Entrepreneur ‘boot camp’ readied for April

Stonyfield Farm Yogurt of Londonderry and the University of New Hampshire will present the 2009 Stonyfield Farm Entrepreneurship Institute, a “boot camp” for business startups, April 16-17 at the New England Center in Durham.

Presented in partnership with UNH’s Carsey Institute and the Whittemore School of Business and Economics, the annual conference brings together New Hampshire entrepreneurs with a panel of experts, including Gary Hirshberg, chief executive of Stonyfield Farm Yogurt, Jeffrey Hollender, president of Seventh Generation of Burlington, Vt., which manufacturers a line of environmentally friendly household products, and Michael Swack of the Carsey Institute.

Other panel participants will include:

• Howard Brodsky, chair and CEO, CCA Global

• Erik Drake, senior director of marketing, Stonyfield Farm

• Katie Paine, CEO, KDPaine & Partners LLC

• John Hamilton, Vested for Growth, New Hampshire Community Loan Fund

• Cathy Schmidt, president, Citizens Bank

•Carolyn Benthien, partner, Benthien Associates Inc.

• Andrew S. Whitman, managing partner, 2x Consumer Products Growth Partners

NHBR is media partner for the event.

Now in its 11th year, the institute offers a safe and interactive environment for entrepreneurs to learn about financing, marketing, managing change and many other areas that concern the growth of a business startup or even an enterprise looking to move to the next level.

One of the most popular portions of the event is the “Tales from the Trenches,” taking place April 16, during which Hirshberg and other panel guests share with institute attendees their business successes and horror stories and what they learned from both experiences.

The sessions on April 17 will focus on the presentation of case studies in finance, marketing and organizational development, including several live business plan critiques of pre-selected businesses by the panel and institute participants.

The Stonyfield Entrepreneurship Institute was created by Hirshberg in 1998 based on his experience growing Stonyfield Farm Inc. from its start as a seven-cow operation in 1983 to its current $321 million annual sales level.

Cost to attend the institute is $200. Scholarships are available. Thursday dinner and breakfast and lunch on Friday are included.

Discounted hotel accommodations are available at the New England Center hotel by calling 800-592-4334 and mentioning the event.

Deadline for submitting case studies is Monday, March 30. Institute registration deadline is Wednesday, April 1.

For more information, including a complete agenda, and registration, visit the Stonyfield Farm Entrepreneurship Institute at carseyinstitute.unh.edu/Stonyfield, or contact Susan Colucci at susan.colucci@ unh.edu or 603-862-2821.