May 13, 2010

Murphysboro students to test ‘elevator pitches’

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Today’s Murphysboro High School students could some day become entrepreneurs thanks to what they’ve learned from their business teacher, Nicholas Ryan Berry, and Southern Illinois University Carbondale faculty and staff.

Lynn Andersen Lindberg, director of business innovation and research at SIUC, spoke several times to the 13 students in Berry’s semester-long entrepreneurship class, sharing in-depth data about creating and operating a business. Lindberg presented “Starting a Business in Illinois” in two segments.

The teens first learned the basics of starting a business. They studied the components of a business plan and got a flash drive featuring a business plan outline as well as other materials, including basic industry research. The University’s Small Business Incubator program also worked with the students as did Heather Walls, a graduate assistant from Carterville who is in the University’s MBA program.

Then, the Murphysboro students went to work, brainstorming business ideas, researching, and creating “elevator pitches” they hope will “sell” their business concepts, Andersen Lindberg said. They’ve practiced and perfected their business plans and elevator pitches and it will all culminate with a presentation and competition at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 18.

Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to cover the elevator pitch competition at Murphysboro High School at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 18. Please check in at the principal’s office before going to the competition in Room B18. For more information, contact Lynn Andersen Lindberg at 618/453-6754 or by e-mail at or call Berry at 618/687-2336, ext. 1218.

Judges for the competition are: Andersen Lindberg; Walls; Maryon F. King, director of the SIUC College of Business Center for Innovation; Renee Favreau, president of Saluki CEO Corps and graduate student in the MBA program; Jeff Doherty, executive director of Jackson Growth Alliance and former Carbondale city manager; Bryce Cramer, Egyptian Electric Cooperative Association District Office and Member Service Manager and chair of LEAD SI; and Bruce Davis, Service Corps of Retired Executives member from Murphysboro.

Students giving the top three presentations will each win a scholarship to the popular, nationally recognized CampCEO Crash Course on July 9 at SIUC. They’ll also get other business resources to help them move forward with their business ideas, Andersen Lindberg said.

For more information about the numerous services that SIUC’s Office of Economic and Regional Development, of which the Southern Illinois Business Incubator is a component, provides to new and expanding business, contact Andersen Lindberg at 618/453-6754.