Bellevue University Launches Center of Entrepreneurship and Market Capitalism

May 09, 2012, 13:00 ET from Bellevue University


Center Helps Fulfill University's Mission of Entrepreneurship, Self-Reliance and Value Creation

BELLEVUE, Neb., May 9, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Bellevue University will introduce its new Center for Entrepreneurism and Market Capitalism on May 17, 2012. The Center embodies the entrepreneurial spirit of the University and will be a catalyst for economic growth balancing personal liberty and initiative, civic responsibility, and market-based business solutions to foster entrepreneurs, leaders, and successful businesses. The Center, in concert with established entrepreneurial support programs and leaders, will serve entrepreneurs from the greater metropolitan area and beyond. Join University leaders at noon on Thursday May 17, for a "Lunch and Learn" featuring keynote speaker Jack DeBoer – recognized worldwide as a pioneering entrepreneur in the hotel and real-estate markets. DeBoer is chairman of Consolidated Holdings, Inc., a private investment company focused on real-estate development and management. He founded the Residence Inn franchise and other extended-stay hotel chains.

"The University is taking a more practical approach, supporting entrepreneurship with direct intervention, using our full range of University and networked resources to develop entrepreneurs and their enterprises," said Dr. Mary B. Hawkins, president of Bellevue University. "We are thrilled to have Jack DeBoer help us launch this exciting chapter of Bellevue University history."

The Center will provide:

  • Entrepreneurship Bootcamp: an education in entrepreneurial and business connections within a network of agencies, organizations, financiers and like-minded entrepreneurs
  • Mentoring of entrepreneurs and development of their enterprises
  • Connections to capital and networking opportunities for direct investment
  • Thought leadership in capitalism and practice-based education
  • Model center for higher education where the university is a laboratory for developing successful entrepreneurial ventures
  • Environment that fosters responsible market capitalism and effective business development and growth techniques

"Our University was founded by entrepreneurs and that entrepreneurial spirit has always been a part of our culture," said Dr. Rod Hewlett, dean of the Bellevue University College of Business. "The Center will benefit from expertise across all of the University's colleges, the entrepreneurship community and University board members. The primary goal is to harmonize the knowledge of entrepreneurs with the ideas of those looking to the Center for guidance. Ultimately the community benefits when you consider U.S. Department of Labor statistics from the last 20 years that indicate over 60 percent of the net new jobs in the United States have been generated by small or new businesses."

The Center will challenge participants to justify, stabilize and act on their ideas.

"This is not about working miracles," said Hewlett. "The Center is here to help potential entrepreneurs think through their ideas and take stock of their business plans. Assistance comes from real entrepreneurs who have had to make payroll and understand the entire entrepreneurial process.  Our business advisory group, comprised of high level business leaders and venture capitalists, is second to none."

The Center is located on the University's main campus in Bellevue, NE. It would serve entrepreneurs at various stages of development, including business startups, existing businesses seeking growth and those struggling to craft value around a new product. "The Center's focus will not be limited to a particular type of business," continued Hewlett. "Some ideas may not pan out. However, it will always be a learning process. All ideas are welcome and our participants will develop the skills necessary to make a good idea great or reboot any given concept to better address market demands."

"This Center exemplifies Bellevue University's continuing commitment to effectively engage people in programs that prepare them to thrive in a competitive world," said H. Douglas Riley, Bellevue University board member, Chairman, Riley Resources, Inc. and sponsor of the event.

"The lessons learned from Center's mentoring experiences will benefit the entire University," said Dr. Hawkins. "The Center will create a knowledge gateway where critical information can be shared and incorporated into all of the University's business, fine arts and technology programs."

The public is invited to the keynote address in the Administrative Services Building on Bellevue University's main campus at 1000 Galvin Road South. Attendees may register at

Bellevue University is a recognized national leader in providing post-secondary education opportunities for working adults. A private, non-profit institution, Bellevue University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. For more information, visit




SOURCE Bellevue University