Story by: Brooke Lammert, MSU Center for Entrepreneurship and Outreach
Jacob Miller has spent more years with a bow in his hand than without one. Growing up in the small community of Lucedale, MS, he realized from an early age that archery would be a key activity in his life. From toting a plastic bow and arrow at the age of five to winning the 4H 3D Shooting Sports National Title when he was 14, the now 20-year-old founder of Black Creek Innovations continues to make bow-hunting an essential aspect of his life.
This love for archery and bow-hunting has allowed him to travel the United States, and during these expeditions he has met people from all walks of life. He realized that there is a huge and common problem amongst them: game loss. For years the thought of a solution rolled through his head, but he didn’t know where to begin his creation. Then he came to Mississippi State. Pursuing an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering, Jacob never thought to find his solution to this problem, or a business, in his college career. An elective course can be thanked for bringing everything together. After attending an Engineering Seminar, Jacob spoke with Eric Hill (Director of Entrepreneurship). “He walked me over to the E-Center, and I never walked back out.”
The VentureCatalyst Program helped him bring his idea to life; thus, the TeleNock was born. A tracker placed on the nock of an arrow, the TeleNock is designed not only to solve the loss of game, but to maintain an arrow’s accuracy and quality at a fair cost. During the fall semester of 2017, Jacob received $7,500 in startup capital for Black Creek Innovations. While he continues to perfect the TeleNock, he has no plans to stop there.
“I plan to keep Black Creek a family and hunter-friendly company [because] they are the sole reason I pursue this dream. I would love to see the business establish a full line of bow-hunting products.”
Like every other student, Jacob began his journey at State to educate himself, make friends, have fun and eventually graduate and search for a career. What he did not expect to find was a way to begin his career early. When asked what he would tell others who consider pursuing entrepreneurship or the VentureCatalyst Program, he says, “If you have a dream there should be nothing to hold you back. The VentureCatalyst Program is the gateway you’ve been waiting for. It not only helps by lending support and knowledge, as well as funding, but when you look around you see passion, drive, and focus.” Jacob encourages all students to take that step into the Center so they, too, can be inspired by their peers to create. Even if they aren’t bowhunters.