Adam M. Enfroy and Joshua Cooper

SKOOP digital Founder, Josh Cooper, Named 2020’s Adam M. Enfroy Digital Entrepreneurship Scholar

The Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation has chosen Joshua Cooper, an Advertising Management senior with a minor in entrepreneurship, as 2020’s Adam M. Enfroy Scholar for Digital Entrepreneurship. Cooper is the founder and CEO of SKOOP digital. The startup company offers its customers a robust software platform to manage their marketing messaging and creative assets across their existing, as well as tailor-made, digital screen infrastructure.

Adam M. Enfroy (Media and Information, ‘12) established the annual scholarship to recognize and support talented, highly motivated student venturers creating within the digital entrepreneurship space. Each year, the Burgess Institute selects a scholar who demonstrates traction within the digital entrepreneurship space and exemplary engagement within the Burgess Institute’s Discovery and Launch programs. Ideal scholars also show aptitude, passion, and commitment to their academic success and the ability to balance building a startup with the inherent demands of academic rigor. The Adam M. Enfroy Digital Entrepreneurship Scholarship awards $2,500 for the awardee to apply toward student expenses through the office of financial aid.

“Hard work pays off,” beamed Cooper, who has been part of Michigan State’s entrepreneurial ecosystem for three years. “SKOOP would not be where it is today without the resources and support received from the Burgess Institute.”

Cooper is an alumnus of the Conquer Accelerator program’s 2019 cohort, receiving a $20,000 investment in exchange for an equity stake in SKOOP digital. Also, in 2019, Cooper took home the top prize at the Burgess New Venture Challenge.

“The Burgess Institute and its team never give up on their students. It’s an honor to be a part of this ecosystem—and I’m humbled to be named 2020’s Adam M. Enfroy Digital Entrepreneurship Scholar.”

Earlier this year, Adam M. Enfroy established the undergraduate scholarship in his name specifically for digital entrepreneurs.

Enfroy’s path to success was more winding than he anticipated. In a recent Hatchcast interview, Enfroy admitted he was not a model Spartan student during his time in East Lansing.

“College life was difficult for me. I didn’t take the opportunity as seriously as I should have, and, at the time, didn’t know what to do with my life.” In fact, by his junior year, Enfroy had failed classes. “Academics took a backseat to partying and having a good time.”

“It took me over five years to complete my degree from MSU. After graduation, I still felt pretty lost and was unsure what to do with my life. After a number of failures, I realized it was time to buckle down and make some big changes.” Ultimately, Enfroy taught himself digital marketing, traveled across the country taking marketing positions for tech companies, and was promoted five times in five years. After gaining enough experience, he decided to strike out on his own, launching his marketing blog, adamenfroy.com, in 2019.

Today, Enfroy’s blog reaches over 500,000 monthly readers, who are learning how to start and scale successful online businesses. In a recent Forbes interview, he highlights his personal struggles and how he now makes over $80K per month from his blog.

“Having this opportunity to give back is important to me,” said Enfroy, “entrepreneurs do not create in a vacuum, and our successes are the result of the help and support we receive along the way.”

 

 

Burgess Institute Launches Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program

The Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Michigan State University welcomes five successful Spartan entrepreneurs into its Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program’s inaugural cohort.

Starting this fall, students in the Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation’s globally recognized program can expect to receive even more in-depth, one-to-one mentorship and learning experiences. Open to all majors, students who are part of the institute’s programming explore entrepreneurship as a career path and hone their entrepreneurial mindset.

Burgess Institute 2020–2021 EIR Cohort

Jamene Bowdry• Jasmene Bowdry (B.S. Fashion Merchandising, ’05) is a retail strategist and fashion entrepreneur. She launched SHIFT StyleHouse®, a contemporary clothing boutique for the modern renaissance woman. Joining her love of business and passion for fashion, Bowdry also founded The Boutique Teacher, LLC, which provides both current and aspiring boutique owners with proven retail strategies to grow and scale their online businesses.

• Curtis Daniel III (B.S. Psychology, ’95) is co-founder and CEO of Patchwerk Recording Studios. Under Daniel, Patchwerk Studios has been the home to more than a dozen Grammy-nominated audio engineers and over 100 gold and platinum records. Patchwerk has also been the creative force behind several educational programs and music events, such as Music University, Weekend Workshops, I Do Music, and R&B Live.

Stacey Marsh• Stacey Marsh (B.A. Marketing, ’86) is the co-founder and former CEO of Flatout Flatbread. She lives by the simple words her father said to her,” Never wonder ‘what if.'” In 2015, she and Flatout Flatbread co-founder, her husband, Michael (B.A. Marketing, ’85), successfully sold their company to Lancaster Colony. Today, she enjoys giving back and helping young entrepreneurs bring their dreams to life.

• John Rood (B.A. International Relations and Political Theory, ’05) founded Next Step Test Preparation, which grew from a two-person tutoring operation to a market leader in pre-health entrance exam test preparation before selling to private equity. Today, he is the managing director at Greenrood Holdings LLC, which invests in education and edtech businesses.

 

Jim Wirth• Jim Wirth (B.A. Accounting and Information Systems, ’89) is a co-founder and CEO at GiantMouse, LLC, and owner and CEO of Golden Gate Goods, LLC. Wirth started his career as a Computerized Information Systems Auditor at Price Waterhouse. He co-founded BASE Consulting Group in the San Francisco Bay Area, which merged with Knightsbridge Solutions before being acquired by Hewlett-Packard.

A vision outlined in 2012 has carried through to today: The Burgess Institute’s team believes the same skills that make for successful entrepreneurs also make for successful humans. Further, Michigan State University is the destination for students to launch their high-impact, entrepreneurial journeys.

“The Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation empowers students to learn through action,” said Paul Jaques, the institute’s managing director of venture creation. “By providing campus-wide programs, courses, and resources, we’re watching how students have the freedom to test their ideas. They fail, they learn from their mistakes and make decisions about how to refine their processes. Together, we nurture an entrepreneurial mindset, improve empathy skills, and, in many cases, take new ventures to market.”

With the EIR program’s advent, student entrepreneurs can expect a more profound, meaningful experience in creating and launching their startups.

Christopher Sell, a social innovator and the Burgess Institute’s director of alumni and entrepreneur engagement, brings together Spartans from across the nation. Since 2016, Sell has been laying the foundation for entrepreneurial alumni, connecting them with students building startups at Michigan State University. Of the 2020–2021 inaugural cohort, Sell believes, “. . . [w]e couldn’t ask for a more passionate, more dedicated group of Spartans. 2020’s EIR cohort brings accomplished entrepreneurs, innovators, and professionals to the table. These Spartans offer students a diversity of thought, backgrounds, and industry expertise.”

The venture creation process is a challenge, which is why 2020’s inaugural cohort welcomes alumni who demonstrate coaching and advising savvy, not to mention a deep capacity to understand the role and responsibility mentors play in students’ daily lives.

Sell goes on to say, “Across their year with us, EIRs are expected to meet at minimum two hours per week with their mentees. From professional advice to listening and thinking through some of the most challenging problems our students face as creators, these mentors are here to prepare our students for a 21st-century career and economy.”

The EIR selection process focuses on applicants’ track records, availability, and deep commitment to giving back.

“It’s an honor,” says Jasmene Bowdry, who joins this first cohort. Bowdry is a retail strategist, fashion entrepreneur, and founder of SHIFT StyleHouse®, a contemporary clothing boutique for modern renaissance women. “I’m committed to helping our students find their passions and look forward to watching them grow.”

Stacey Marsh, co-founder and former CEO of the successful Flatout Flatbreads also joins the 2020–2021 cohort. “What I find most inspiring about this program is its real-world applications. Its tangibility. Right now, especially, we crave meaningful connections. This program harnesses that desire.”