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School of Business Administration

MicroCompanies Bring Macro Experience to Sophomore Students

For Sophomores interested in entrepreneurship, their first course is an experientially-focused foundation where students are given the unique advantage of launching a real-life micro company funded by the University.

Like all startups, the microcompany year-long course begins with a business idea and a pitch. Each student submits their business idea to the entire class via a 60-second elevator pitch. The students in the class evaluate each idea and choose the top ideas they think are most likely to succeed. The original students who pitched these top ideas become the team’s CEO.

Since every great company needs a great team, the next step is a recruitment day where the presidents and executives match by pitching themselves and their skillsets through networking and negotiations. In addition, each team then gets $5,000 in seed money from the University to start their entrepreneurial journeys.

At the end of the academic year-long experience, the students pay back their original investment and split several ways. Twenty percent of the profit will go to charity, 20% will go to the Crotty Center ENT Scholarship Fund, 20% will go into a pool to be shared by the winning team, and 40% will be split among the team members. The team portion, as well as any bonus for the best-performing team, will be disbursed into a student’s bursar account when they register for the Capstone Course in Entrepreneurship. Even though the initial accounts are closed at the end of the year, the students are encouraged to continue their company after the course ends.

Melissa Oei, an entrepreneurship junior, was one who continued her project outside of class during the 2021-2022 Flyer Pitch Competition.  “My sophomore experience in the entrepreneurship major taught me lessons in leadership, motivation, and organization that were unique to the program. I was able to manage business operations of a full functioning team, strategize, and make profits all within an academic year. It taught me how to sell my business concept to anyone who approached. It helped me perfect my elevator pitch to later present to a board of judges in the Flyer Pitch Competition. It even connected me to local entrepreneurs and one that I even work for now! I had so many unique takeaways from the experience and it created a safe environment for an entrepreneur to make mistakes and learn from them. “

Held at the Hub Powered by PNC Bank at the Dayton Arcade, a one-of-a-kind joint venture between The Entrepreneurs' Center and The University of Dayton, students gain real-life experience in a real word environment.  By the end of the year, the students will have gained the experience of building a diverse team, launching a company, and repaying an investor. Of course, for those in the entrepreneurship program, the education continues into their junior year, where they go further in-depth into venture creation and financial aspects of entrepreneurship, and their senior year, which focuses on consulting with local small businesses.  

President of Flyer Stand Coolers, Bryan Baker, says, “Having the opportunity to own and operate Flyer Stand Coolers has been the most rewarding experience of my life. As 19 and 20-year-old college students, my team and I never imagined that we would have this kind of opportunity at such a young age. We have learned countless lessons, from how to work well as a team, to overcoming setbacks, and being able to not just identify, but maximize opportunity. It has taught us the large sacrifice that entrepreneurship demands, but has also shown our team the incredible reward that is possible with a little bit of hardwork and determination. Although running Flyer Stand Coolers has pushed all of us out of our comfort zone, it has undoubtedly allowed our team to grow as both individuals and future business leaders. The University of Dayton School of Business, as well as the Crotty Center, do an amazing job of preparing its students to be successful in their future careers and endeavors through unparalleled experiential learning such as the Sophomore Experience. We are so grateful to have had this opportunity.” 

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