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Volume 2 Issue 1

June 26, 2006

CGE Newsletter

From the Director: Incubator is Open!
Much has been accomplished since the last newsletter several months ago toward developing a world class Global Entrepreneurship Center at Thunderbird. First, in terms of courses, a new three hour course in Global Family Business will be offered in the fall, 2006. In addition, the entering classes of the accelerated and regular MBAs will take a required course in entrepreneurship in the spring, 2007 and EMBAs will be exposed to entrepreneurship/intrapreneurship through a series of sessions in the summer, fall, and spring terms.

Second, we are hosting the first annual Business Plan competition with prizes of $3000, $2000, and $1000 provided by the Center. Third, the Thunderbird Global Incubator officially opened on April 6 with three companies selected to be the first tenants. Each tenant company will have access to significant resources including a faculty mentor and a Global Enterprise Scholar. I anticipate that many successful global companies will spawn from this effort.

Finally, the Center's first major conference on Global Family Business will take place on October 29 to November 3 at the Royal Palms Resort and Spa. The world class program focusing on governance and globalization will feature key family business luncheon speakers and the opportunity for family businesses from all over the world to interact.

I want to thank the many alumni and friends who have already assisted the Center in its development to date and look forward to many more being involved in the future.

Robert D. Hisrich, PhD. Garvin Professor of Global Entrepreneurship and Director, Center for Global Entrepreneurship

Alumni Profile

“The Sports Marketeers: Mercury Communications Group”
Mercury Communications Group (MCG) is a Sports Marketing company that focuses on brand management of athletes and entertainers. It was spawned at the Rugby Alumni Weekend in March 2004 by Mike Rubel ’01, Ryan Timms ‘02 and Jason O’Brien (past Thunderbird professor) and has a management team comprised of 5 T-Birds.

In December 2005, MCG launched its product, myFRM (my Fan Relationship Management), an automated software system that manages all postal and electronic mail from an athlete’s fan network. In less than one month after a ‘soft’ launch, they had clients from the sports and entertainment segment and are currently in discussions with the Canadian Olympic Committee, NHL, MLB and NBA teams as well as some major sports and talent agencies.

Go to the CGE website for details on how Mercury Communications Group found the capital to get started and where the global opportunities are in this $600 billion dollar industry!


What is Social Entrepreneurship?
According to Paul Dees (Stanford University)

Social entrepreneurs play the role of change agents in the social sector, by: Adopting a mission to create and sustain social value (not just private value), Recognizing and relentlessly pursuing new opportunities to serve that mission, Engaging in a process of continuous innovation, adaptation, and learning, Acting boldly without being limited by resources currently in hand, and Exhibiting a heightened sense of accountability to the constituencies served and for the outcomes created.

Entrepreneurs Take on Autism
By Rose Vetsch

Today, 1 in every 166 children is diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). And although interest in autism is increasing, the need for more autism awareness and for specialized programs for the children remains. Fortunately, people like Patty McCartney and Tara J. Rice, founders of Play ABA, have a vision to see this happen, and are acting on it.

Play ABA began when two entrepreneurs, McCartney and Rice saw the need for home programs, social groups and summer programs for children with autism spectrum disorders. What started small in 2002, has today become a company offering the former, a full-time school for children with ASD’s called the Chrysalis Academy, and several other services. To find out more about Play ABA visit www.play-aba.com or read more about social entrepreneurship.


Global Family Enterprise Program Oct 29-Nov 3
Thunderbird will be hosting a Global Family Enterprise Program at the Royal Palms Resort and Spa in Phoenix, Oct. 29 * Nov. 3, 2006.

Sponsored by Thunderbird’s Global Entrepreneurship Center and Family Entrepreneurship Institute, the event welcomes domestic and international business owners and operators of family businesses from all industries. It is designed for members of family enterprises that have a global presence or are interested in developing one.

The conference focus of the week-long event is Global Family Business: Growth, Governance & Continuity. Program participants will learn how to effectively manage growth, establish successful governance strategies, and ensure continuity between generational family leaders. The program will be led by Faculty Chair Ernesto J. Poza, Endowed Professor of Global Family Enterprise at Thunderbird.

Register today

Annual Thunderbird Global Business Plan Contest
By Hans Rawhouser

The Thunderbird Spring 2006 Business Competition is the beginning of what we hope will be a major emphasis on entrepreneurship at Thunderbird. Support for this emphasis has been tremendous, both in the Phoenix metro area as well as among Thunderbird Alumni. More than 50 business professionals (including angel investors, venture capital professionals, consultants, and small business attorneys and accountants) were willing to judge the competition’s preliminary or final rounds. In the preliminary round, participants electronically submitted Mini Business Plans of eight pages or less for their businesses. 15 teams submitted Mini-Business plans, and these plans were distributed by e-mail to over 40 judges. Each judge received four plans, completed two evaluation sheets to provide feedback to the participants, and ranked the plans according to their potential interest in investing in the plans. Some of the judges have already expressed interest in possible investment in the companies that they reviewed. The winners of the contest were announced with 1st place given to Kevin Williams with Transglobal Linguistics, 2nd place to David Dodge with SurePrep, and 3rd place to David Heap with MindMapper.

The Thunderbird Global Innovation and Creativity Challenge will be held in 2006

The Challenge 2006, along with the THINC club, will be housed in the Center for Global Entrepreneurship, and supported as one of five major ongoing initiatives designed to place Thunderbird at the forefront of thought leadership and development in all areas of Global Entrepreneurship.

Registration Dates:

Augurst 18 - Deadline for Sponsorship Partners
July 1 to August 31 - Early registration
September 1 to October 8 - Regular registration
November 16 - 18 - Final Round

Get involved in the planning and implementation of The Challenge 2006. Join the THUNDERBIRD GLOBAL INNOVATION open discussion board on MTB or contact Eli D. Mercer, General Manager for Thunderbird Center for Global Entrepreneurship at: elidmercer@global.t-bird.edu

CGE Advisory Board Members Announced!

  • Bob Burgess, former president of Pulte Homes, Inc
    Now president of Glengarry Partners LLC
  • Michael Feuer, co-founder and former chairman and CEO of OfficeMax
    Now CEO of Max-Ventures LLC
  • Peter Jungen, Venture Capitalist Germany
  • Tom Kitchin, founder, president and CEO of Jameson Inns, Inc. (NASDAQ – JAMS)
  • Ron Siegenthaler, former founder and president of Metals Inc.
    Now a private investor and president of Myriad Technologies
  • Anthony J. van der Hoek, Global Customer Marketing for Wal-Mart Global Account Team, Coca Cola
  • Scott Walker, Chair, former founder and CEO of BillMatrix Corporation

From the Editor
Since our first newsletter in 2005, we have seen increased awareness of The Center for Global Entrepreneurship and have had many positive responses from alumni, faculty, students and friends of Thunderbird. The word is just starting to spread about this great center and will continue as we issue more articles featuring our entrepreneurs and their business successes. Please direct any suggestions, comments or questions to: julielutz@global.t-bird.edu

The Center for Global Entrepreneurship at Thunderbird (CGE)
15249 North 59th Avenue, Glendale AZ 85306 USA
(602) 978-7251
(602) 439-1435 - fax