Young Entrepreneurs Encouraged to Attend Conference

Calling all future CEOs: The 28th Annual Entrepreneurship Education Forum wants you.

The event, hosted by the Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education Nov. 12-16 at Columbus’s Hyatt on Capitol Square, will include a Marketplace for Young Entrepreneurs where student business owners −college age and younger− will be able to exhibit and sell their products and services for the first time in its history. The deadline for applications is Oct. 21.

Space is limited, though, so students are encouraged to apply early, says Cathy Ashmore, executive director of CEE.

Marketplace exhibitors also will be able to attend a panel discussion at 4 p.m. on Nov. 14 featuring three young businessmen: 12-year-old Riley Giauque of Fargo, N.D., who holds three patents and markets his EZPuck globally; 17-year-old Chip Lowe of Gainesville, Fla., the CEE’s technology consultant and creator of its four websites; and Nick Francis of Toledo, Ohio, a freshman at The Ohio State University who owns International Halloween Productions LLC.

“So many young people don’t know that anyone can start a business doing anything they can think of,” Ashmore says, hoping the panel discussion will open a few eyes.

At least 300 people are expected to attend this year’s forum, which caters to educators from across the country and aims to show them that entrepreneurialism is a lifelong learning process.

Speakers will share their ideas for developing entrepreneurial skills and motivating students to pursue their dreams, Ashmore says.

A pre-forum tour, scheduled for 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 13, will take participants to several successful local businesses and include discussions with management at Cup o’ Joe and The Book Loft; Mary Martineau, director of marketing at the North Market; Rick Coplin at the Dublin Entrepreneurial Center; and Bob Mahaffey, founder of Xcelerate Media.

For more information about the Entrepreneurship Education Forum, visit