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What We Are Doing

COBA Events
2012-2013 Academic Year
Event Description Event Time Contact Information
Border Economics, Development and Entrepreneurship Symposium (BEDES) BEDES brings together UTPA students, researchers from the U.S. and Mexico, and the local community to present and discuss scholarly research focusing on border economics and entrepreneurship.
BEDES is a two day event. Day 1 focuses on scholarly research presentations. Day two is community day, a forum for business leaders to discuss topics important to the economy of the border region. During BEDES the top students in economics and finance are recognized by the faculty during the Student VIP ceremony. There is also a poster session for students of the econometrics class to present their research.
November 29-30, 2012 Jorge Vidal, Department of Economics & Finance, jvidal@utpa.edu
Great BizIdea Showdown This event encourages students to create innovative ideas for a potential entrepreneurial venture. Students prepare tabletop posters or prototypes of their business idea and present them to judges and others during a four hour session in the CoBA hallways. The ideas with the most votes formally present their idea to a panel of judges (selected from community entrepreneurs) during an evening awards presentation ceremony. Winners are awarded cash prizes totaling $3,000. November 14, 2012 COBA E-Cluster, John Sargent, jsargent@utpa.edu
BizFest - Youth Entrepreneurship and Leadership Workshop This event encourages area high school students to learn about entrepreneurship and develop new venture creation and presentation skills. High school students participate in a three day workshop where they hear from community leaders, engage in a business simulation, and prepare a business plan. Day three is spent with the semi-final and final round business plan competition with the winners going on to compete at the national BizFest competition. This event is supported by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Annually during Summer John Sargent, jsargent@utpa.edu
Entrepreneurship Speaker Series The purpose of this event is to expose our students to successful entrepreneurs and create an interactive environment where students learn the practical challenges and triumph of successful entrepreneurs. During the Spring semester we invite 5 to 6 entrepreneurs to campus. The speaker series is open to the entire university community. Annually during Spring semester John Sargent, jsargent@utpa.edu
Financial planning, Insurance and Real Estate (F.I.R.E) Symposium This event is organized in order to create awareness among COBA’s students on the potential career opportunities in the FIRE areas (particularly Insurance and Financial planning). Speakers from firms in the FIRE area discuss various career opportunities. Also a small business development symposium is presented where speakers from the FIRE areas hold a panel discussion on a specific topic of interest to the small business community. In addition, a community project that helps families and individuals improve their financial situation and understand risks and perils that may keep them from achieving their financial goals. April 4th 2013 Steve Lovell, klovell@utpa.edu
Business Plan Contest Encourage students to develop an entrepreneurial mindset through preparing and presenting a business plan. Students prepare a business plan that details an entrepreneurial idea and how this idea can be transformed in to a viable business. Students then compete in a semifinal and a final round to a group of external judges. Winners are awarded cash prizes totaling $3,000. Mid-April, 2013 John Sargent, jsargent@utpa.edu
Club at Cimarron/UTPA Mentors Program Facilitate the development of high potential UTPA students through pairing them with community leaders. High potential UTPA students meet with community leaders in their discipline four times during the Fall semester. Meetings are held at the Club at Cimarron and are sponsored by the Board of Directors of the Club. Students and mentors also engage in a shadowing exercise as well as another social activity. Fall semester, 2012 John Sargent, jsargent@utpa.edu
Business Consulting Class with RGV Non-Profits Students learn about the consulting process and engage in a real time consulting assignment with a RGV non-profit. Students learn about the consulting process and develop those skills through working with a RGV non-profit. Clients have included Rio Bravo Ministries, the RGV Food Bank, Vamos, and the Pharr Literacy Center Every long semester Jody Nelsen, jnelsen@utpa.edu
CEO Civic Engagement Project with Rio Bravo Ministries The Collegiate Entrepreneurship Organization has formally adopted Rio Bravo Ministries as its formal civic engagement project. CEO students sponsor a Giving Tree in the Student Union where members of the UTPA community are able to donate toys to give to Rio Bravo Ministry orphans at Christmas. November, December, 2012 John Sargent, jsargent@utpa.edu