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Empowering EntrepreneursIgniting Pathways of Innovation and Collective Success

The Stone Center was made possible due the generosity of the Bob and Tish Stone family and their multigenerational family business, Systems and Methods, Inc. (SMI), founded in 1971 in Carrollton, GA.  

The center is a resource for family businesses in the West Georgia region seeking to navigate the opportunities and challenges that face family businesses including succession planning, family business governance, integrating non-family employees, family business culture, and exit strategies, just to name a few. The center is also a key driver of campus programming like Entrepreneurship Week and the Wolf Den Pitch competition that supports the entrepreneurial endeavors of UWG students.

Learn more about Bob Stone in his interview with the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Family business

Family businesses play a crucial role in the Carrollton Community. However, ensuring longevity for future generations can be a challenge as technology advances and new business apps emerge. At the Stone Center, we are committed to assisting the growth and prosperity of family enterprises.

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entrepreneurship & Innovation

The Stone Center is dedicated to supporting new entrepreneurs in starting their businesses from the ground up. This involves guiding you from the initial idea phase all the way to creating a comprehensive business plan.


Upcoming Events

Stone Center Family Business Retreat

July 24 - 25, 2024 | Richards College of Business

The Stone Center Family Business Retreat will take place in the Richards College of Business from July 24th thru July 25th. Participants will get an opportunity to learn and discuss key trends in managing and growing family businesses. In addition, the retreat will celebrate and bring together leading family businesses in the West Georgia region to share their stories and experiences.

Register Today!

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10-Week Start-up boot camp

The Startup Boot Camp is a structured facilitated program that provides resources, preparation, and mentoring to University of West Georgia (UWG) students interested in developing an idea they have either been thinking about or working on. The ideas can be geared towards either business or social ventures. The boot camp is sponsored by the Stone Center for Family Business. Entrepreneurship & Innovation.


Business Study Abroad Options

frequently asked Boot camp questions

What are the dates?

The boot camp will start the week of August 26th and will end with the “Wolf Den” pitch competition on Wednesday, November 13th. 

Who is eligible?

All current full time University of West Georgia students are eligible to apply for this unique opportunity. Incoming first year students are also eligible to apply.

Are there any costs to the program?

As a UWG student you don’t pay anything to participate in the program. All program costs are covered by the Stone Center. 

Will I get any course credits for participating in the program?

You will not receive any course credits but the overall experience can be life changing. The program places importance on “learning by doing it”. Upon successfully completing the program you will receive a certificate of completion along with other online credentials. 

What are the key benefits of the program?

In the boot camp you will learn how to utilize Design Thinking and Business Model Canvas effectively. These are world class start-up tools. You will also learn how to design and build a proto-type of your solution and understand the process of protecting it. You will learn how to design and deliver an investor grade presentation. The program will also include one on one mentoring with successful local entrepreneurs, site visit to local incubator(s) or small businesses and other networking opportunities. 

Do I need any business experience to apply in the program?

None. Any major can apply to the program. In order to successfully complete this program you need a good work ethic and commitment. That’s it!

November 13th Wolf Den Pitch Competition and Start-Up Expo

Ten finalists will participate in the Wolf Den pitch competition and the start-up expo at the Richards College of Business. The ten finalists will have an opportunity to compete for $5,000 in cash awards and other resources. External judges will evaluate the student ideas. Following the pitch, all student participants will also showcase their ideas by participating in a start-up expo.

If I have additional questions who should I reach out to?

Please contact Stone Center Director Raja Bhattacharya at

Do I need to apply to participate in this program?

Yes, you do need to apply to participate in this program. You can either submit an individual application or a team application. For the 2024-2025 academic year we will be accepting 15-20 ideas to take part in the boot camp. Application deadline is Monday, April 15th. Click on the link below to submit your application.

Have more questions?

Contact Raja Bhattachyra at

Caitlin Pirkle at



Stone Center Contacts

Mr. Raja Bhattacharya

Mr. Raja Bhattacharya

Director, Stone Center

Ms. Caitlin Pirkle

Ms. Caitlin Pirkle

Program Assistant, Stone Center