As a UNL College of Business Administration student, Bill Champion was encouraged to enter a new venture business competition by one of his professors. He presented a business plan for an idea he developed working in the University of Nebraska strength and conditioning program. Now 25 years later, he is president of the business he was able to create after winning the competition.
“When I was a student working in the athletic department, I developed a concept to leverage functional athletic testing and evaluation for high school students. That concept won the competition,” he said. “This competition was important because it gave me an initial direction and pace for my career.”
Champion is president and founder of Venel, a marketing communication firm focused exclusively on orthopaedic practices. An entrepreneur at heart, he got his start as a student member of the University of Nebraska Entrepreneurial Society which is now known as Enactus. He pays it forward with budding entrepreneurs by sharing his background and knowledge around startups. Champion is an active mentor through the Nebraska Chapter of Entrepreneur Organization which he co-founded in 2000 and as a member of the UNL Center for Entrepreneurship Advisory Board.
“Future entrepreneurs need to know how critical it is to have a plan. Knowing how to develop and present one is even more important. My education from UNL helped me develop my business,” Champion said. “The Center for Entrepreneurship provided me with resources that were unavailable elsewhere. I had access to the experts who helped me craft a plan and garner financing in what I thought was a long shot. I hope to provide similar support to future UNL entrepreneurs.”
The UNL Center for Entrepreneurship at the College of Business Administration hosted EntrepreneuringDays@UNL, April 7-9 at the Embassy Suites in Lincoln. The event featured new venture student competitions similar to the television show “Shark Tank” as well as a day to celebrate entrepreneurship in Nebraska.