More Montana High Schools Attending Fall Entrepreneur Day
For the second year in a row, Montana State University (MSU)’s College of Business (CoB) hosted its Entrepreneur Day in the fall for large numbers of Montana high school students and teachers. Nine high schools, totaling more than 150 students and teachers from around the state, were in attendance. The 8th annual Entrepreneur Day took place on Wednesday, October 26 in the Strand Union Building on the MSU campus. This event engages high school students across the state interested in entrepreneurship and the field of business.
Students from Augusta, Big Timber, Bozeman, Great Falls, Helena, Livingston, Missoula, Reed Point and Ryegate participated in an interactive workshop where they worked together to develop unique sustainable entrepreneurial endeavors based in Montana. The students then gave an elevator pitch to a group of current MSU entrepreneur program students who judged them on the criteria given in the workshop assignment. Winners were announced and prizes awarded.
The business teachers and advisors believe the workshop was a great way to move students out of their comfort zone by meeting other Montana high school students and working together on a project. Sheri Campbell, with Sweet Grass County High School in Livingston, said, “My students really enjoyed the business portion of the morning and they thought the MSU students were extremely helpful [with the workshop]. What a great way for students to use the knowledge that they are learning in high school!”
After lunch, Ian Davis, of Yellow Dog Fly Fishing Adventures, spoke about doing business in the travel industry. His keynote presentation was open to the public. Davis gave a brief overview of his business, discussed the finer details of running a small business in Montana, especially one in the travel and fly fishing industries, and his overall business strategy. Throughout the presentation, Davis stressed the importance of being passionate about your job, saying it is critical to the success of any entrepreneurial endeavor. He discussed key strategies for his business, but reminded the audience the strategies hold true for all business, even a high school student’s lawn care business. Other keys to his business’ success were to under-promise and over-deliver and developing key relationships with business partners–in his case–local guides.
With any business endeavor, it is important to know everything about your business. In Davis’ case, Yellow Dog employees have been to their destination locations, developed relationships with all the people involved with that location, and they pay attention to details. Davis and crew take photos of all their destinations, even the bathrooms. “We only sell what we know!” Davis emphasized.
On top of knowing their product inside and out, Yellow Dog puts together pre-planning guides and tries to educate and prepare their customers so they have a better understanding about their trip and what to expect. Davis went over his marketing strategies: He has found it’s important to utilize the web and social media and promote a business memorably. The presentation concluded with a question and answer session.
Entrepreneur Day reflects the CoB’s and the Alderson Program in Entrepreneurship’s commitment to improve Montana’s economic development, while providing a framework for an outstanding educational experience for students. This event was sponsored in part by Boeing.
Students from any major at MSU can take entrepreneurship coursework through the CoB’s 30 credit-hour Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management minor.
For more information about the MSU College of Business Entrepreneur Day, please contact Audrey Lee at 406-994-7026 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The 2012 event is scheduled for Thursday, November 1.