Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CIE)
Champlain College's Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CIE) promotes entrepreneurial and innovator mindsets, and is a thought-leader in entrepreneurship research. The CIE provides a unique opportunity for student entrepreneurs to get help starting or launching a new business, or to enhance an existing business idea.
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.
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.