The Coleman Entrepreneurship Center at DePaul University has been experiencing a year of reinvention. The center kicked off the calendar year in January with a new executive director, Terri Lonier. After a successful summer of making connections with the entrepreneurial community, the center begins the 2013-14 academic year with an enhanced schedule of programs for students, alumni and friends that highlight partnerships within the university and throughout Chicago.

“This year’s programming increases our visibility and expands our reach,” says Lonier. “Entrepreneurship is happening at DePaul in all sorts of ways, and we want students and alumni to know that we’re the place to make connections.”

40 Under 40 Showcase

The Coleman Entrepreneurship Center launched a six-part series of events in June featuring Crain’s Chicago Business 40 Under 40 leaders and is partnering with the Chicago Family Business Council (CFBC), which is based at DePaul’s business school.

Here are the upcoming events that will complete the series:

Sept. 18: This two-part event focuses on the what, why and how of entrepreneurship. In part one, “Corporate Character Building: The Ultimate Inside Job,” a corporate recruiter will lead participants through the steps needed to drive character-based and value-driven performance in business. In part two, “Multiply Your Ripple Effect: Defining Your What, Why and How,” four business leaders from Crain’s 40 Under 40 honorees discuss how entrepreneurs use innovative mindsets to accomplish business goals. The event will be held from 4 7:30 p.m. at University Center Chicago, 525 S. State St., and attendees may sign up for either the two-part program or separate sessions. Participants can get details and register online now.

Nov. 7: The third event in the series focuses on how disruptive experiences can actually enhance how a business runs. More details will be available soon on the Coleman Center events page.

Fund it! Conference

The center is presenting Fund it!, a one-day conference on startup and growth financing, on Oct. 29. The event will bring together entrepreneurs with angel, venture capital and other private equity investors through panels and discussions featuring more than a dozen speakers from Chicago’s financial and entrepreneurial community. The event will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on DePaul’s Loop Campus at the DePaul Center, 1  E. Jackson Blvd. The conference features discounted registration of $90 through Oct. 8 ($120 thereafter), with a limited number of discount tickets available to DePaul alumni by emailing Molly Haigh at Online registration is now open.

Coleman Connections

This year, the Coleman Center is looking to partner with more internal DePaul organizations to engage students from different schools. “We want to let students know that if they have an idea for starting a business or being self-employed, we’d like to help them make that happen,” Lonier says. The Coleman Connections event series, being held Sept. 24, Oct. 23 and Nov. 13, allows the center to partner with DePaul CEO Club, the undergraduate organization for student entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship Leaders of the Midwest

In addition to hosting events geared toward business students and community members, the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center also concentrates on making connections with other business schools. In June the center hosted 14 leaders of entrepreneurship programs from eight Midwest universities and formed the Entrepreneurship Leaders of the Midwest (ELM). As an outgrowth of the meeting, ELM members established an online forum for sharing ideas and best practices, offering peer feedback and networking.

“While entrepreneurship is often linked to either coast, there is a wealth of talent and knowledge here in the Midwest ready to be unlocked,” says Lonier. “This inaugural meeting of entrepreneurship faculty and directors of entrepreneurship centers is the beginning of a dynamic network that will benefit students as well as the broader entrepreneurial community throughout the Midwest.”

About the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center

The Coleman Entrepreneurship Center was established at DePaul’s Driehaus College of Business through a Coleman Foundation pledge of $2.5 million in 2003. Building on DePaul’s well-respected academic programs in entrepreneurship that were first offered in 1982, the center promotes entrepreneur education and offers services to assist entrepreneurs. Since opening its doors in September 2003, the center has assisted hundreds of entrepreneur clients through professional and student-based consulting services.