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Amanda J. Billings
Executive Director of Marketing and Communications
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This Story is provided by The Herald Times


Cooks embody the spirit of entrepreneurship

October 21, 2010

Wednesday’s Cook Institute for Entrepreneurship was an example of Ivy Tech Community College’s mission of providing real-life education that goes beyond the classroom into the community.

The inaugural institute of Ivy Tech’s Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship featured a keynote address by former Indiana Lt. Gov. John Mutz and a panel of local entrepreneurs sharing start-up business stories. Modeled after the successful O’Bannon Institute, Ivy Tech’s annual civil engagement program, the entrepreneurship institute will be a regular event of the new center.

For would-be business owners, who often have nothing more than a really good idea and a small budget, tips from others who have been successful can be the most valuable advice they receive.

Panelists at Wednesday’s event shared strategies that helped them launch their ventures as well as things they might do differently in hindsight.

The center is an important addition to Ivy Tech’s menu of offerings, because it will assist not only students who are first-timers in business, but also community members and current business owners and employees who are considering striking out on their own or re-tooling their business plans.

In his remarks, Chancellor John Whikehart emphasized that Ivy Tech’s role will be to provide students with practical tools, not just theory.

It will also connect students with mentors who can provide ongoing support and guidance as they pursue their business ideas.

It’s also fitting that the center is named for Gayle and Bill Cook, who — as a couple and through their many entities — embody the spirit of entrepreneurship. The Cooks, who have generously reinvested their business success into many community projects, also remind us that entrepreneurial success starts with dedicated people driven to make a difference.

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