Student entrepreneurs at Central Michigan University hosted a networking event to give their peers the same opportunities they had when starting their company.
Ignite Donuts partnered with Public Relations Student Society of America and the New Venture Competition to host "Igniting CMU" on Oct. 28 in the Bovee University Center Rotunda.
"As a business, we are always looking to bring people together in different ways and all the organizations we brought here helped us in some way,” Eakin said. “We thought it would be really great to bring together all these resources for students to give them the opportunity to meet the organizations that helped us succeed.”
The event offered students networking opportunities with more than 10 organizations. Representatives included on- and off-campus organizations, such as the CMU Research Corporation, Campus Dining, Independent Bank and Middle Michigan Development Corporation.
Each organization presented a short pitch about their group and the opportunities they provide for students and graduates.
"I learned that you can do anything in business," said Kalamazoo freshman Abbey Conway. "For a long time, I thought you had to have a certain crazy idea, but that kind of taught me that, like the guy Chris (Eakin) speaking, you don’t have to have your own idea, you can jump on board and help others."
Along with the companies, Eakin and Croad told their own stories about starting and getting involved in their business.
President Bob Davies delivered the keynote address at the event. He stressed the importance of finding your passion and building relationships with professionals in that field.
"Whenever a freshman comes to Central Michigan University... I try not to ask them what their major is – I don't care – I ask them 'what is your passion?'" Davies said. "Discover your passion. Above all else, follow your passion."
"Igniting CMU" featured a ribbon-cutting ceremony, courtesy of the Mount Pleasant Chamber of Commerce, to celebrate Ignite Donuts being sold in The Market on campus.
"We had 60+ people that attended here, which we were hoping for at least one just to make an impact," Croad said. "In all reality, it just takes one person to make an impact on, if they can inspire a whole nation.”