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College of Business and Economics News and Events

COBE makes the Idaho Business Review

An article on Executive EMBA grad, Jason Crawforth, and an update on the new business building dominate the front page of The Idaho Business Review’s November 24th edition.

To view click:

Alumni Spotlight – Jason Crawforth

Boise entrepreneur and recent Executive MBA graduate, Jason Crawforth, continues to add value to the Treasure Valley economy. Jason’s latest venture is a fun and innovative decision making tool for iphones and ipods. iMakeDecisions broke into the 100 most popular ‘lifestyle’ apps a week after its November 11th launch. View the whole story at the Idaho Business Review.

Jason was also recently spotlighted in a New York Times article titled: Entrepreneurial Edge – Start-ups Give Idaho an Identity Beyond Potatoes. View the New York Times article.

Prior to his foray into the Apple iphone/ipod scene, Jason founded TreeTop Technologies in Boise. In 2005 TreeTop Technologies was named the 18th fastest-growing software company in the United States by Inc. Magazine. Earlier this year, TreeTop was purchased by Boise’s MobileDataForce where Jason serves on the board as Chief Strategy Officer.



Global Entrepreneurial Week


University Offers Business Seminars Focused on Entrepreneurship

Boise State will participate in Global Entrepreneurship Week with a series of seminars for students and the business community Nov. 18-20.

The College of Business and Economics, the Idaho Small Business Development Center and the Entrepreneurship Center have developed the seminars that will be held from 3:15-4:30 p.m. each day in Room 404 of the Interactive Learning Center on the Boise State campus. Parking is available in the Administration Parking Lot at 1910 University Drive. All sessions are free, but seating is limited to the first 40 people to register at

The seminar schedule is as follows:

  • Nov. 18 — Young Entrepreneurs will provide background on their businesses and the challenges they face. Young entrepreneurs are the driving force behind much of the innovative products and services we see today.
  • Nov. 19 — Hispanic entrepreneurs are a growing part of Idaho’s entrepreneurial community. Three successful entrepreneurs will share their experiences.
  • Nov. 20 — Angel investors will provide a picture of equity investing, taking into account the banking crisis and its impact on equity investing.

Dozens of countries are participating in Global Entrepreneurship Week activities Nov. 17-21. The initiative aims to inspire young people to embrace innovation, imagination and creativity and to turn their ideas into reality.

For more information about Boise State’s entrepreneurship week activities, contact Jim Hogge at ext. 6-3799 or, or Kent Neupert at ext. 6-2397 or

Story source:

Real World Results

Last spring a group of five Executive MBA (EMBA) students partnered with the Idaho Youth Ranch (IYR) for their Capstone Project. Over the course of the three month long project, the EMBA team came up with a new business model that could maximize the Youth Ranch’s bottom line. The team’s innovative concept was a new e-commerce business. On September 8 the IYR commenced the first stage of their new business plan with the rollout of their e-books business. To date (October 2008) they have sold 2,700 books for a gross revenues of $25,000. For the first full year, they expect income of over $100,000. They are also currently looking at the EMBA team’s recommendation to expand the E-Commerce business to other donated collectables. Excerpts from Ron Sargent’s (IYR Chairman of the Board) letter to Dean Pat Shannon:

“…I would like to thank Jake, Lisa, Kris, Adam, Ben and (Pat Shannon) for working with us in initiating the e-commerce business. We had asked for ideas that could maximize the Youth Ranch’s bottom line and that is exactly what is happening.”

“…It has been exciting to see concepts generated by the EMBAs become a reality and to exceed the Ranch’s objectives. As you know the income from this business will help us serve more at-risk kids.”“Working with the Boise State Executive MBA program has been a satisfying and rewarding experience. On behalf of everyone at the Idaho Youth Ranch our sincere thanks and appreciation to you and the team with whom we were so fortunate to work.” Members of this team include:
Project Advisor Patrick Shannon – Dean, College of Business and Economics
EMBA Students
Lisa Grow (Boise, ID) – Idaho Power; Vice President, Delivery, Engineering &Operations
Kris Mitchell (Portland, OR) – Shiftwise; Vice President, Operations
Jake Niederer (Andover, KS) – Koch Industries Inc.; Agribusiness Production Planner
Adam Pishl (Gilbert, AZ) – SolFocus Glass Works; Operations Manager
Ben Slaughter, III (Boise, ID) – Idaho Mutual Trust; General Counsel

Leaders on the Cutting Edge

LindaAvey23&me co-founder, Linda Avey, flew in from California to speak to Boise State’s Executive MBA class during their October session. Avey founded 23&me because she believes in empowering individuals and wanted to develop a new way of accelerating research.  Although the field that Avey was speaking on fascinated the class, the true value came from her in-depth narrative and Q & A of the trials and tribulation of taking her vision to reality—business model formulation, raising funds, to launch and beyond.

Community Collaboration = Scholarship $$

Early in October, COBE, in collaboration with our engaged business community, put on a highly successful golf tournament.  The funds generated from this event will benefit COBE Scholarships and a newly formed “Dean’s Fund” that will be used to attract, reward, and retain our world class faculty.  Through the strong leadership of John Grizzaffi, President of Stein Distributing, and several other key members of the COBE Advisory Committee, the event was well attended and had generous sponsorships.  To view pictures from our beautiful Fall Tournament held at Crane Creek Country Club, click here.

For information on playing and/or sponsoring next year’s tournament, please contact:

Trisha Stevens Lamb

Manager, Public Relations & Communications