneurial environment of St. Louis."
The Diamond in the Rough program provides training, mentoring and support to freshmen and sophomores who own and operate their own businesses. As part of the program's criteria, the student must currently operate a business, whether it is on-line, virtual or has a physical location.
Most of the Fogerty family's gift will be added to the school's endowed Entrepreneurship Experience Fund to generate long-term program support, with a small portion set aside for immediate operations and the first year's prize money.
The prize money is intended to cover the student's business expenses and financial growth in consultation with the director of the university's Center for Entrepreneurship. Any funds left when the student leaves SLU will return to the Entrepreneurship Experience Fund.
For more information about the Diamond in the Rough Competition, contact the Center for Entrepreneurship at (314) 977-3850 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.