The Venture Out program that is a part of the Introduction to Business class is using a new format this year. Students are not selling a tangible product but instead working with a conceptualized idea.
All freshman business majors participate in the Venture Out program when they take Intro to Business.
Traditionally, in the Venture Out program these students, working in groups of eight, start out with a certain amount of resources which they use to create a product and then proceed to market and sell their product throughout the semester. The profits earned in the Venture Out program are donated to various non-profit organizations and other beneficiaries, , according to the College of Business Administration website.
However, over time, Dr. Monty Lynn, associate dean of the College of Business Administration, received feedback that students felt that they weren’tÂ developing teamwork skills in such a large group. Due to the limits on resources, students also felt limited creativity wise. In response to this feedback, the Venture Out program will be experimenting with a new set up this semester.
The students are working in smaller groups and switching groups every four weeks. Also, the students will no longer be creating actual products and selling them. Instead, during the first four weeks of the semester, the groups will be coming up with multiple ideas for products with no limit on resources; the sky is the limit. 30 second videos will be made for each of these the proposals which the class will watch to vote on which 12-15 of these ideas are the best.
In the second four weeks, the new groups will market the chosen ideas and gather feedback from potential customers. Using the feedback, they will then develop a business plan around each idea detailing how they would go about selling their idea in the third four weeks.
The major change in the Venture Out program is that the groups will not actually create and sell their products.
“We’re giving students an opportunity to learn about business by running a business,” Lynn said. “The new and improved Venture Out takes the lid off of innovation and teamwork while keeping the strengths of our traditional Venture Out program.”
Though the semester has just started, the students taking Intro to Business this semester seem to already have made up their minds.
Bailey Thomas, freshman marketing major from Lubbock, prefers the new Venture Out program. She appreciates the new emphasis on teaching teamwork skills.
“I like the idea of switching up the groups,” Thomas said. “It helps with getting to know different people.”
A few past students believe that the new students are missing out on the hands-on experience.
Rashida Materre, senior human resource management major from Houston, said she preferred the traditional way.
Materre said, “With the old Venture Out, there was the experience of starting the business from scratch and going through the trial and error phase of being an entrepreneur in the real world.”