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College of Business and Economics News

Center News Release

CENTER NEWS RELEASE / January 9, 2009
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Boise State University’s College of Business and Economics will present two events on Tuesday, Feb. 3, designed to help local businesses gain a competitive edge.

Boise’s fifth annual creativity workshop will be presented by the college’s Centre for Creativity and Innovation. Titled “The Creative Edge: Get it, Use it, or Pay the Price,” the conference will feature speakers Caleb Chung, world-famous toy designer and inventor of “Pleo” the robotic dinosaur, and Gary Schwartz, founder of Intuitive Learning Systems in Seattle, one of the nation’s top creativity communities.

The Centre for Creativity and Innovation is a regional leader with research and programs that illustrate the connection between creativity and successful organizations. Nancy Napier, a professor of international business at Boise State and executive director for the centre, will share information about resources at the university for innovation.

The workshop runs from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. in The Loft, fourth floor of the Stueckle Sky Center on the west side of Bronco Stadium. To register or for more information, visit!Idaho/ or call (208) 426-4205.

The Idaho Small Business Development Center at Boise State will present “The Business of Climate Change: Creating Value with Climate Change Strategies,” a half-day business symposium also to be held at the Stueckle Sky Center on Feb. 3.

Businesses are often leaders in addressing complex problems and identifying opportunities for creating competitive advantage. The symposium will highlight business trends in the Northwest and local examples of companies that have successfully increased profitability with climate change strategies. Businesses that don’t believe climate change affects them are ignoring a big risk, and a bigger opportunity. The Business of Climate Change will help businesses minimize the risk and take advantage of the opportunities.

Featured speakers include: Brian Back, founding editor and publisher for Sustainable Industries; Toni Hardesty, director, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality; Tac Anderson, entrepreneur in residence at Highway 12 Ventures and social media/CRM/ search at Hewlett-Packard; Pat Ott, director of property management for Thornton, Oliver, Keller; and John Gardner, associate vice president for Energy Research Policy and Campus Sustainability at Boise State.

Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. and the program runs from noon-5 p.m., followed by a reception from 5-6:30 p.m. The cost is $45 and includes lunch, reception and parking. For more information, visit or call (208) 426-1640.

This event is part of Boise State’s participation in the National Teach-In for Climate Change.


Contact: Sherry Squires, University Communications, (208) 426-1563,

Boise State University is “The New U Rising” with record student enrollment, new academic buildings, additional degree programs and a growing research agenda. Learn more at

Student Projects Add Value

COBE’s location in the heart of our region’s business center and close relationship with the business community provides unparalleled opportunities for COBE students. The unlimited number of student internships and projects provide a laboratory of action-based learning, real-world experience, a sampling of careers, and a foot in the door. Not only do COBE students benefit from these opportunities, but businesses also prosper.

For example, this Fall students in GB450 worked with several clients of COBE’s business help centers (Small Business Development Center and TECenter). Each team conducted a financial assessment, a SWOT analysis and a final project / presentation. The objective, scope and deliverables for the final project were based on the client’s needs and the findings in the financial assessment and SWOT analysis. Below is a list of the businesses helped and services provided:
Free Wheel (SBDC client)
The team presented a three-pronged business strategy for this early-stage company. They examined the target market and assessed the feasibility of licensing, partnering and manufacturing the Free Wheel product.
Satin Serenity (SBDC client)
The team conducted a company review, analysis and provided strategic recommendations. They assessed the profitability of each product and reviewed their current channels of distribution. Their recommendation included website improvements, affiliate marketing and public relations.
AeroLEDs (TECenter client)
The team completed a financial analysis and examined the product-level profitability as well as company-wide profitability. They made recommendation to save the company money and track expenditures as they grow.
Nutralife (SBDC client)
The team conducted a feasibility study for an early-stage product. They identified and examined three potential target markets.
Ready Financial (TECenter client)
The Team conducted a target market study. They examined the current customers and identified strategies and tactics to increase their pre-paid debit card usage. They also explored alternative marketing tactics and potential alternative markets.
Best Bath (SBDC client)
The team conducted a thorough market review of State and federal contracts as well as hospitals. The project detailed the next steps the company needs to take to be eligible for these contracts and how to bid on them.
MetaGeek (TECenter client)
The team conducted a retail market review which consisted of a customer survey as well as one-on-one interviews with retail managers. Their findings will help Metageek decided whether or not to pursue a retail sales channel.
Milligan Events (SBDC client)
This team conducted a market analysis for event planning. They examined the target market and identified emerging technologies, event planning trends and industry trends in North America and Europe.
Idaho Candy (SBDC client)
The team examined Idaho Candy’s accounting processes, cash flow, production and marketing. They provided recommendations to the company to help them reduce their overhead and grow their business.
Entrepreneurial Management 421: This entire class focused on one company, (TECenter client). The class was divided in half and one half focused on developing a management strategy and the other half focused on a marketing strategy.

To see more examples of how students add value to local organizations click here

To learn more about the services offered by COBE help centers go to the following websites:
The Small Business Development Center

Creativity Workshop

UPDATE: We are sorry to inform you that this workshop has been canceled.

Dr. Nancy Napier, Executive Director of the Centre of Creativity & Innovation of the College of Business and Economics is holding a creativity workshop on February 3.

Just in the last few weeks, look at what’s been in our own Idaho Statesman…

HEADLINE: Creativity should drive this stimulus [in the U.S.].
David Brooks, New York Times, 9 December 2008
(quoted in The Idaho Statesman)

HEADLINE: Idaho needs to be practical and creative about [its economic]
Editorial, The Idaho Statesman, 14 December 2008

SPORTS: “Bryan Harsin (Offensive Coordinator, Boise State University)
likes to close his office door and grind on football…[he] draws plays on
sticky notes, part of the creativity that defines the Broncos’ offense.”
Brian Murphy, Idaho Statesman, 19 December 2008
Creativity is here to stay!

In these economic times, you really need to

– Get it
– Use it
– Or Pay the price

Save the date and plan to come to the 5th Annual Creativity Workshop at Boise State University – Tuesday, 3 February, all day.

Creativity Workshop Flyer

Keiretsu Forum

In early December, COBE co-hosted the Keiretsu Forum, Highway 12, and the Boise Angel Alliance at the Sky-Center. These “angel investor” groups fund start-up companies. The event was coordinated by Jeff Sugheir with help from Kent Neupert, John McIntosh and Joanie Andersen. A great panel discussion involving investors from Idaho, Seattle and California discussed how the process works, why they do this, and the good, bad and ugly of angel investing.


COBE’s Business Help Center, ISBDC, Makes Partnership to Help Hispanic Businesses

Boise State University and Idaho Hispanic Chamber Announce Partnership to Help Hispanic Businesses

The Idaho Small Business Development Center at Boise State University and the Idaho Hispanic Chamber of Commerce have announced a partnership to help Hispanic businesses in the Treasure Valley. The goal of the partnership is to enhance the success of existing Hispanic businesses and assist in the creation of new ventures.

The partnership, announced during a press conference Thursday morning at Nampa City Hall, has created a new business consultant position at the Idaho SBDC focused on delivering consulting and training programs to Hispanic businesses. Enrique Camarillo was hired through a joint process with the Idaho SBDC and the Hispanic Chamber. Camarillo has both a strong educational background and valuable experience. He holds an engineering degree from Boise State and an MBA from Northwest Nazarene University, and also has started and grown a local business.

“I am excited about the opportunity to help Hispanic businesses start, grow and prosper,” Camarillo said.

Zions Bank provided a portion of the funding targeted at training for Hispanic businesses. This funding, along with additional funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration, has allowed the Idaho SBDC and Hispanic Chamber to add this service.

“Zions Bank’s commitment to the Hispanic business community is very needed and much appreciated,” said Lucio Prado, president of the Idaho Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Jim Hogge, state director for the Idaho SBDC, also thanked Zions and the Hispanic Chamber for their support, noting that this is a great opportunity for Boise State and the Idaho SBDC to better serve the Hispanic business community.

“We look forward to a long and productive partnership,” Hogge said.

Camarillo will operate from the Idaho SBDC office on the main Boise State campus in Boise and from an office at Boise State’s TECenter in Nampa. He can be reached at (208) 426-3875. For more information about the range of services the Idaho SBDC offers to businesses, visit

Contact: Sherry Squires, University Communications, (208) 426-1563,

Vietnam MBA program forms Alumni Chapter

Vietnam MBA Alumni Chapter - Center Prof. Napier

Boise State’s first international alumni chapter has been formed in Vietnam.

The Vietnam alums are graduates of an English language MBA program that Boise State ran in Vietnam from 1990-99, the first ever internationally accredited MBA program conducted in Vietnam. There were 84 graduates of the program, many of who now run their own successful companies or hold leadership positions in the private or public sector in Vietnam.

“Its great to see and feel ourselves part of the alma mater,” said Ha Nguyen, a 1997 graduate who has helped lead the chartering process and is serving as president for the alumni chapter.

The Vietnam alums have maintained ties with Boise State through former professors, including Nancy Napier, a professor of international business who headed up the Vietnam MBA program and still teaches courses in Hanoi once a year. She just visited this month and took the newly formed chapter members Boise State pompoms, luggage tags and other alumni association membership items.

“This is our first international chapter, so it’s very new for Boise State,” said Jennifer Wheeler, senior associate director for alumni relations at Boise State. “We have set up a Web page to help them communicate with us and each other.”

The purpose of the Boise State Alumni Vietnam Chapter is to provide closer contact between the university and the Vietnam alums. But the formation of the chapter could have other positive results.

The Boise State alums also met with Sabine Klahr, director of international programs at Boise State, and colleague Chalimar Swain, when they visited Hanoi prior to joining an Idaho trade mission to Asia in Ho Chi Minh City, led by Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter in October.

The purpose of the trip was to promote the trade, business and education exchange between Vietnam and Idaho. Klahr said that current alums in Hanoi were very helpful in setting up meetings with educational consultants in Hanoi and plans are in the works to bring Vietnamese students to Boise State’s intensive English program (and into the university after completing their intensive English studies.) While Klahr met with the Boise alums, she encouraged them to develop a Vietnam alumni chapter. The Boise State alums also hope to serve as a bridge for business between Idaho and Vietnam.

An international chapter is unusual given that it takes at least 750 Boise State alums in one location to create a formal geographic chapter. But Boise State Alumni Association Executive Director Mark Arstein said the alumni association was so impressed with the Vietnam alums’ energy, commitment, and the fact that many of them have become dues-paying members, that the association waived the requirement to bring the group of dedicated alumni into the Bronco network.

(source Boise State Communications & Marketing)

Faculty Update – December

Gundars Kaupins, management, was quoted in a full-page article titled “Who’s In Charge Here? Valley Entities Hunt for Top Managers” in the Wood River Journal business section that ran on Dec. 3.

Associate Dean of Graduate studies, Kirk Smith, was publicly acknowledged by MBA graduate, Andrew Artis. Artis won an Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award and is highlighted in our Alumni Spotlight.  According to Artis, “Students in the College of Business and Economics should not take for granted the quality of instruction they receive. The professors at Boise State are among the finest and most dedicated I have ever worked with. In fact, Dr. Kirk Smith gave me my first job as a college professor and still mentors me to this very day.”