Entrepreneurship – Who’d A Thunk it?
At the beginning of the term, our track of 48 skeptic MBA students sat in our first scheduled Entrepreneurship and New Ventures class. Our Professor, Ben Hallen, looked at the class and asked “Who here is interested in becoming and entrepreneur some day?” About four raised hands and a chuckle broke an unfortunate, and somewhat funny silence. Most people do not think about actually starting their own business or the feasibility of doing so, and that first class session was proof. Here we were, a collection of the nation’s brightest and only four people were evenly vaguely convinced that they might one day be an entrepreneur…what seven short weeks can change.
Our venture feasibility study brought to life several amazing ideas including an event based hot-air balloon, an Indian quick service food chain, new and improved food trucks, and a charity social media gaming system just to name a few. The most impressive new ideas? Well, one came at the hands of a few of my friends, who to say the least, were some of the most cynical when it came to possibly being a future entrepreneur. Work Naked was the name of their group and they designed and implemented a business plan for natural business shoe based on the no sole technology that has taken the runner’s niche market by storm already in the form of running apparel. An phenomenal idea with an actual opportunity for success became a possible reality after just a 10 minute presentation in front of some of Maryland’s resident entrepreneurs who probed the idea, asked questions, and acknowledged its realistic chance of being a real profitable business opportunity. Our presentation was for PartyCam, a nightlife look through a customizable, interactive web platform. Our group was also greeted with a real feasibility mark, and opened our eyes to the possibility of pursuing this business.
So, while not everyone’s ideas were great, the reality that some of these projects could be transformed into actual businesses ignited the inner entrepreneur in everyone and changed the way many people perceive and identify opportunities, and as an entrepreneur myself, there is nothing more beautiful than a track full of converts!