Published on October 14, 2022 by Morgan Black
Samford University and Cedarworks Inc. joined together to present the 9th annual Lions Den, Oct. 12-13, 2022. The two-day event, complete with a summit of international professionals and pitch competition aimed toward advancing the Kingdom through Business-as-Mission (BAM), has elevated engagement opportunities for Samford students since its inception in 2014.
During the event, Samford students had the opportunity to participate in a plenary session, hearing from Joao Mordomo, co-founder and vice chair of Crossover Global and BAM Global. Mordomo shared insights with the students about Christian entrepreneurship and the global Business-as-Mission movement.
On the second day of the summit, nearly 500 attendees, including Samford students and international business leaders representing 35 states and 10 countries, came together in the Leslie S. Stephens Wright Center for the main event—a Shark Tank-style business pitch competition. During the evening, three BAM companies presented their business plans to a live audience and a judging panel of “lions.” The companies, Quantam Interface, SALT and Surv, were evaluated by the lions on their ability to produce financial, social, conservation and spiritual results, known as the quadruple bottom-line.
David Sputh, a junior Brock Scholar from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, served as the Taylor Harsh Fellow for the 2022 Lions Den. Each year, this internship provides an opportunity for a Samford student interested in social entrepreneurship to work with Lions Den leadership to facilitate the event, from planning to marketing to operations. The internship is funded by the Taylor M. Harsh Endowed Scholarship in Samford’s Brock School of Business.
Jeremy Thornton, associate dean and professor of economics in Brock School of Business, is proud of the engagement opportunities this event provides for Samford students seeking a career in social entrepreneurship. He said, “It is our mission in Brock School of Business to equip our students not only with a top-notch business education, but with valuable experiences that will prepare them to become ethical, Christian business leaders. Year after year, the Lions Den event provides an incredible opportunity for our students to see first-hand the impact that international business-as-mission enterprises have on advancing the Kingdom and allows them to picture themselves in similar roles once they leave Samford’s campus.”
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. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 66th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 104th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,683 students from 47 states and 19 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 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.