Chapter Initiation Guide



The following is a guideline to assist you in the organization of your campus CEO Chapter. When starting a CEO Chapter, it’s best to view it as starting a business. These examples and suggestions can act as stepping stones to realize what works best according to the uniqueness of your individual chapter, school and student members.

Chapter Leadership

Each CEO Chapter is supported by a faculty advisor and operated by a student executive board. Executive leadership positions consist of traditional executive roles (i.e. President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer), as well as other chair and coordinator positions created based on needs that arise (i.e. VP of Marketing, VP of Operations, Event Chair, Information Technology Manager, Membership Coordinator). Chapters have anywhere from just three executive student leaders to 30 depending on the size of the chapters and needs of the group.  It is very important to note that EVERY student included in your organization has a responsibility.  Engagement at any level and ownership of projects makes for a healthy CEO chapter.  

In starting an organization, different approaches can be taken to initially define who the student leaders will be to guide and shape the CEO Chapter: 

  • As the faculty advisor, recruit and appoint ambitious, responsible entrepreneurial students who you know from the classroom or other interactions to be a part of this campus chapter startup.
  • Hold a general chapter interest meeting and select the executive board via individual applications and/or peer nominations or elections.
  • Set very clear and attainable guidelines for your chapter leaders, provide them with guidance and resources from CEO HQ.  It is important to let your leadership work through challenges and successes.

As an advisor, guide the development and success of the chapter leadership through regular executive board meetings and strategy sessions. Define the timeline of the board positions and whether elections or re-staffing will be conducted annually with the start of the academic or calendar year. This will lead into succession planning for the following year. CEO recommends that chapters have several meetings with the new executive board with the assistance of the previous student leaders before the end of the school year. 

Create Interest 

To create campus-wide interest for your CEO Chapter, utilize the best marketing and promotional efforts available on your campus. This could include: hanging flyers and posters across campus, having other faculty promote it in their classes, campus chalking, campus television broadcasts, social media channels and other channels/mediums available through your student activity organization. Reach out beyond business students to include all entrepreneurial-minded students, including arts, science, technology, communication, and liberal arts backgrounds. CEO has a chapter award solely dedicated to recognizing chapters that excel in e-diffusion and include all colleges.

Hold an informal interest meeting to introduce your CEO Chapter and leadership board (if predetermined). Share the goals of the organization and highlight some of the upcoming activities and events. Use this initial meeting to convert interest into action and membership.

Activities / Creativity

The types of activities for your CEO Chapter can vary greatly based on the involvement level of the student members. Until you are able to discern the types of interests of the students, initially, it is ideal to plan on regular weekly or bi-weekly meetings. Encourage the student board to create a calendar or list of events at the start of the semester/quarter for at least the remaining semester/quarter. Activities and events that CEO Chapters on other campuses have done in the past and regularly participate in include:

  • Fundraising Events
  • Start and run a chapter business
  • Bring in local entrepreneurs to speak
  • Host competitions including a pitch competition, business plan competition, etc.
  • Creative Exercises:

o   Encourage members to be innovative by providing an object that they can transform/pitch.

o   Read: A Technique for Producing Ideas by James Webb Young

o   Read: The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp

Chapter Business

Chapter businesses can be one of the most rewarding aspects of having a CEO Chapter on campus. From coffee shops to t-shirt printing companies, CEO Chapters in the past have created a wide array of businesses that have been passed down over the years through the chapter. For ideas on a business your students can start, host a brainstorming session and also consider utilizing the university’s resources. Note: before starting your chapter business, have your Faculty Advisor or executive officers check with the appropriate university administrator for any limitations that may be in place.  (e.g. exclusive food/beverage contracts or space limitations.) 

Competitions & Awards

Each year at the Global CEO Conference, over 25 awards are given away to students and chapters. Choosing to apply for these awards creates opportunities for your chapter to be actively involved. Please note competitions for each year are announced late spring through early fall.  

Pitch Competition

CEO’s Global Pitch competition enables students to pitch their business idea and compete for a chance to win cash prizes. This is a very real way for students to experience pitching in front of a panel of judges and a live audience of their peers. Encourage students to just start pitching!  Start working on a business idea and a pitch throughout the year leading up to the Global Conference. This also presents an opportunity for your CEO Chapter to host its own pitch competition, which will enable students to practice and refine their pitch prior to the CEO Global Pitch competition. 

Chapter Awards

CEO Chapter Awards recognize chapters that have excelled throughout the year in various categories. Every CEO chapter should apply and consider awards most appropriately aligned with their strengths.  Award categories include:


Working year-round towards a goal of a specific award will not only focus particular efforts of your chapter, but will engage members in certain activities and goals.

Award submissions are online – please visit the conferences tab on our website for more information.

Note: An individual or chapter that win’s an award at the National Conference may not compete for the same award for a two (2) year period following the year in which they won.

Chapter Success Pillars

The below diagram represents the three success pillars, the foundation and overarching support that make-up a successful CEO Chapter.  More details on the success pillars will either be discussed during your discovery call OR provided to you in your receipt of your membership dues payment in the chapter planning guide.  

CEO Global Headquarters – John P. Lowth Entrepreneurship Center

CEO Global Headquarters is hosted by The University of Tampa and a national 501 (c)(3) corporation offering resources, events and collaborative opportunities to over 250 chapters and 16,500 members nation-wide.  Headquarters will provide many additional opportunities and resources to your chapter members throughout the year beyond the local activities of your chapter. All members in your organization must be registered with CEO Global Headquarters, on to access webinars, chapter development sessions, e-mail blasts, conference registration, detailed “how-to’s” and our career’s section. Joining as a CEO chapter has its benefits, including branding & name recognition.  HQ will provide and create customized logo’s and offerings for your chapter.  Utilize the CEO network to continue to develop and grow your chapter. 


Chapter dues are $230/chapter billed annually 

·      A minimum of 10 members is required to start/maintain an official CEO college/university chapter

·      An individual must be listed on a chapter’s CEO National Roster by October 1st in order to qualify for the member rate at the annual conference

Dues statements will be processed via anniversary billing automatically.


·      CEO Individual Memberships: In order to become a CEO Individual Member there cannot be a recognized CEO chapter at the institution. The CEO Individual Member is entitled to the member conference rate. No access to CEO web platform or other club benefits.

CEO Headquarters Will Provide:

Startup Package

CEO Headquarters Will Not Provide:

  • Corporation Structure and 501 (c) (3) status to it’s chapters.
  • Financial support to chapters aside from our Chapter Awards program

Next Steps:

Are you interested in creating a CEO Chapter on your campus?

1.    You have two options, register Online as a “New Chapter” or “New Member” or Follow the Step’s Below for a more Hand’s on Approach!

2.    Email our membership coordinator at 

3.    Provide your contact information in the email including who the invoice should be addressed to.

4.    Our offices will then put together an invoice for your chapter membership and email it back to you.

5.    Once we receive your payment, CEO HQ will process the following resources and provide it to your senior leadership team.  You will also be invited by our online system to access the platform where you can find all of the resources described above and below:

  • CEO Chapter Handbook – Details on how to run your CEO Chapter & The Social Media Guide to develop create and impactful content for your members.
  • CEO Chapter Initiation – This include a comprehensive Info Guide, Chapter Support, The Membership Agreement & Chapter Leadership Positions
  • Operational Documents – A sample constitution to be filed with your Student Organization office, A Chapter Strategic Plan Guide, The Officer Records, Campus Business Idea Guide & A Sample Chapter Business Plan.
  • Chapter Media Package – This is available on our website and allows accurately registered members access to editable Logo’s, templates for print and digital media and other designs for business card’s/guidelines. You must follow all guidelines in the Media Packet. 

We’re here to help! Contact us at or call us at (813) 258 – 7CEO

Chapter Support

As a leader of your campus CEO Chapter, it is up to you to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit in your organization. Essentially the list of what you can do with your chapter is endless. Think of it  as a startup itself and utilize your network and college/university connections to create an interactive environment from which members can explore entrepreneurship.

Here is a starting guideline to give you some ideas for your CEO Chapter.

  • Conduct or host entrepreneurial-based workshops on topics such as:  business planning, creating/delivering pitches, start up financing options, available campus resources

o   Utilize your school’s network of entrepreneurial, business, or subject-specific professors as resources, expert speakers, or for connections.

  • Invite entrepreneurs or business owners from your local community to speak.  Subject-matter experts with a creative entrepreneurial story are best!
  • Start a chapter-run business as an entire chapter or through sub-committees.

o   Brainstorm problems or market opportunities and solutions unique to your campus and community. 

  • Develop a business plan and connections needed to make the concept feasible.  Start your Business! Use the fund’s you earn from the business to fund chapter operations and travel to the CEO National Conference.
  • Funding is such an important part of running a CEO Chapter.  Establish fundraising activities to support your chapter’s activities, such as: a concert, car wash, restaurant profit sharing, bake sale, chapter business, regional conference, student government appropriations.
  • Explore social entrepreneurship and give back to the community by conducting charity events, such as: book drives, food drives, clothing drives, host holiday activities, sell seasonal products. Use these charitable events to contact local businesses for sponsorships and donations in support of your cause. 
  • Organize Executive Meetings for your Chapter – “Tea Time with Executives” is a program that allows you to connect with Senior Level Executives from companies in your network/ecosystem.  Request one hour of time from a Senior Level executive for a tour and one-on-one questions.  Be professional & provide the executive with questions prior to the meeting.
  • Collaborate and network with other campus organizations by hosting networking mixers, golf outings, or other social and philanthropic activities to expand your outreach across campus.
  • Ask your chapter members what they want to see from your leadership! Brainstorm and get creative, the beauty of having a CEO chapter is that you can turn it into anything you’d like. 

Chapter Leadership Positions 

The chapter leadership positions, identified below, can be used as a guide to develop and appropriately manage a CEO Chapter.  This model comes to us from The UT Entrepreneurs, the CEO Chapter at The University of Tampa.  It has been reviewed by the Student Advisory Board for CEO and can serve as a very detailed resource for current and past CEO Members. Note: Check with student government and other administrators at your university to ensure proper leadership guidelines are met.  

Categories of Officers

i.               President

ii.              Vice President

iii.            VP of Member Services – Operations

iv.            VP of Community Development

v.              VP of Web Communications

vi.            VP of Finance

vii.           VP of Marketing

viii.         Speaker of the Assembly


i.               President – Responsible for making final executive decisions. Acting as a liaison between advisors and executive board. CEO of Chapter Business. Responsible for organization sponsorships. Direct liaison between club chapter and Global CEO.

ii.              Vice President – Responsible for assuming all duties of President when he/she is absent or incapable of fulfilling those duties. Responsible for leading executive board meeting. Oversees and facilitates communication with all other VP’s. COO of Chapter Business. Responsible for Chapter Speakers or Community Member workshops.

iii.            VP of Member Services – Sets up table hours when necessary. Heads new member recruitment at beginning of fall and spring semester as well as freshman orientation. Responsible for conducting an aggressive and comprehensive recruitment campaign. Reports executive board weekly meeting minutes to general assembly. Manages attendance roster. Director of operations for Chapter Business. 

iv.               VP of Community Development – Tea Time with Executives Director. Presents weekly networking opportunities to the General Assembly. Distributes monthly emails to members (newsletter). Presents monthly award and funding opportunities to the organization. Updates CEO Headquarters on “need to know” news. Director of all external relations to the club. Reports monthly accomplishments to the entrepreneurship center or college (Report Card). Stays in contact with all outside club relations including speakers and representatives of other organizations. Sends thank you notes to individuals who have helped the organization.

v.              VP of Web Communications – Manages and maintains all aspects of club website & Chapter Business Website (Chapters may request a site within the domain). Must have general web design knowledge. Posts and advertises on club Facebook & Chapter Business Facebook pages. (Inspirational, current events, creating value, etc.) Manages Chapter Business social media and maintains discussion and connection with users.

vi.            VP of Finance – Must provide monthly written reports to President and Faculty Advisor. Keeper of financial records and statements up to date at all times including membership dues. File one appropriation to Student Government each semester. Coordinate with your Entrepreneurship Center or college for funding. Collects and distributes CEO National Refunds to members and manages Chapter Business Budget. Keeps track of inventory and records member registrations to VP of Member Services. Responsible for making all necessary expenditures when authorized by President and Faculty Advisor.

vii.            VP of Marketing – Chapter Business marketing plan creation and implementation (coordinate with VP Member Services). Responsible for tabling, marketing budget (coordinating with VP of Finance). Posting flyers, and creating events on campus that promotes the organization. (Beginning of the Semester Party, press releases, etc.) Remains in constant contact with VP of Web Communications.

viii.          Speaker of the Assembly – Facilitates General Assembly Meetings, develops creative programs and ways to present information. Attends weekly Student Government (SG) meetings and files appropriations to SG no later than a week  prior to event. Coordinates the planning process for the national CEO conference

Download Agreement

Contact Us

The Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization ® | Global Headquarters

401 W. Kennedy Blvd.
Box 2F
Tampa, FL. 33606-1490
(813) 258 - 7236 (7CEO)
Hours: Monday - Friday
9:15 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.