News about the Bluffton Center for Entrepreneurship

Affiliate’s Crowd-sourcing Taps Student Talent

As the first Bluffton University student affiliate of the BCE, Remark Engineering, LLC has stepped off the well-beaten marketing path to offer clients an effective new approach.

Remark provides small businesses with affordable services using “crowd-sourcing” to tap the skills of talented graphic design and marketing students. Remark solicits vector logo designs from students in the Ohio and Indiana region, offering the reward of an academic scholarship to the designer of the logo that is chosen by the Remark client. One of their current projects is to provide a logo for BCE affiliate J. Bankert Bookkeeping.

BIG Idea Contest to Reward Bluffton Student Entrepreneurs

Got an idea that could be really BIG business? The Bluffton Center for Entrepreneurs (BCE) wants to help Bluffton University students take a big step toward launching new businesses. The BCE is conducting the 2011 BIG Idea contest to reward student entrepreneurs. The grand prize is an Apple iPad. All awards will include free assistance developing a business plan.

Judges from the BCE will assess entries for originality and uniqueness, potential for actual commercialization, and likely long term viability in the marketplace. The entry deadline is April 15, 2011. The entry fee is $25.00. Winners wil be announced April 22, 2011.

Oct. 23rd Art Auction to benefit Bluffton Center for Entrepreneurs

The second annual art auction and dinner to benefit the Bluffton Center for Entrepreneurs (BCE) will be held on Saturday, October 23, 2010 at the Centre at Bluffton, 601 N. Main. Proceeds support the BCE mission of annually creating and retaining 30 local jobs. This is a major fundraiser for the BCE and raised $7000 in 2009. 

The event will begin with an art preview and cash bar at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner served at 6:15. The art auction begins at 7:00 and will conclude by 9:00. Brendon Matthews is master of ceremonies and the night’s auctioneers are Holly Spann and Greg Denecker. Docents are Gregg Luginbuhl and Tamara Rooney.

Bluffton University and Bluffton Center for Entrepreneurs form strategic partnership

The Bluffton Center for Entrepreneurs (BCE) has formed a strategic partnership with Bluffton University’s Division of Business Studies. The announcement was made at the center’s third annual meeting, September 16 at the Bluffton Town Hall. BCE board president Brendon Matthews introduced the plan to reduce the organization’s operating costs and connect its clients with university faculty and students. 

"Rent An Expert" Helps Business Owners

The Bluffton Center for Entrepreneurs (BCE) is offering assistance to business owners through the "Rent an Expert" program, with the goal of retaining and creating jobs in Northwest Ohio. Business owners can “Rent An Expert” for a fee of $25 per hour, for up to eight hours, to help solve problems or develop new ideas. The experts are members of the BCE Board of Directors and have advanced skills in sales, marketing, advertising, finance, banking, real estate, administration, accounting, taxes, retail, education, architecture, construction, communications, law, logistics and manufacturing. The program will run through August 2010.

New bookkeeping service relieves clients of tedious paperwork

Bookkeeping is a source of anxiety for many new business owners and busy individuals. Julie Bankert, a certified public bookkeeper based in Bluffton, Ohio, recently established J. Bankert Bookkeeping, LLC, knowing that these time consuming tasks are often put aside. She explains, “I help people who are overwhelmed. I take care of day-to-day bookkeeping, including paying bills on time, invoicing customers promptly, and balancing checkbooks. I provide timely, relevant financial reporting that helps clients run their business in a profitable, sustainable way. As a result, I give clients more time to do the things they love.”

New Business Plan Seminar and Competition Begins April 1

The 2010 Business Plan Competition kicks off on April 1 with the first of 10 seminars and culminates in June with more than $3000 in prizes. The combined seminar series and competition will teach participants to write a business plan that will improve an existing business or successfully start a new one. The contest is open to entrepreneurs, start-ups, and emerging businesses (less than 3 years old) in Northwest Ohio.

M2 Interiors & Design Awarded Top “Big Idea” Prize

Mary Maas of M2 Interiors & Design LLC, Bluffton, has won first place in the regional Big Idea contest for entrepreneurs. Maas has been awarded a $1000 prize for her Aging in Place concept, which includes designs and principles that help clients remain in their homes as they grow older and their needs and abilities change.

Extended Deadline for Big Idea Contest is November 30

The entries for the first annual BIG Idea Contest must be postmarked by November 30 and sent to Bluffton Center for Entrepreneurs. This event is designed for aspiring entrepreneurs and start-up businesses in Northwest Ohio who have innovative ideas and plan to pursue their own business. Entries include a brief 2-3 page description of the idea as well as the registration form and entry fee of $25.00.  For a copy of the registration form and more information contact John Bauer, 419-358-6400 or visit

Free Seminar on Protecting Intellectual Property Offered by Bluffton Center for Entrepreneurs

Jacob Ward, patent attorney for Fraser Clemens Martin & Miller LLC, offers advice on protecting intellectual property, ideas and innovations at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, November 5, at Bluffton University in Centennial Hall, room 211. This seminar is part of the BCE business tune-up seminar series.  The seminar is free and open to the public. For reservations, please contact, John Bauer at 419-358-6400 or


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