Posted tagged ‘entrepreneurship’

Reflections of the Inaugural Class

December 10, 2009

This fall is a special quarter for JP Catholic. The first senior class will make history by graduating on December 12th from the first Catholic University built in Southern California in the last 38 years. The seniors have played a pivotal role in JP Catholic’s growth these last three years. Their example in embracing JP Catholic’s mission to Impact Culture for Christ has set the tone and culture of the school for all subsequent classes.

For many of the seniors, coming to JP Catholic in the fall of 2006 was a leap of faith. Steve Marshall, a graduating senior and class Valedictorian, was so taken by the mission of the school and its unique programs that he jumped into the inaugural class a month before the start of school. “I was one of the students who attended sight unseen,” Steve said. “It was a whirlwind! I thought it would be a miracle if I actually made it. It was one month between learning about it, leaving my native Missouri, and touching down in San Diego, a place I had never been before.” Most of Steve’s classmates had visited campus, but were undaunted by its newness. Graduating senior Chris Lane from Temecula, California reflected on his decision to come, “I always saw coming to a new school as kind of cool. What better way to get an entrepreneurial education than to be at a school that is entrepreneurial itself!”

JP Catholic’s unique mission to Impact Culture for Christ through the intersection of entrepreneurial business, media, and technology was the primary motivating factor for the seniors. “I was really interested in broadening my horizons especially regarding Entertainment Media first of all,” says student graduation speaker Matthew Salisbury, “and second of all getting an education that was really authentically Catholic.” Matt has taken the Mission seriously, becoming the show runner for a new JP Catholic web series, a scripted reality show that focuses on three women facing crisis pregnancies to be launched on January 22nd on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Matt has found the practical skills and faith formation he needed to deliver on his dream of bringing mainstream audiences closer to truth through compelling entertainment. He will graduate with several completed screenplays, extensive show running experience, and even a graphic novel under his belt. “It’s been really great,” Matt reflects, “to see us growing from an entirely new school to executing a 16 episode web series in a brand new sound stage.”

On the business side, the opportunity to Impact Culture through entrepreneurship was what drew talented students like Justin Wilga. “The business curriculum,” Justin says, “has really enabled us to build a company of our dreams and to make a positive impact in culture. It’s been awesome to be exposed to every critical aspect of launching a business, and have the confidence that we can do it.” Justin’s business, Creative Rhetoric, is a design and marketing company that focuses on helping businesses and non-profits tell their story more effectively. They have earned $3,000 this past quarter, and have $70,000 of work in the pipeline for after graduation. Justin’s confidence is not unwarranted. He has had real experience of knowing what it takes to gain and keep clients under the experienced mentorship of the faculty at JP Catholic.

One of the things that has most impressed the class of 2009 is how the school has grown over the course of 3 ½ years. “The school has grown by leaps and bounds,” says Steve Marshall. “Tim [Evans] and I made the first film ever here at JP Catholic in the first quarter of 2006, and that was before we had cameras! Now it’s nice to see fifteen sets of HD cameras, lighting and sound equipment, and a brand new sound stage downstairs. It was mind blowing how quickly we got all of that.” Mollie O’Hare, winner of the Impacting Culture Award, noticed how the school is growing not only academically, but also spiritually, “I think it’s really grown in its spirit through the last three and a half years. Our Scripture and liberal arts classes have really made a difference; we’ve really matured as people to the point which we can actually put JP Catholic’s mission into action.”

On December 12th, the new graduates will go out into the world to make an impact. When they do that, they’ll take along friendships that will last a lifetime. “Getting to know the people at the school has just been so great.” Mollie O’Hare states, “There are so many talented, creative minds. I’m just honored to be part of it all, and I’m just privileged that I was able to get to know these people for the time I’ve been here, so thank God for that.”


Creative Thinking

May 18, 2009

ideabulbsThinking outside the box is probably one of the hardest and most rewarding things you can do. I’m taking a marketing class, and as a final project I have to make a marketing plan on my business idea (which I don’t have). For me, this exercise is going to need a ton of creative thinking. I need to think up a way to make money doing or selling something that I’m passionate about. I had an idea last quarter, if you read my posts you’ve heard of it, but I found that its flaws. My idea was to start a German pastry café chain; I wanted to do the same thing Starbucks with coffee, only with the European pastry. The Idea had two huge problems:

1)      Coffee is addictive, pastries are not.

2)      People drink coffee every day, and justify it with antioxidants. People can only eat so many pastries

So, it’s back to the drawing board for me. I’m a big believer in method, if I can find a way to come up with ideas one after another it’s just a matter of time before I find the right one. If you have any ideas on how to come up with ideas, please comment!! Right now I’m going to focus on a market, and find what they want most. Then I’ll just fill the need, but if you have a better way of going about finding ideas, I’d love to hear them!!

Meet Prof. Dominic Iocco – Part 1

May 14, 2009

Welcome to our new Ask a Professor video series!  We invite you to watch Prof. Iocco’s kickoff video and ask questions in our blog’s comment box.

To read Prof. Iocco’s biography: click here.

For more about our new Ask a Professor video series: click here.

New Year… New Company!

April 17, 2009

We had our second team meeting of the new year for our launch pad business. It was at this meeting that we finally reached an agreement on the company name. Basically we are a hybrid between a design and marketing company with a specific focus on business presentations. Some of the names we tossed around were Bosco Design, Cupertino Design, and Renew Creative along with many others. After a few, heated discussions, 23 e-mails, and some random polling in the hallways we settled on the name Rhetoric.

While we were able to come to a consenus on the name Rhetoric, we are still discussing the actual company name (i.e. Rhetoric Creative, Creative Rhetoric, Rhetoric etc. etc.). After about an hour of discussions we decided that at this stage in the process there are bigger fish to fry so we tabled the discussion and bought three domain names that we could possibly use with the name Rhetoric.

Senior Launch Pad: 9 Months Till Launch

April 17, 2009

The inaugural class of JP Catholic has  9 months till graduation. That simple fact is both very exciting and scary. We are half way done with the Launch Pad experience. The cool thing is the Launch Pad exists for your use even after you graduate. You still can use the schools resources to launch your company. So the senior class has transitioned from a lecture-workshop based format to an independent study format. We now have gone beyond the space and time of a classroom business. We have to check-in with our adviser every week.  The sole burden rests on our shoulders now. We all have company milestones we commit to and get them approved. Our grade is based on the execution of those milestones. So essentially we are making our own curriculum. We do this through building and operating our own business, which according to most is the best and only way to actually learn business.

To update on some of the businesses: We have a production company focusing on webisodes, another production company focusing on full-length features, a social network that services film students, a design firm focusing on creative marketing and advertising for businesses and non-profits, a production company focusing on cartoons, a youth soccer league, an indie theater with an upscale twist, a production company focusing on hotly-debated political issues, and an online web portal for all things Catholic.

Rob Long on New Media

March 3, 2009


Rob Long, the former executive producer of Cheers, came and gave a talk a few weeks ago.  His talk was about the opportunity that exists for young entrepreneurs in the New Media market space.

The media landscape is in a turbulent state of flux. In the old days of mass culture, people would sit and watch TV passively. Producers could count on having an audience at least until the end of a show; in the days before the remote control, the studios’ audience probably wouldn’t even change the channel during the commercials. After the clicker, producers started having to compete for the audience’s attention with other shows on different channels and in the same time slots. Then came TIVO, which give the audience the forbidden fruit, the ability to fast forward through commercials.  The exploding popularity of media delivered over the internet and cell phone devices has even further diminished the power of TV advertising.


The change that is happening right now is a return to the entertainment patterns of the past. Two-hundred years ago people would play games, read, listen to music, chat, or work in the evening.  In the past 60 years,  people sat in a dark room and stared at a screen. Long made the point that our entertainment is turning back to what it has been throughout history. People are chatting over the internet, sharing music, playing video games, reading blogs, and maybe doing some work on the computer. YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and other New Media bring this change back in entertainment on a massive scale since you can now reach the world in an instant.  Television producers are seeing people interact on these new media platforms while watching TV, or maybe even instead of watching TV. Commercials are less effective because the audience is not engaged in watching the show; they are engaged in a facebook application, YouTube, or some other form of New Media. New Media is a problem for studios, they don’t know how to make money off of it– no one does. The playing field is level because there are no experts and the field is so new. We have the same chance at finding out how to make money on New Media that the studios do. In fact we have an edge because we are the customer! The future of business in entertainment is free game, it is our job to take find a way to make the money. Here at JP Catholic we have the media skill, we have the business knowledge, next year we will have computer science expertise. As we combine our efforts I’m sure we’ll find the answer.

February 17, 2009

Wednesday, February 11 2009 marked a significant day for the business. Junior business students Justin Wilga, Chris Lane, Collin Clark, and I underwent the discernment assessment of whether or not to launch our full-service laundry business with delivery. is a website portal in where people log-on to register a laundry pick-up day – we then pick-up, wash, dry, fold and deliver the customers’ laundry the next day to their front door. On Wednesday, business student Collin Clark and I went around Legacy Apartment complex putting up door-tags in an attempt to directly advertise to potential customers. The door–tag color scheme depicts a clean blue and soft orange with an ad statement that reads “Can’t Do Your Laundry This Week? We Can!” quickly followed with customer instructions on how to receive a free trial valued at $25.

It took roughly a month to complete the door-tags, and by applying marketing skills we learned in class, we felt confident regarding our marketing strategy. Putting up the door-tags was a thrilling experience – taking the next big step in trying to get our business idea off the ground by offering a free-trial offer to determine whether people respond to our full-service laundry business, marked a unique real-world learning experience. That’s one of the unique advantages of going to John Paul the Great Catholic University. At JP Catholic homework assignments are intertwined with launching your business. Unlike other schools where you read off business books, JP Catholic courses are laced with launching your business, so that instead of learning by reading, you learn by doing.

My business team feels confident about our business idea and knows it has huge potential. However, due to the current economic downturn the service business industry is greatly suffering – people are beginning to do things on their own to save money. Nevertheless, we recognize the current economic crisis but are not completely discouraged by it. With the data we collect from running this free-trial offer we will decide whether or not to continue with this business idea or put it on hold, for now.

Built by the skills we learned in our Website Design and Build class, feel free to check out our up and running website: