Are you an aspiring entrepreneur?

CCBC’s Center for Business Innovation is here to increase your success, sustain your involvement, and build a strong network of support for CCBC students and alumni aspiring to become small business owners through various program activities.

Available programs to help start your business

Business Plan Competition - $62,500 awarded to top 6 winners

Turn your idea into a winning plan and earn seed money.

The Annual Business Plan Competition is open to students and alumni of CCBC who are interested in turning their idea for a new product or service into a business.

Have an idea for a new product, service or business? Submit your business plan to CCBC’s Center for Business Innovation Annual Business Plan Competition (BPC) and you could win up to $20,000 in seed money. A total of $62,500 in seed money will be award to the top 6 winners. The purpose of the competition is to encourage new businesses. The competition is designed to promote start-up ideas and economic development among CCBC students and alumni with the support of faculty and local entrepreneurs. The winners are also eligible to participate in the Center for Business Innovation (CBI) incubation network that provides support in the areas of marketing and sales, website development, technology, accounting, human resources, management as well as access to investors and creditors, which can be invaluable for any start-up.

Learn more about the Business Plan Competition » 

Elite 10 Accelerator Program

Center for Business Innovation’s Elite 10 Accelerator Program is available by invitation-only to the top 10 companies that have been part of CCBC's Business Plan and Pitch Competitions. The purpose of the Elite 10 Accelerator Program is to support early-stage, growth-driven companies through education, mentoring, and financing as they continue to take their business to the next level.

Members work with one of the area's top business minds each month as a group and they also receive one-one-one coaching. Costs for similar accelerator programs run about $20,000, but thanks to the generous support from the Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation, the Elite 10 Accelerator Program is provided at no charge. In addition, members receive a grant for their successful participation to help them fund new initiatives.

Small Business Ownership program – “Mini-MBA”

A 12-session series covers a broad range of subjects critical to the success and sustainability of a new or existing business venture. Experienced business professionals will guide students as they explore topics such as: Business Management Basics, Effective Sales & Marketing Strategies, Fundamentals of Business Law, Accounting and Bookkeeping Principles, and much more. Completion of this program makes you eligible to participate in our annual business plan competition.


Think and Grow Seminar Series – 60-minute topical workshops

The Center for Business Innovation will feature a series of 60-minute topical workshops with an opportunity for participants to network and learn from experts in the entrepreneurial world. Past topics include Digital & Social Media Marketing, Intellectual Property in Entrepreneurship and Communicate with Charisma, Clarity and Compassion.

Business Plan workshops

Attend invitation-only, free workshops to help you develop a strategic plan, marketing plan, and financial & legal plan – the elements of a viable business plan. These workshops help you develop a business plan to compete in our annual business plan if interested. There is no obligation to participate in our business plan competition. To register and be invited, you will need to complete an “intent to participate” registration form. See Business Plan Competition for further details.

Entrepreneurship Classes

Earn credits and learn how to launch a business.

In addition to offering ACBSP accredited business and management courses, CCBC also offers a unique course, MNGT 216, that allows students to serve as consultants to a start-up so they can apply the principles and concepts in the classroom to a real business.

Students earn 3 credits in this unique elective. There are no exams and there are no textbooks. Instead, students evaluate each other's performance as they work in teams to help a business get started. Leading the students is Associate Professor Dennis Sullivan, who has launched more than 100 products and businesses in his career.

Why Entrepreneurship?

In nearly all of our business studies classes at CCBC, more than half of our students say they would like to start a business someday. National research supports this trend. Among Gen Y students, those between 18 and 29, the third-most common college major is “entrepreneurial studies,” according to

A Kauffman Foundation report adds that there are now 2,335 full-time undergraduate and graduate programs in the U.S. to meet the growing demand for students interested in studying entrepreneurship. It’s not crazy to think that businesses can be started while taking college classes or soon afterwards.

Google, Time, Reddit, Insomnia Cookies, Fed Ex, Microsoft, Dell and Facebook were all started by their founders while still in college. All started as small businesses. In fact, 89.3% of all U.S. businesses employ less than 20 people, according to the United States Census Bureau. In Maryland, 85.2% of businesses have less than 20 employees.

Learning how to launch a product or idea is a skill that is in high demand today. One out of three employers are looking for employees who have a background in entrepreneurship, according to a survey by Experience Inc.

Business Mentorship

Mentor other entrepreneurs. Receive mentoring from entrepreneurs.

If the greatest athletes and most successful CEOs need coaches, a new business owner certainly could benefit from a mentor too. That's why participants in the Annual Business Plan Competition are matched with business owners who can help guide them and advise as they work on their business plans. Call it our secret sauce. It's an unique opportunity for participants to get valuable advice from other entrepreneurs and for business owners to share their unique experiences and passion for business.

Mentors who have served as volunteers to entrepreneurs include:
  • Laurence Aaronson, Professor Emeritus, CCBC
  • Oswaldo Acosta, President and CEO, City First Enterprises
  • Eli Adams, General Manager, Residence Inn at Marriott
  • Ann C. Ansel, CRPC, President, Redmer Financial Group
  • Beth Baunoch, Assistant Professor, MCOM, CCBC
  • John Bowen, CPA, Assistant Professor, Accounting, CCBC
  • Vernon Brokke Sr., Owner and Coach, The Growth Coach
  • James Bryant, Assoc. Professor & Coordinator of Accounting, CCBC
  • Paul Coakley, Professor Emeritus, former Chair of Business Studies, CCBC
  • Steven Dembo, Adjunct Professor, School of Art & Comm., CCBC
  • David Gnibus, Adjunct Faculty, Student Services, CCBC
  • LaTanya Eggleston, Asst. Professor, Associate Certified Coach, AACC
  • Tim Faith, Esq., Associate Professor, Legal, CCBC
  • Will Ferguson, Senior Business Broker, Baltimore Washington Business Brokerage LLC.
  • Robert Frey, Vice President, The Columbia Bank
  • Jennifer Funn, Regional Director-Balto. City/Balto. Co. - MD SBDC
  • Jennifer Joyner, Assistant Professor & Coordinator of Economics, CCBC
  • Thomas Kunkel, Adjunct Faculty, Business & Management, CCBC
  • Chip Lambertson, Vice President, Cost & Schedule Group, The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company
  • Leonard R. Lee, Business Coach/Adjunct Instructor, CCBC
  • Kelly Lemons, Ed.D., Associate Professor, Accounting, CCBC
  • Aleasha Lewis, Owner, EarthTouch Healing Arts
  • Donna Mandl, M.A., J.D., Department Chair, Legal, CCBC
  • Chris McDonell, President & CEO, McDonell Consulting Group, an authorized licensee of Sadler Training
  • Sean J. McEvoy, Assistant Commissioner - Public Policy and Consumer Services, Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation, DLLR
  • Natasha Muhammad, Executive Director, EYE for Change
  • Omar S. Muhammad, Director, Entrepreneurial Development & Assistance Center (EDAC), Earl G. Graves School of Bus & Management, Morgan State University
  • Tariq Najee-ullah, Registered Patent Agent, Patent Insider
  • Veronica Noone, Assistant Professor, School of Technology, Art & Design, CCBC
  • Michael D. Oliver, Esq., Oliver & Grimsley LLC
  • William Osborne, Assistant Professor, CCBC
  • Jean-Luc Park, Senior Director, Social Impact Funds, MD Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) 
  • Sheryl Parks, MSF, CFP, Associate Professor, Financial, CCBC
  • Darren M. Peyton, Assistant Regional Director, Consultant, SBDC Northern Region
  • Wendi Rea, Finance Manager, General Motors
  • Rafael E. Reyes, Technical Service Director, Toyota
  • Edward Roberts, Outreach & Recruitment Coordinator, CCBC
  • Takia Ross, Business Owner, Accessmatized LLC
  • Yanky Schorr, Vice President, Residential Title & Escrow Company
  • Keith & Rebecca Klein Scott, CEOs, TALLsmall Productions LLC
  • Dan & Maude Swearingen, Owners, Fully Promoted Arbutus
  • Jay Whitelock, Associate Professor, Finance Department, CCBC
  • Aneka Winstead, Owner, WATT Business Solutions
  • Nancy Zimmerman, Professor, Business Studies, CCBC

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Business Plan Competition

Eligible CCBC students and alumni are invited to participate in the annual Business Plan Competition. Top six winners can earn a total of $62,500 in seed money to launch their idea or grow their business.

B’more Bold Business Conference

Promo image for the Be more bold business conference on June 11, 2021Big, Bold Solutions for Baltimore-area start-ups and growth companies. Get inspiration & practical guidance to help you lead your business & grow!

Monday, June 12, 2023
8:00 a.m. — 5:00 p.m.

Learn more »