Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CIE)
Champlain College's Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CIE) is a thought leader in entrepreneurship research, promoting entrepreneurial and innovator mindsets. The CIE provides a unique opportunity for student entrepreneurs to get help launching a new business or enhancing an existing business concept.
Do you have or own a business already? Do you have a great concept or idea that you want to make a reality? Our goal at the CIE is to help you realize your personal goal, whether you have started a business or not. As long as you can articulate your idea and convey your vision, you're an excellent candidate to get involved with the CIE.
As a participant in the CIE, we will help you answer three integral questions:
- Is it a good business idea?
- Is it a good business idea for you?
- Is it a good business idea for you, right now?
If the answers are yes, we can help you connect with a network of entrepreneurs, lawyers, accountants, and technical experts who have been where you are, and can give you perspective on how to build your business, market your product, and expand your dream. You'll receive valuable insight on the strategic, financial, legal, technical, operational, and managerial matters you'll need to know. The CIE program prepares you for the intricacies of running your business. The rest is up to you.
Contact the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship Program Director Kylie King to learn more at CIE@champlain.edu.
The Sarah Ramsey Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fund
The Sarah Ramsey Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fund is an investment fund that supports entrepreneurial ventures for Champlain College students in the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship. It is intended to empower students with opportunities that move their ideas into action, and to ensure that student innovations do not go unfunded due to capital constraints.
The fund provides students with up to $2,000 in funding per year, to support a wide range of student work-such as testing ideas in-market, prototyping products, or building out websites. Students may apply for funding on a rolling basis based on the criteria below, using an online application form. Decisions on funding applications will be made within two weeks of receiving this application.
- Request clearly outlines why funding is needed and how it will be used
- Request demonstrates commitment to business idea
- Alternative means of funding business idea have been investigated to supplment this funding
- Amount requested will have a tangible impact on the student business
- Request is thoughtful and well-written
Fill out the Sarah Ramsey Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fund application here.
Functioning as an independent fiscal entity, any funding that is not used during an academic year will remain in the fund to be used in future years. The fund is managed by a committee, including:
- Academic Leadership from at least one Division on campus
- Representative of Advancement Office
- Director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
- At least one other faculty member
- At least two students (Sarah Ramsey Fellows)
For more information, or if you have any questions regarding The Sarah Ramsey Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fund or the application process, please contact the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at CIE@champlain.edu.
Business Success Story: Emily LaPlume
Emily LaPlume, a 2017 Marketing graduate from the Robert P. Stiller School of Business, shares how her business, Saturday Swimwear, found success.
"I would not be where I am today if it weren't for your [BYOBiz's*] guidance and support. You have helped set a solid foundation to start building this business and ensure success."
While studying abroad in the South Pacific during her junior year, BYOBiz* student Emily LaPlume, had an inspiration for a type of bikini that would combine comfort and functionality with attractive and fashionable designs for active, athletic women.
Getting Her Business Started
After Emily returned home, she taught herself about clothing design and sewing, then developed and tested her first prototypes. She began developing her brand, Saturday Swimwear, along with a website and social media presence using skills learned from her advanced marketing class. She joined BYOBiz* in the fall of her senior year and worked to complete her launch strategy, including pricing, production and distribution, financial projections, incorporation and IP protection. With encouragement received from BYOBiz, Emily sought and achieved her first retail accounts.
Making Professional Connections
She also competed in the Elevator Pitch, LaunchVT Collegiate, and was a finalist in the nationwide Draper Competition for Collegiate Women Entrepreneurs. Following her graduation, Emily planned to continue developing her business while also working at Fuse Marketing.
*The BYOBiz program was renamed the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship for 2020.