Artist turned entrepreneur Robert Fishbone will be the keynote speaker for Illinois State University’s Entrepreneurship Day, Friday, April 23, from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Normal.  Business plan and creative idea competitions and workshop sessions with local entrepreneurs will also be featured events.  Activities are free of charge and are designed to help students expand and sharpen their entrepreneurial skills.

Entrepreneurship Day is presented by Illinois State’s Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies and CEO Club.  Information and guidelines for the student business competitions is available at

Fishbone, considered a “crazy idea guru” will speak about the power of entrepreneurship and living your passion at 11:40 a.m.  He is the author of Selling the Scream, which recounts his experiences with starting and growing a successful company known worldwide for edgy products and excellent customer service. His company’s signature product is an inflatable figure based on Edvard Munch’s painting, The Scream.

The 2010 Campus Wide Business Plan Competition will give individual students and student teams the opportunity to present ideas for start-up businesses.  Students will provide an overview of their proposed businesses and details about personnel, finances and marketing.  The plans will be judged by a panel of local entrepreneurs and business professionals and students will receive feedback on their ideas. The first place winner in the competition will receive $500, second place $300, and third place $200.

Students will also get feedback from a panel of local business professionals during the Campus Wide Creative Business Idea Competition.  The competition will give fledgling entrepreneurs the chance to present their ideas for new products or services.  Prizes for the Creative Business Idea Competition will be the same as the Business Plan Competition. Student presentations in both competitions will take place from 9 to11:15 a.m.

Breakout sessions led by successful local entrepreneurs will be held concurrently with the competitions.  The workshops will focus on restaurant ownership and identifying lucrative business opportunities in the marketplace.