The Entrepreneurship Center at Ball State University recently carried out another successful E-Day, where senior-standing students majoring in Entrepreneurship had the opportunity to present their business plans in front of an external panel of alumni and evaluators. 

On April 20, all eight eligible students successfully defended their plans and were awarded passing grades, adding to almost four decades of graduates to the program at Ball State, one of the first universities to offer a major in Entrepreneurship. 

This year was particularly special, as the program came full circle: Ball State alumni united to sponsor a reception for graduates from the Class of 2020, 2021, and 2022, who were unable to gather due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Scott Morris (Entrepreneurship, ’87), co-founder of LML Estate Management, graciously sponsored the event. Robert (Entrepreneurship, ’96) and Shanna Haecker (Communications, ’99) hosted both E-Day and the reception at their business, TRIPhase Technologies, the concept for which Robert wrote the plan while in the Entrepreneurship program. Anthony Lazzara (Entrepreneurship, ’13) catered the event through his restaurant, Anthony’s Chophouse. 

“The process of identifying a problem to solve, coming up with a solution, testing with customers, and writing—and defending—a business plan is a significant challenge,” said Krystal Geyer, assistant director of Ball State’s Entrepreneurship Center. “Being able to celebrate not only this year’s students, but graduates from the last three years, was so rewarding. Being supported by the dream team of alumni sponsors means the world to us.” 

The event culminated in the recognition of the Class of 2022, highlighting two students who earned the prestigious Outstanding New Venture plan award. Since 1999, the Entrepreneurship Center has been able to congratulate award winners monetarily through the graciousness of the Ronald A. Minichillo Entrepreneurship Venture Development fund. 

The Outstanding New Venture Plan award recipients this year were Hunter Beale and Ani’a Walker. 

Mr. Beale, from Fishers, Ind., has accepted an Orr Fellowship following graduation, but plans to work on his business, Simpler Living, in his spare time. Ms. Walker, from Fort Wayne, Ind., plans to use the funds from the award to open a storefront for Puff’s Pastries, a specialty cupcake parlor business she has been running since she was 16. 

This year’s graduates also include Sophia Chaillé with Café Chaillé, a gluten- and dairy-free café in Fishers; Emali Grose with EMG Commercial Development, a property development firm specializing in Midwest town revitalization; Drew Holl and his concept, Stork, a transportation service for children; Holden Robinson of Relixir, a subscription service for nutritional supplements; Taylor Shockey and her concept, Independence Driving, a driver’s education program for differently-abled individuals; and Mya Tolliver for her concept, The Mockingbird, a mid-size, Indianapolis-based music venue. 

For more information on the Ball State University Entrepreneurship Center or to get involved with the program, visit or email