Business club trains for success

FAMU’s Entrepreneurship Club is looking for non-business majors to join their newly revised club.

In planning for the club’s future competitions, Dennis Ridley, the club’s advisor, explains that the club is in need of new members to help them get ready for their 2006 competitions.

“We need freshmen, pharmacy and engineering students to help us come up with ideas for the competition,” said Ridley.

Ridley said that by having members who join as freshman will make the club more stable. “We normally have seniors join,” said Ridely.

Ridley also realizes the club needs pharmacy and engineering students to help them create competition ideas.

In spring 2003, FAMU’s Entrepreneurship Club won a total of $20,000 in prize money for the invention of the wireless-pulse baby heart monitor called MyPulse. Ridley, at the time was co-advisor of the club, explained that MyPulse competed in two OFC Venture Challenges. The Entrepreneurship Club won $10,000 in Miami and $10,000 in Atlanta for the best technology and best business plan.

“The total prize money went to the student teams to do as they wish,” said Ridley.

The OFC Venture Challenge website explained that, “This product will enable the user to track and interpret an infant’s heart rate readings and notify guardians in the event of an emergency.”

This year the club wants to compete in finals competition in Austin, Texas. Ridley explains that in order to qualify for the Texas competition, the Entrepreneurship Club must win one of the Miami, Atlanta or other competitions recognized by Texas.

The Entrepreneruship Club not only takes part in competitions, but they make sure their members have a good understanding of what entrepreneurship is all about.

Shana Mitchell, president, said the club will teach students how to make business plans, learn about patents and understand how to make goals for owning a business.

Vice president, Nakia Gross, said it is important for the students to understand the “myths” of being an entrepreneur.

“It’s not all about the money,” said Gross.

Susan Ward, owner of Cypress Technology, said “starting a small business is one of those huge, life-altering events. As in a marriage, you’re going to be living with your business 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”

Angela Washington, first year public relations and marketing student, believes that being part of the Entrepreneurship Club will help students prepare themselves for “how to start and maintain a successful business.” Washington also added that being surrounded by “business minded” people will encourage students to be successful in their own business plans.

To be apart of the Entrepreneurship Club, e-mail Shana Mitchell at

Contact Emerald Smart at