Oklahoma Christian University’s College of Business is providing new opportunities to help current students launch their start-up ideas.
A new opportunity available to business students this year is free business tutorials offered by Entrepreneur in Residence Russ McGuire. The tutorials will consist of McGuire providing informal mentoring to business students during the week.
McGuire said the tutorials provide students a space to not only learn from him, but also learn from one another.
“One thing that I found last year was that there were a number of students who had start-up ideas and some of those start-up ideas had overlaps,” McGuire said.
McGuire also said he thought it would be good if there was an opportunity to have an ongoing interaction in place where people could talk about their ideas and compare notes.
“I think the kinds of issues students are going to face may not be the same as what people outside OC are facing,” McGuire said. “But the concept is similar — create a space where people can feel like they aren’t alone, where they can have other people they can talk to about their idea.”
Another opportunity for business students is the Christian Entrepreneur Dinner Discussions led by a combination of guest speakers and McGuire.
The talks occur once a week throughout the year in the Gotcher Room and center around how students can integrate entrepreneurship and faith.
Last year, sophomore Tyler Clark attended a talk held by Oklahoma Christian alumnus Barry Kelly about a car wash business he began while at Oklahoma Christian. Afterwards, Clark was inspired to start his own business.
“It was so cool that someone who was my age and in college could start a business,” Clark said. “I had never thought about starting a business myself, much less that I would start one while in college, but as Barry spoke to us I realized that this could be a possibility for me.”
After recognizing the need that elderly members in the community had for daily assistance in their homes, Clark decided to create his business, h2h.
“h2h finds non-professional, neighborhood jobs that align with their free time,” Clark said. “Students enjoy finding work through h2h because they will always be paid above minimum wage and they can work whenever they’d like. The clients like h2h because they are paying students less than they would professionals to come mow their lawn while also supporting college students.”
Clark said he encourages students with business ideas to reach out and take the first steps.
“All it takes is a good idea and from there things can really blossom,” Clark said. “Of course, starting a business isn’t all a bed of roses. It’s a lot of hard work, more than initially realized. However, OC is a wonderful place to help you start and grow your business.”
Fellow sophomore business student Casey Lind began a short-term business last year after winning the Business Bootcamp competition.
Business Bootcamp, hosted by the College of Business, imitated the show During the competition, students were split into teams and had to present a potential business idea to sell to the Oklahoma Christian community. Lind’s winning group presented the idea of the Eagle Cookie Company.
“We were thinking who doesn’t love or who doesn’t miss homemade cookies from home,” Lind said. “We were going with the whole ‘OC is home’ idea.”
After winning the competition, the Eagle Cookie Company sold homemade cookies on campus until Thanksgiving Break.
According to Lind, although the Eagle Cookie Company is no longer in business, it was an incredible learning experience.
“There were so many things that we didn’t expect to have to do or know about that we got to learn about,” Lind said. “I’m so grateful for that experience, just to do that.”
Lind said starting the Eagle Cookie Company gave her useful knowledge and insight for her future in business.
“It gave me a lot of ideas that I never thought about before,” Lind said. “Just with promotion and marketing and the inner-workings of business and the things you have to go through to make it work, I know will be helpful for my future business classes and if I were to start my own business.”
The Christian Entrepreneur Dinner Discussions are held throughout the semester in the Gotcher Room, next to the cafeteria, on Tuesday evenings at 4:45 p.m.
The Entrepreneur Tutorials are offered in the Eagle Ventures Co-Working Space (MLC 237) every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.