Media Information
Amanda J. Billings
Executive Director of Marketing and Communications
Phone: (812) 330-6222
Fax: (812) 330-6205

This Story is provided by The Herald Times

Entrepreneurship success stories

Mutz, others speak at first Cook Institute for Entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech Community College

By Rebecca Troyer
331-4243 |
October 21, 2010

Tips for successful entrepreneurship were shared Wednesday as community members, business leaders and Ivy Tech students packed the commons area at Ivy Tech Community College for the Cook Institute for Entrepreneurship.

Modeled after Ivy Tech’s O’Bannon Institute, which fosters and promotes civic engagement, the entrepreneurship institute featured a keynote address by former lieutenant governor, business leader and philanthropist John Mutz and a panel of three local entrepreneurs who shared stories and answered questions about the challenges and rewards of starting a business venture.

“The most important cutting edge of change in our society is provided by entrepreneurs, not by government or academics,” said Mutz. “Entrepreneurs are the real change agents.”

Mutz said that entrepreneurs are often mischaracterized as high risk takers who are simply out to make “an enormous amount of money.” He said good entrepreneurs take calculated risks after doing extensive research, and they often are more passionate about seeing their ideas succeed than making money for money’s sake.

Tom Snyder, president of the statewide Ivy Tech Community College, praised Gayle and Bill Cook for their support of Ivy Tech and lending their name to Gayle & Bill Cook Entrepreneurship Center, founded earlier this year.

“What better example of entrepreneurship than the Cook family and Cook companies. They personify entrepreneurship.”

Bill and Gayle Cook attended the program with their son, Carl, and his wife, Marcy, and their daughter, Eleanor Lynnette.

The panel discussion featured Dan Gluesenkamp, co-owner of nursery and landscape company Designscape; Candy Santo, owner of Cliptomania, an online company with a unique market in clip-on earrings; and Kenny Simpson, owner of Bedford Stonecrafters.

Panelists shared tips that helped them launch their business ideas and offered advice on things they might do differently.

Simpson said the best advice he received when he started his own limestone mill came from one of his father’s friends. “Hire a lawyer. Then hire a better accountant.”

Gluesenkamp said it’s important to love the work, but business involves strategic decisions as well.

“You can only do what you like for so long without making money at it,” said Gluesenkamp. In his case, that meant adding a full-scale service business to his plant sale operation.

Santo cited the importance of protecting a company trademark, which requires vigilance with an Internet business such as hers. She also shared that selling her product meant “telling the story, over and over.”

The Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship is Ivy Tech’s third center, along with the Center for Civic Engagement and the Indiana Center for Life Sciences — all based on the concept of collaboration among educational institutions, businesses and the community at large.

Cook Institute
Bill Cook, center, helps his granddaughter, Eleanor Lynnette Cook, clap her hands Wednesday as introductions are made before the inaugural Cook Institute for Entrepreneurship keynote speech by former Lt. Gov. John Mutz at Ivy Tech Community College in Bloomington. Gayle Cook, Bill’s wife, is at right, and Eleanor’s parents, Marcy and Carl Cook, are at left and in background. Chris Howell | Herald-Times

Cook Institute
John Mutz, former Indiana lieutenant governor, business leader and philanthropist, was the keynote speaker Wednesday for the first Cook Institute for Entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech Community College. Chris Howell | Herald-Times

Cook Institute
Bill Cook, center, his wife, Gayle Gook, right, and granddaughter Eleanor Lynnette Cook, left, were among those in attendance Wednesday during the inaugural Cook Institute for Entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech Community College. Chris Howell | Herald-Times

Copyright: 2010