IDEA Club Inspires Entrepreneurs

By Tim Kelley, MBA
Assistant Professor, Colangelo College of Business

Winners of the GCU Canyon Challenge

Grand Canyon University has an entrepreneurial spirit like no other university and the Innovation, Development and Entrepreneurship Association (IDEA) Club is a place where traditional and online students, alumni, faculty and staff can find resources and support to develop their entrepreneurial passion. IDEA members are people who have dreams for the future, but need some guidance to make them a reality.

We start with the GCU Shark Tank, which meets each month. People from all parts of the GCU community share their business pitches live in front of an audience and a few “angel sharks” offer constructive feedback. These events help hone the pitch skills that are needed to present an idea to real investors. They also help each entrepreneur test their idea and pivot in new directions by gaining new information and experience from the people around them.

GCU Shark Tank naturally leads our entrepreneurs to the Canyon Challenge, a business plan competition which takes place each spring and awards prize money to the best ideas! The goal is to focus as efficiently as possible on your value proposition and your minimum viable product. Don’t waste your time and money if the solution you have to a problem isn’t really a solution, or the problem really isn’t a problem that people are willing to pay money to solve!

IDEA also sponsors the IDEA LAB, which is a developing hacker space-like environment with a 3D printer, scanner and some basic programmable circuit boards to help you design, test or even prototype your product. We have members who are excited about sharing what they know, so don’t worry if you don’t know anything about programming or design. We can form teams of people who can help with those aspects!

We look forward to helping you build your ideas here at GCU.

Learn more about clubs and organizations by visiting the GCU website. For more information about our business programs, please contact us today!

More about Tim:

Tim Kelley has over 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur in real estate and project-related finance in Mexico, South America, the US and Africa (Angola). He served as founder, chairman and CEO of KCA International Construction & Facilities Management for over 14 years and managed over $200 million in projects in Mexico and over 2 million square feet of office, commercial and residential space throughout Latin America. In 2010 and 2011, he was contracted by the US Agency for International Development to advise the Central Bank of Angola (BNA) on regulatory structures for residential real estate finance.

Tim is a recognized expert in the area of cross border mortgages, entrepreneurship and international real estate finance. He was featured in Entrepreneur Magazine for innovative international entrepreneurship. Currently, he serves as the COO of the Entrepreneur Opportunity Fund as well as owner and CFO with his wife of two education-related companies with more than 45 employees and several million in gross revenue. He is also an assistant professor of entrepreneurship and economics at Grand Canyon University.

Tim holds a BA from Gonzaga and an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management, with additional course work at Oxford University and ASU. He also serves on the board of Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona and the governor’s committee on cross border real estate at the Arizona Mexico Commission. He is a member of Delta Mu Delta and the international committee of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. He is also the chairman of the Thunderbird Angel Network and founder and chairman of the Canyon Angels.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.