ClassE is where we grow entrepreneurs and nurture success. Read about what we have been learning.

Location: Lifespan Center (unless noted below), 11021 E. Cty. Rd. 800 N. Charleston (Loxa Rd just northeast of SBLHS).  Class is open and everyone is welcome. 
Catching up with Alums

Alumni Morgan Hampton and Matthew Vaselovic visited the class and gave updates on their businesses. Matt has continued his smoothie business, Blenders and will be at the Mattoon High School's girl's soccer game. Morgan discontinued her business told the class she is more confident and outgoing since taking this class.

Why GE is Closing Shop

Jeff Doyle, general manager of the Mattoon General Electric Lighting facility, enlightened the class on the changing environment and why the GE plant is closing.  Since 1946, GE has made all types of lights or flashcubes at this large manufacturing facility. They will be closing their doors in August due to low demand of incandescent lights. 

This shift in consumer lighting trends from incandescent to the more energy efficient LED lights plus uncompetitive labor and benefit costs from overseas competitors are the two reasons that the plant in closing.  Jeff told students to remain flexible, be willing to move, get overseas experience if possible, and make sure the company's culture fits your culture are very important to have a successful manufacturing career.
Presenting to the Sharks

All the students were successful in securing their start-ups funds from their fellow students and sharks. They presented 5-7 slides that discussed what problem their product or service would solve, the marketing, management and finance of the business. Now they will get the product and begin selling soon. 
Starting a Boutique 

Kiley Winnett is a 22 year old entrepreneur who started a women's clothing boutique in her mother-in-law's beauty salon. It was a success, so she decided to "go big" and rent a retail space on the busiest retail corner in Coles County.  

She opened this fall and has just started an online component of her business. Both are growing tremendously. She gets more walk-in traffic since she is located right next to Starbucks and spends marketing dollars boosting her posts online. She buys daily, so has all the latest trends.

We are so thankful for the generosity of the Coles County businesses that sponsor ClassE. For a complete listing and more information about these businesses, please click below.  We also appreciate the that the Lifespan Center serves as our home base throughout the year. We hope you support them as they support us!


ClassE | 217-549-2564 | |