Thursday, July 7, 2016

Kelley Entrepreneurship and Innovation Student, Chris Hanahan, Turned his Passion into a Company

Chris grew up in Wisconsin and moved to San Diego in 1998 with about $400 in his wallet and without a car. He started his business on an idea that he could sell two extra tickets to pay for his own, and over 10 years later it has grown into a wild success. His passion and interest in music and sports has led him to attend over 300 events. His ticket reselling business buys large blocks of inventory for professional sports events and resells them on the internet through three aggregator websites
"I always wanted to be an entrepreneur and when I had the opportunity I went for it".
Please describe your business and how it started.
I wanted to see the Green Bay Packers play and tickets were sold out. I really wanted to go to the game so ended up figuring out some technical wizardry that enabled me to buy tickets for face value. I ended up buying additional seats and thought I could sell them and ended up making some money. Next year I kept buying more tickets and selling them while I kept my day job as an analyst. Two years later, in 2005 I quit my job to focus on growing my business, which has been profitable since day one.

Why did you decide to apply for the MS in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Kelley? 
I am a self-taught entrepreneur who started with a few hundred dollars in capital and parlayed it into a multi-million dollar business. While I have learned a lot in this process, I realize there are a lot of gaps in my education and viewed the MSEI program as a way to not only become a better entrepreneur, but also to launch another business. Viewing entrepreneurship from an academic standpoint, I was excited to learn a structured process for venture evaluation and creation. I wasn’t aware that IU had such a strong reputation in entrepreneurship, and the combination of online classes with in person residences that culminate in pitching your business idea sounded like a great challenge to me. It would change the mindset of "I will work on that idea tomorrow" to "I have to be ready to pitch this in November", which is sort of like a forced accountability mechanism. There rarely is a better time to do something than today... 

How do you balance work and life as a Kelley Direct student? 
It’s been a culture shock. I organize my time in the morning by analyzing the assignments and reading and plan my day around it. For me, the remote function that Kelley Direct offers and being able to watch a class either live or after the fact is one of the best aspects of learning. I have been able to work on my assignments from all over the world; it has not been easy but certainly doable. 

Please describe your experience at Kelley School. 
At the beginning it was a challenge while I was trying to figure out how to succeed at Kelley as well as contemplating my new venture and how it fit within the degree requirements. Now I see the momentum and the light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve also felt very supported by the staff and school since the beginning and I really do feel like the professors care about my success as a student.
I’ve had a couple of “aha” moments where I felt like my classes have paid for themselves by strategies I learned and now employ in my business. The first one, is learning a systematic way to approach the venture creation process from Matt Rubin and knowing that I can use the template for any future business idea. The second is the network as I didn’t have that when I started my business and it is widespread. 

How was your experience at Kelley Connect Week? 
It was great, I wish we had more opportunities for connecting in person. It is an overwhelming experience due to the class workload and by the end of the week my brain was caput. I enjoyed getting to know my cohort. 

What advice would you give to someone about to experience entrepreneurship? 
Don't be afraid to try and fail at a business, but start small first. Work on it and nurture the business until you determine if it is viable or not.  Don't risk anything you'd regret losing. Trust yourself but also remember you do not know everything: ask others for help and get a mentor! Be a voracious reader and ask lots of questions. Know yourself and what your strengths and limitations are, and surround yourself with people who complement your limitations. 
Being an entrepreneur is not all about fancy cars or life being easy. You have to sacrifice because you are working towards your goal and the potential rewards are what makes it worth it.
”Follow your passion” you have to be very disciplined, have focus, stubborn, tenacious and be willing to give something up in order to receive a bigger reward.

About Chris Hanahan

Chris Hanahan graduated with a BA in Organizational Leadership from Chapman University. He is currently enrolled at Indiana University’s Master of Science Degree program in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, with an expected graduation date in late 2016. An active member of the Entrepreneur’s Organization, he has held many volunteer positions including the Global Chair for the Accelerator program. Founder at A List Tickets, a thriving enterprise that specializes in re-selling sports tickets online.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Kelley MBA Students Put Their Skin in the Game as Healthcare Consultants for the Moffitt Cancer Center

Four online MBA student teams from all over the U.S. lead by Professor Shannon Threlked from the Kelley School’s Bloomington campus just returned to their homes after spending a weekend together in Tampa, Florida. Two Kelley faculty coaches, Sam Misar and John York, joined them at the Moffitt Cancer Center where they met the center’s business leaders including COO Jack Kolosky, who leads this project for the center.

Each of the four student teams were tasked with addressing a specific problem or evaluating a business opportunity for the center, and this weekend trip was the students’ chance to meet their clients in-person, tour the facility, and network with Moffitt’s leadership team. The students especially appreciated the opportunity to meet face-to-face and took the time to strengthen their relationships with classmates as well. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

7 Insights About Using Analytics to Better Understand and Improve Your Marketing

The Institute for Business Analytics at the Kelley School organized the Kelley Forum on Marketing Analytics to bring MBA and MS in Business Analytics students – such as my Kelley Direct classmates and myself – together with Kelley faculty and marketing analytics experts from all over the country in Bloomington, Indiana to share ideas and to network. Executive Associate Dean Ash Soni made a great observation about the significance of the event to open the forum, “When we can get 100 people together at 8 a.m. on a Friday morning to discuss analytics, you know we’ve come a long way in this field.”

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Gaining a Competitive Edge in China: An On-the-Ground Perspective

By Christopher Reid

In October 2015, I traveled to Beijing along with thirteen fellow online MBA students from Kelley Direct to gain a better appreciation of how to successfully do business in China. This in-person portion of the Accelerating Global Immersion Leadership Education (AGILE) program represented the final module for a nine-week course focused on international business strategy; the lessons from the classroom were reinforced through a series of lectures at Peking University and numerous company visits across the city. 
One of the most impressive things about Beijing (and China in general) was the spirit of entrepreneurship and growth coming from everyone we met. Contrary to our expectations of the Chinese business environment being highly controlled and inefficient, we instead found ourselves in a country where the default mindset was that anything was possible.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Best Part of Getting My Online MBA was Learning How to KISS

by Ben Pollack

I know what you’re probably thinking, you’re about to read a juicy story about how an online MBA student learned to kiss in grad school. Sorry to disappoint, but this post focuses on the more academic side of things. KISS, a common acronym in business, is short for Keep it Short & Simple. In other words, it means being succinct and to the point in your communication.

Learning how to KISS is possibly the most valuable skill I learned while getting my MBA through Indiana University's Kelley Direct Program. Since graduation a little over a year ago, I’ve been reflecting on what lessons stood out and have helped accelerate my professional growth & development. It is clear that being able to effectively communicate with my colleagues what I am thinking, doing, and have planned has become an invaluable asset as well as enabled me to efficiently achieve my business goals.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

How an Online MBA Strategy Course Helped Student Kash Faheem Land a Job with Apple

Developing Strategic Capabilities (C562) is one of our online MBA students’ final courses. It brings together the concepts from all the previous classes and enables the students to apply what they learned in practical way. Students form groups of four or five and pick a strategic business unit (SBU) of a publicly traded company they want to investigate for the term. The student groups are tasked with delivering four written reports that identify and analyze the company’s core values, corporate structure, long and short-term goals, financial performance, and competitive landscape among many other metrics. Then in their final deliverable, they provide their recommendations for the company. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

10 Ways to Make the Most of Your Next Networking Event

By Mike Schmeckebier

Networking events are an essential part of any job search and career management in general. Some people are naturals at navigating these events and come out with five great leads and maybe a new poker group. But for others, these functions come with lots of anxiety and are full of awkward moments and monotonous small talk.