Venture Out, a unique program in the business department allowing students to create their own mini-business, remains a vital part of the College of Business after more than a decade
There are many students who enter the program every year and create a variety of products to sell throughout the ACU community. Â The products range from different types of clothing, jewelry, hand-made products and kitchenware. It has two different types of teams, one in and one out of the classroom.
One of many students involved in the program was Austin Gwin, senior broadcast journalism major from Nashville.
“I did the Venture Out program my junior year and we created cheap plastic ‘sunnies’ to sell to the student body,” Gwin said. “We donated our profits to the Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation.”
Dr. Monty Lynn, associate dean and professor of management, is one of two professors in charge of the Venture Out program.
“We’ve had more unusual things like antenna ball toppers, metal signs for the dorm room, a CD of original music produced twice and this semester we have a team selling sports bras,” Lynn said.
One of the most successful products to come out the program was a t-shirt, made for the American Cancer Association. The shirt raised more than $2000.
“The profits that are made from these products go to non-profits. Currently half of the money goes to a scholarship that the students set up and fully endowed with Venture Out money,” Lynn said.
The program is offered very semester and any student can take the Intro to Business class and participate in the Venture Out program. Every Monday and Wednesday of class, the students are taught management skills and on Fridays they “Venture Out” into Abilene.
“Over time since Venture Out has began at ACU, the students have given something like $40,000 to local, national, and international charities, “Lynn said.
As of now, products are being sold at the dorms, the campus center and Shotwell Stadium.
“This is a good basic class to take, regardless of your profession or major, to gain knowledge about business, “Gwin said.