October 8, 2018 – Dr. Jonathan Newman & Dr. Daniel Gates, along with four business majors, recently traveled to Davidson University for an entrepreneurship workshop called 3 Day Startup. Bryan students worked with students from multiple colleges from Friday afternoon through Sunday afternoon on developing a basic business idea into a well thought out business plan.
Mac Raughton spearheaded the Bryan students with his idea to create a ‘Business in a Box’ for high schools. Raughton and his fellow students, Jimmy Cadieu; Bryce Gibby; and Logan Dowell, began working through the idea weeks in advance, met regularly over lunch, met with Dr. Gates, and presented a rough draft of the idea to a group of Enactus students during a ‘Shark Tank’ event.
The Bryan students were confident they had a great idea when they arrived at the event and presented it to the entire 3DS group of students. The student body voted to move forward with the idea along with three other ideas. Raughton and Dowell formed a team consisting of students form three schools, Cadieu and Gibby joined another team to gain perspective by working on a different team.
Raughton and Dowell were quickly faced with numerous challenges to work through that were presented by the student body, as well as, industry experts that were brought into hear the ‘pitch’ for the idea. Each group presented their business idea multiple times each day. The opportunity to practice public speaking was challenging and offered fantastic growth opportunities for all students.
Dowell noted that, “Through 3DS I have learned that starting a business has a lot to do with communication. It doesn’t matter how good your idea is if you cannot convey that to investors.” Raughton had a similar observation, “3DS taught me that public speaking, pitching in particular, comes with practice. I had always thought that I was not given the ability to speak well, but I saw a clear improvement in just the three days that I was at the event.”
Cadieu and Gibby faced unique challenges while working on a team they did not know and with an idea that was brand new to them. Cadieu said, “One major lesson I learned is that you shouldn’t be afraid to change your business plan. Changing your initial idea seems to be a normal thing when you are starting a business.” Gibby observed, “The biggest challenge I encountered at 3DS was how to generate sustainable profit. In my group, this was the constant issue, and it does not have a simple answer. There are a lot of great ideas, but few great business ideas that can generate sustainable profit.”
Each Bryan student was given the opportunity to grow in multiple areas that are difficult to capture in a classroom. “Davidson University were fantastic hosts,” said Dr. Gates. “They brought amazing resources to ensure the experience was life changing for each student.”