Opportunities on the Horizon

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By: Kylee Martin

In October of 2010, our college President Michael Schneider, announced the entrepreneurial program here at the college. The Horizon Fund allows entrepreneurs to expand their ideas with a little financial help. Every year there are two sessions to apply for the grant, one per semester. Over 200 students have received this grant in continuing their idea in some way. The Horizon fund is open for anyone with an idea no matter how developed the idea is.

The entrepreneurial ideas are widely ranged, from marketing businesses, car related businesses, and businesses that help the environment. More recently in the spring of 2018 session, some of the ideas that were presented included a motorcross photography business, an iPhone repair business, and a mental health awareness business. To complete the application process, the students first had to submit an application including summaries of their idea, a target market, how their business is different from similar businesses, and then a plan of what they would do with their grant. Then, after the applications were reviewed, the students would give an elevator speech, or a roughly two-minute speech explaining the main parts of their idea to the Horizon Fund committee. The committee would challenge the students with questions about their business and also give some advice with how to better advance their business.

This semester there were ten ideas presented to the Horizon Fund committee. Emily Whitley came up with one of those ideas. Her idea was to create a family friendly YouTube channel, called “Emily’s a Hoot,” that would follow her life in college and at home. Her weekly posts would range from anything serious like her basketball career to the adventurous moments of her life. Whitley says, “I like the business set up of the Horizon program and presenting to the committee was fun because they take my idea serious.” Whitley also explained more about presenting to the committee, “The committee gave me ideas on how to advertise and reach out to potential subscribers, which I never really considered.” The horizon fund grant will help Emily start her vlog channel on YouTube and help her purchase a better camera for filming.

Another idea was presented by Judith Salazar. Salazar has already started her side business as a Sengence consultant and is currently selling her products. Senegence is known for their smudge- proof long lasting lipstick, a makeup line, and skin care. While it is hard to keep a full stock of product, this grant will help Salazar purchase more product to have on hand and help her better the advertisement for her business. The Senegence  products make great gifts for anyone.

If you think you have an idea, apply for the Horizon fund grant next fall. No matter how big or small the idea, the Horizon fund grant can help you expand your idea and boast your confidence in your entrepreneurial skills.