M.B.A. students help entrepreneurs with business plans

Students work with inventor, filmmaker to write real plans that garner actual results | December 6, 2005

M.B.A. students are not waiting until graduation to get involved in the real world of entrepreneurship. As part of their studies, many are already working with businesses, organizations, non-profits, start-ups and more by helping them develop business plans.

For example, students in professor Sherrie Human’s New Venture Planning class are working with an inventor to help her market a device called FlexaReach. The invention, created by Mayro Kanning, is aimed to helping people with limited mobility. FlexaReach is already being sold in a few local shops, but Kanning wanted to expand her market. That’s where Xavier students come in.

“We worked on a business plan that encompassed everything from a business model, to revenue, to promotion, to marketing,” says M.B.A. student Jason Burns. In working on the plan, Burns sat in on his very first focus group.

“It was very eye opening,” he says. “I also learned a lot from my fellow students who had experience in marketing and finance.”

The students presented their business plan on Tuesday, Dec. 6, at 6:00 p.m. in Albers Hall, Room 107.

Another student team worked with the founders of Jewels Filmworks, a Los Angeles/Cincinnati-based production company, which benefits non-profits.

"We established recommendations for distribution and our market research confirmed a lot of the trends they already knew existed,” says M.B.A. student John Duncan. “We also provided them with some detailed financial statements that they did not have before.”

The Jewels Filmworks team presented their business plan last month.

“The students were amazing,” says Julie Atkin, Jewels Filmworks co-founder. “We have basically taken the plan the students presented, plugged in a bit more information and used it to pitch ideas to potential investors.”

“It’s important to do a plan for a real company,” says Duncan. “It allows you to deal with issues that you wouldn’t get by working on a plan that isn’t real.”

“What really drew me to this project was the chance to work with real entrepreneurs,” says M.B.A. student Perry Wiggins. “We got to see people who have a real passion for what they are doing and what it takes to be successful.”