AU seniors win $15,000 entrepreneur award

Wed, 2007-05-02 14:02 -- univcomm
May 2, 2007

Anderson University seniors Colin Wiens and Drew Runion recently won a $15,000 award during the 2007 INvision AU Entrepreneur Award Competition. With the award, the students intend to invest in their winning business proposal called adpur. The goal of adpur is to become the premier provider of data collection, analysis and presentation for the teen market in the United States. In the first two years of operation, adpur will market primarily to enrollment management departments at Christian universities.

Wiens, a native of Orlando, Fla., is majoring in Spanish and Marketing with a concentration in global business while Runion, a native of Columbus, Ind., is majoring in Marketing with a concentration in marketing communications. Both Wiens and Runion plan to pursue their masters in business administration through the Falls School of Business Residential MBA program at the Flagship Education Center.

“The Entrepreneur Award Competition is designed to provide recognition and start-up business funding for AU students interested in starting their own business in the Anderson area,” says Maryann Coty, director of INvision AU. “The competition was open to all junior and senior students across campus. Students participating in this year’s competition represented majors ranging from marketing, accounting and computer science.”

INvision AU collaborates with AU programs, students, local government entities, and Indiana businesses in creating in-state job opportunities for AU graduates. Retention studies demonstrate that experiential learning is highly correlated with persistence to graduation. Furthermore, students who have engaged in deliberate outreach and built strong relationships with Indiana businesses are more likely to find their first job in Indiana, thereby increasing the state’s skilled labor pool and effectively combating Indiana’s brain drain. Under the program, Anderson University will implement a set of strategic initiatives organized through INvision AU. Specific program components include:

Anderson University received $750,000 in 2003 from Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment, Inc., for a proposal to provide students more opportunities and incentives to keep them in Indiana upon graduation. The grant came from the Endowment’s “Initiative to Promote Opportunity through Educational Collaborations.”

INvision AU is an education-based collaboration among Anderson University and job-creating entities, contributing directly to Indiana’s innovation capacity and to creating “knowledge jobs.” The activities and initiatives are also intended to strengthen and extend programs and relationships that enable Anderson University graduates to find highly desirable jobs in Indiana. For more information about INvision AU, visit the Web site at

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2008, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the fourth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 60 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.

  • INvision Alumni. A network of more than 600 AU MBA graduates, 90 percent of whom work in Indiana, will serve as a resource for providing internships and job opportunities for AU students.
  • INvision Internships Alliance. This collaboration between local businesses and AU students will create new internships in which students will receive invaluable hands-on learning experiences.
  • INvision Community Team. A team of three students each summer will be supported to conduct an economic “Quality of Life Index” for a small Indiana town that lacks the resources for the process.
  • SIFE INvision Awards. INvision AU will conduct an annual competition to support a local project undertaken by an AU team participating in SIFE, an international program promoting free enterprise.
  • INvision Fellowships. Each year the program will provide two one-year fellowships, awarded competitively to a student/company team proposing a plan in which the student will have a major business development opportunity within the company.
  • INvision Entrepreneurs. The program will provide start-up business funding for the winning business plan submitted by an AU junior or senior who plans to start a new business in Anderson.