The first two students to win the Coleman Entrepreneur Scholarship through the Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at California State University, Fresno, have set up office and are using the numerous resources available to them in the center’s “Hatchery.”

Genelle Taylor, associate director of the Lyles Center, said the Hatchery is a student business incubator in the Lyles Center that gives student entrepreneurs the resources and space they need to get their businesses going.

“Mentors and coaches will be brought into the Hatchery to provide important services and advice pertaining to technology, legal, accounting, intellectual property and management of the business,” Taylor said. “Students are eligible for Hatchery space based on an assessment of their business plan or if tied to a scholarship.”

Eight Hatchery offices will be available to assigned students who are working on a business plan or a business in its early stages of development.

Stephanie Reilly, an 18-year-old scholarship winner and freshman at Fresno State, is one of the students to receive office space in the Hatchery.

Reilly dreamed of fashion design and created POParazzi, a line of fashion jewelry made with vintage soda bottle caps.

“I found out about the Coleman Scholarship on the Lyles Center Web site and started building my business ideas,” Reilly said.

Kenneth J. Harms Jr., the other scholarship recipient, came to Fresno State from Sacramento and started K&P Autoworks, LLC, an automobile tuning and performance enhancing company.

The students were required to provide a business plan and license in order to apply for the Coleman Entrepreneur Scholarship

“The scholarship really motivated me to start my business,” Reilly said. “Not only did I learn from the application process, but I was awarded money to start my company.”

Through the Lyles Center, the Coleman Entrepreneur Scholarship provides the scholarship winners $5,000 to support their education and expand their businesses – paying for tuition and providing “seed money” to see the student’s ideas become reality.

“I feel so blessed to be here,” Reilly said. “This center is a wonderful, safe place to discuss ideas and be creative. The people are fabulous. They are helpful and encouraging to me and my company.”

The Coleman Foundation awarded a grant to the Lyles Center to support the programs and progress the center has made in educating entrepreneurs at Fresno State – the only university on the West Coast to receive funding from the Coleman Foundation.

Taylor said these scholarships and the Hatchery will attract more young entrepreneurs to Fresno State.

“Fresno State has the unique opportunity to establish itself as an entrepreneurial destination,” Taylor said. “This program will put Fresno State on the national stage and attract students who have never received support from universities to continue operating their businesses while attending college.”

For more information contained in this release, please go to the following Web sites:

Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship