Published on September 4, 2014 by Kara Kennedy  

Several of Samford’s Brock School of Business entrepreneurship students and alumni are preparing to launch or have recently launched new companies.  Rob Jackman, a 2013 graduate of the Brock School’s entrepreneurship program, has raised the money needed to open an Iron Tribe fitness center.  He and his partners will open two locations in Greenville, S.C.  While in school, Jackman worked as a personal trainer at Gold’s Gym in Vestavia Hills, Ala. Since graduating, he has been a coach at Iron Tribe in Montgomery, Ala.  Howard Finch, dean of the Brock School of Business and professor of finance, advised Jackman on how to attract and negotiate with investors to help launch his own Iron Tribe centers. 

Work of Worth (WoW), which imports fair trade, handcrafted goods from entrepreneurs in  countries in the developing world, will be launching their fall product line at an event on Sept. 9 from 5-8 p.m. at Christian Service Mission in Birmingham.  Five Brock School students--Daniel Denning, Olivia Dunn, Drew Fahrion, Ben Goolsby and Madison Kerns--wrote WoW’s business plan under the supervision of Jeremy Thornton, associate professor of economics and Social Entrepreneurship Program Coordinator.  They earned fourth place at the TCU Ventures and Values Competition and second place in the Region’s New Venture Challenge in April 2014 for their business plan, and several have remained involved in the start-up of the company.

“We are proud that our students and recent alumni are living their entrepreneurial dream,” said Finch.  “Entrepreneurs like them are the heroes of economic growth.”

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.