Business college launches new minor

About 75 people gathered to celebrate the launch of the Soderquist College’s new entrepreneurship minor and hear a Shark Tank survivor speak on Tuesday.

DSCF5707Sarah Hartwick, Shark Tank survivor and co-founder of Surfset Fitness, spoke on the transition from having an idea to creating a business model.

“I am glad JBU gives us the opportunity to meet and listen to business people like her. It is so interesting to listen how a successful company started and have a better understanding of what it means to be a business major,” Sofia Cruz, junior marketing major, said.

“She talked a lot about the benefits of being an entrepreneur, and how you can get so creative. You don’t have to follow the rules of whatever your boss is saying because you’re your own boss,” said Gustavo Zavala, junior marketing major. “That’s a lifestyle that I would actually like to live.”

“The staff and faculty at JBU have noticed our student’s talent and hunger for entrepreneurship,” Elana Carson, graduate student at the University, said. Carson explained that the curriculum already has a hint of entrepreneurial spirit and the students have succeeded in entrepreneurial ventures over the past few years in the Governor’s Cup, a business plan competition for students with ideas for new or improved products and services.

Eva Fast, instructor of business, agreed with Carson.

“There’s been a rising interest in entrepreneurship among the student body and the faculty in the College of Business,” Fast said.

Fast also stated that the Governor’s Cup has helped in inspiring the minor.

“Successful teams from the College of Business often engage students from other disciplines, such as engineering and the arts. This collaboration is exciting and it highlights students’ desire to create,” Fast said.

Fast said it is “a privilege to equip students at this intersection with tools valuable for being agents of God’s redemptive work.”

“The Soderquist Family Foundation gift for innovations in business education made this DSCF5716possible,” Clayton Anderson, manager of strategic innovation at the Soderquist Center said.

The minor will consist of seven classes: Methods and Tools for Entrepreneurs, Business Communications, New Venture Financial Management, Building Innovative Teams and Cultures, Integrated Marketing Communications, Market Discovery and Validation and Innovation Launch Lab.

Carson said that she wants “students to learn about what it is really like to be an entrepreneur and feel prepared after graduation.”

“Their journey is far from easy,” Carson said, explaining that entrepreneurs face many challenges.

“I want our students to experience failure, take risks and learn foundational skills that will assist them in future entrepreneurial endeavors. Whether they plan to launch their own company, sustain a family business or work for the innovation department in an established firm, students should have the methods and tools necessary for any venture,” Carson said.

Anderson said students will learn the skills and attitudes they need, “but more central is the notion that entrepreneurs can play an important role in God’s redemptive work.”