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Student Entrepreneurs Pitch Ideas To Business

March 1, 2012

Students in Red River College’s Business Administration program will see if their big ideas could make it in the real world at the upcoming Entrepreneurship Practicum event.

The department will host a trade show on March 22 at RRC’s Notre Dame Campus that will showcase student-developed business ideas that will be judged by Winnipeg’s business community.

Over 450 students in the Business Administration program were separated into 34 groups at the beginning of the school year, and were tasked to come up with an original concept for a new company – using the skills they picked up in class to determine whether or not their idea would be viable in the real world.

“The students take everything they’ve learned and apply it to an actual business idea,” explained Taras Wasyliw, Entrepreneurship Practicum Course Leader and an instructor in the Business Administration program. “It’s a great learning experience for them, because it’s getting them to work with other people and get out of their comfort zone.”

Once settled on an idea, groups are encouraged to consult professionals, conduct research, and investigate whether or not their model is feasible. Groups are then tasked with preparing a full business plan that will be later read, and then scored, by people within the local business industry who are invited to be judges of the event.

At the end of the trade show groups are scored, and are required to create a presentation of their business plan that they will then present to a panel of industry professionals. Once this is completed, teams are ranked based on their overall score of the tradeshow, presentation, and business plan, and the top three earn a small cash prize.

Wasyliw says the event helps students experience using their skills in a real-life scenario, similar to what they might have to deal with working at a larger corporation or when running their own business.

“The number one comment we hear from students afterwards is that they couldn’t believe how often they had to use their experience. It teaches them how to function within an organization, and use their human relations skills to work as a team,” said Wasyliw. “It’s a practical experience that’s also something that’s great for them to put on a resume and use in a job interview.”

The trade show, which will be held in the South Gym, is open for the public to attend in the afternoon, and will be followed by a private reception at the college in the evening. Wasyliw says the event always receives a positive reaction from other RRC instructors, who praise the Business Administration students for their ingenuity.

“We hear from other instructors about how amazing they think it is, and how they’re impressed at how innovative the business ideas and presentations are,” said Wasyliw. “We get comments from people who say it’s hard to believe that these are not real businesses.”

Click here to learn more about the Business Administration program.

Article written by Hayley Brigg, RRC Creative Communications Student