The new John A. Schnatter Institute for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise will help establish a campus-wide focus on entrepreneurship, said the chief entrepreneurial officer of the institute.

Michael Goldsby spoke March 30 about the new learning initiatives the institute will implement to increase entrepreneurship in the current century. The talk was part of the Miller College of Business distinguished professor lecture series and was hosted in Cardinal Hall of the L.A. Pittinger Student Center.

The new John A. Schnatter Institute for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise was funded through a joint grant by the Charles Koch Foundation and John "Papa John" Schnatter. According to the grant agreement, $2.17 million of the grant was donated by Schnatter and $1.08 million was from the Charles Koch Foundation.

According to the grant agreement, $2.17 million of the grant was donated by Schnatter and $1.08 million was from the Charles Koch Foundation.

The Charles Koch Foundation was not mentioned at the presentation.

Goldsby was one of the people who pitched the idea of integrating entrepreneurial thinking into the entire Ball State campus to Schnatter.

“[Schnatter] looked around and he said, ‘You know, I’ve been involved with about 20 universities and I've never heard anybody think about this approach (including the whole campus,)’” Goldsby said. “He goes, ‘I love it.’”

Goldsby compared the grant to historic patrons of art.

“Fortunately at Ball State we have a patron much like Florence, Italy had with the Medicis and much like other areas of the world had, and that is John Schnatter,” Goldsby said. “Papa John.”

Throughout the speech, Goldsby described the creative process of entrepreneurship and how it will take place on Ball State’s campus. He said three different programs will be funded by the grant: Launch Indiana, Launch Fishers, and an Entrepreneurial Learning Academy.

For Launch Indiana, the Schnatter Institute will send a team of people to solve a town’s business problems through creative, critical thinking and fixing problems that lie at the base of a town’s economic shortcomings. Goldsby said teams had already worked with Crawfordsville, Indiana, and Washington, Indiana, to help create and maintain jobs. Launch Indiana has a yearly quota of five areas to help.

Launch Fishers is a form of immersive learning for Ball State students. The program matches students to companies in Fishers, Indiana, to help them gain real-world experience.

The Entrepreneurial Learning Academy will accept ten professors to the program and will encourage them to teach their non-business classes with an entrepreneurial spin. In doing so, Goldsby said there will be a focus on entrepreneurial creativity across majors, providing the economy with the thinkers it needs to innovate for the 21st century.

“I don’t know of any other school in the country doing that, and I think it’s going to be very, very powerful,” said Goldsby.

Senior accounting major Andrew Beemer attended the talk. He said the most important takeaway from the speech was the idea of creativity in business.

“If we really look and try to be innovative, we can do some amazing things,” Beemer said.

Another facet of the Entrepreneurial Learning Academy is that it will encourage leaders of Ball State, like interim president Terry King, to see educational funds in a new way, Goldsby said.

“I can tell you that every single department and every single professor and every single center, face it, deserves more money,” Goldsby said. “Maybe it doesn’t require more money. Maybe it’s just moving something around or putting people working on different problems. Or maybe it’s just offering something that we’ve never done before.”

Goldsby said this approach was practiced with the English department and the Honors College at Ball State, and said that they have seen good results.