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Student Business Venture Successful for Students
Learning experience profitable for students.
Amanda Dyslin, Mankato Free Press, May 2, 2012
MANKATO — There was a lot on the line — a $2,500 bank loan, burgeoning credit scores, pride.
But the Minnesota State University Integrated Business Experience students succeeded under pressure this semester, paying back United Prairie Bank last week and even making a profit to donate to Kids Against Hunger, said professor Claudia Pragman.
The students are donating $1,700 to Kids Against Hunger, which is in addition to the almost 300 hours of volunteer time the 16 students put into that organization, Riverside Pet Shelter, ECHO Food Shelf and IMPACT.
“Yes, we (were) very pleased with the students’ work, and we do plan to continue the IBE program in fall 2012,” Pragman said of the pilot program, adding that IBE will expand in the fall to include an additional marketing course.
The idea behind IBE was to allow students to develop and run a real-world business. They sold two products.
The first was a collapsible water bottle for $5. It’s reusable, which is environmentally friendly, and when it’s empty, it can be collapsed and stored in a person’s pocket or bag.
The second product was a T-shirt with a vintage Maverick logo that originated on campus gear in the 1970s. The athletic department gave the OK to the group to resurrect the logo exclusively for their T-shirt, which they sold for $10.
The cheap price tag, as well as the vintage logo, helped make the shirt appealing to college kids, said group CEO Tom Odegaard.
The T-shirts went over so well, Pragman said, that the students had to reorder twice due to a couple of large corporate orders.
The whole project was about experience, the group said in March, not profit, which is why they donated the money they made after the loan was repaid.
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