Topics: Academic Programs, Faculty, Miller College of Business, Student Activities, Students

December 8, 2023

Liliana Osborne, Ball State University
Liliana Osborne and her jewelry business, Shop Bee’s Bracelets

The Entrepreneurship Center at Ball State University has provided three students with funding to develop and advance their entrepreneurial ventures in its latest round of pre-seed funding.

Twice a year, all enrolled students at Ball State are invited to apply for pre-seed grants of up to $2,500 per student, per semester for venture development. This fund was established to help students take their new or established business concepts to the next stage. Historically, funding has been used to conduct market surveys, create digital renderings, earn certifications, and more.

Marie Thompson, program coordinator of the Entrepreneurship Center, said interest in the pre-seed fund has increased each semester.

“We are really encouraged by the amount of entrepreneurial potential in our students at Ball State,” Ms. Thompson said. “Through the funding provided by generous donors to the pre-seed fund, we can help students get a taste of real-world entrepreneurship. They can troubleshoot and grow their businesses in a way that they may not otherwise have been able to. Some students really run with the ideas and see their businesses flourish and others learn about how to pivot into a better idea. It’s all a learning experience, which is what we’re really excited about.

“The pre-seed fund has allowed us to show students that their ideas are marketable and achievable, while allowing them to overcome some of those financial obstacles that might otherwise be there,” Ms. Thompson continued.

Those students awarded funds this semester are:

  • Cheyenne McMullen, a senior Entrepreneurship and Innovation major, received funding for her marketing consulting business, Cheyenne Marie Consulting. The funding will provide her website with upgraded branding, including a branded photoshoot and website hosting, and as bookkeeping software for her financial information.

  • Will Pancake, a senior Entrepreneurship and Innovation major, received funding for his mobile application, Card Genie. The funding will allow him to secure a trademark for his application, and additional software for the application development as he prepares to launch to mobile application stores.

  • Liliana Osborne, a junior Communication Studies major, received funding for her jewelry business, Shop Bee’s Bracelets. The funding will provide her with supplies for creating her products, vendor feed, advertising, and shipping materials.

“The pre-seed funding from the Entrepreneurship Center has allowed me to get tons of supplies to create my jewelry, especially with beautiful and unique beads. The funding has also allowed me to integrate myself into the artist community more by allowing me to solidify local vendor opportunities,” Ms. Osborne said. “I have been able to explore my creative outlet with all of the quality supplies I have sought out, and with this, I have created some beautiful pieces.”

For more information, visit the pre-seed fund website or contact To contribute to the pre-seed fund to continue to foster student entrepreneurship, contact Brenda Davis at