Hiram College

At Hiram, students learn through experiences and opportunities. The Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship provides just that with the College’s Fireside Chats. On Wednesday evenings, students, faculty, and staff are given the opportunity to hear the stories of local entrepreneurs and engage in stimulating conversations about successes, challenges, and plans for the future.

All Fireside Chats begin at 7 p.m. in East Hall, home of the Entrepreneurship Residential Learning Community. Upcoming events are listed below.


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The Code to Success! with Mel McGee, Founder and CEO, We Can Code It.

A software engineer with over 20 years of professional experience, Mel McGee’s love of cutting-edge computing has not gone unnoticed; she was recently named one of Crain’s Cleveland Business’ Notable Women in Technology 2018. Her focus combines utilizing best practices in the latest tech with mentorship and training. Her organization, We Can Code IT, offers accelerated training in software and web development through coding boot camps in Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Come hear how she is helping build Cleveland’s tech talent!


Wednesday, January 23, 2019

The Sweet Taste of Success! with Ethan Holmes, Founder & CEO, Holmes Made Food, LLC

At the age of 15, inspired by a book and armed with his grandfather’s applesauce recipe, Ethan launched his dream of being an entrepreneur. He attended Hiram College where he studied business management and entrepreneurship at Hiram College and launched his business in 2014. Today, Holmes Mouthwatering Applesauce is sold at over 200 locations, including Heinens, Target, Acme Fresh Market, Marcs, Giant Eagle Market District, Whole Foods, and many more! Ethan has been featured in Black Enterprise Magazine, The Plain Dealer, FOX 8 News, PBS, and more. Come hear how Ethan is building his applesauce empire.


Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Welcome to the Good Life! with Ryan Florio, Founder and President, Inca Tea, LLC.

Inca Tea’s story is that of three adventurous friends, a winding Peruvian mountain trail, 10 days, 16,000 feet, 28-degree weather and an amazing tea recipe. The experience and the magical tea concoction stayed with Ryan so strongly that in returning home to the U.S., he brought with him the dream of Inca Tea. Ryan’s Inca Tea company specializes in exclusive teas derived from an ancient Incan recipe with 1,000 years of tradition that uses antioxidant-rich purple corn. Come hear Ryan’s inspiring story.


Wednesday, February 6, 2019

A Hot Entrepreneurial Side-Hustle! with Garrett Munro, Creator and Founder, Sauna Rocket.  Instructional designer by day at Hiram College, entrepreneur by night. Garrett’s love for the positive health benefits of a good sauna, led him to design, source, and deliver a new product to Amazon Prime that sold out in 14 days.  Garrett will go over how to use a combination of digital tools and entrepreneurial mindsets to mitigate risk and assess feasibility.  He will also discuss how the lean business model helped start the company for under $10,000.  Come hear Garrett share his entrepreneurial story!


Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The Sky’s the Limit! with Anne Skoch, Founder and CEO, Anne Cate.

Anne, a recent graduate of Kent State University and a Cleveland girl with a passion for creating, launched Anne Cate, a made in America accessories boutique specializing in skyline silhouette purses and pillows, while still a student. Founded in 2016, the Anne Cate skyline collection now features 80+ hand designed skylines of cities around the word! Every product is more than just a purse or pillow – it is a story. Come hear Anne share her entrepreneurial story!


Wednesday, February 27, 2019

A new Twist on an Old Recipe! with Drew Anderson, Co-Founder, Cleveland Kraut, Inc.

Over beers with his brother-in-law Luke, Drew discovered that they both had been making and experimenting with their own sauerkraut recipes. Being a couple twenty something young professionals, and along with Drew’s brother Mac, they saw this as a potentially delicious opportunity. It took a year of fine-tuning before they were ready to launch their naturally fermented sauerkrauts. Currently, Cleveland Kraut can be found in 500 stores across 20 states. Come hear how a love of his family heritage and hometown ethnic foods motivated Drew and his partners to become the Kings of Kraut!


Wednesday, March 13, 2019

A Honey of an Idea! with Brent Wesley, Founder and CEO, Akron Honey Company.

As a citizen of Akron, Wesley began buying blighted vacant lots and transforming them into apiaries all around the city. When people began hearing of his varietal urban honey and passion for creating a better city, they began searching for ways to get their own jar of urban gold.   At that moment, Wesley named the jars “Akron Honey”, and his business took flight.  Beginning with a passion to develop his neighborhood, a vacant city lot, and some honeybees, Wesley harvests his local urban honey to create incredible foods. Come hear Wesley’s story and what all the buzz is about!


Wednesday, March 27, 2019

The Power of Toys, Technology and a Creative Mind! with Michael Hickox, Creator, Michael Hickox Films

At age 13, Michael began making stop motion videos using all sorts of materials. With the new creation of YouTube, he shared his videos with the public and his viewership began to grow.  In 2009, when he noticed that his viewers were particularly interested in his LEGO® animation videos, he started creating LEGO® stop motion videos exclusively. Michael’s animation combines building, storytelling, patience, and editing. Come hear Michael’s story of playing with toys to make a living with them!


Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Making the Most with Mulch! with Mike Daugherty, Founder, SmartMulch and CEO/Co-Founder, Breakwall Analytics.

SmartMulch is a startup reimagining mulch as lightweight, compact tiles that are easy to carry and expand to a consistent depth just by adding water. SmartMulch is convenient for the consumer and better for the environment. The startup has been self-funded and bootstrapped through pitch competition awards and grant funding to remain lean, and attractive for investors. Come hear Mike’s journey as an innovator and entrepreneur!


Fireside Chats will also be available through live stream viewing and archived for later watch. Learn more about Fireside Chats at Hiram College and live stream viewing.