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Pig Roast and Cake Cap Off School’s Entrepreneurship Consulting Program

April 26, 2013
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Christopher Poore (BBA ’12) of College Hunks Hauling Junk, a national moving company franchise, said students made a lasting impact on the company.

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Roasted pig and a U-shaped cake were on the menu in April as entrepreneurship students marked the conclusion of the capstone course in the School’s entrepreneurship major. Why pork and cake? The companies behind the menu items were among the 11 small businesses participating in this year’s Student Entrepreneurship Consulting Program (SECP),  in which students spend a semester working consulting for the companies on projects ranging from identifying new distribution channels to developing new product launch plans.

Susy Alvarez-Diaz, interim director of the School’s entrepreneurship programs, said the program is continuing to grow. “The types of companies that we worked with this year were not necessarily in the startup phase, but were established companies that would really benefit from the expertise our students can offer.” 

Among the companies students worked with this semester were La Caja China, which, as a maker of a popular pork, chicken and turkey roaster featured on FoodNetwork.com, provided the pork roast at the event; and Edda’s Cake Designs, a South Florida cake company, which provided the UM-inspired cake.

“What these clients do is crucial for our students,” added Alvarez-Diaz. “They can read all they want from books, but when they actually get down to the business of running the business, that’s how they learn about and overcome the challenges of entrepreneurship.” 

   
 

“This kind of experiential learning is really right at the heart of what we’re trying to do at the School,” said Gene Anderson, dean of the School. “It’s essential for preparing our students to be successful as they get into the business world, and it’s a great opportunity for them to see how what they’re learning in the classroom comes together in the real world.”

Christopher Poore (BBA ’12) of College Hunks Hauling Junk, another participating firm and a previous winner of the University of Miami Business Plan Competition sponsored by the School of Business, said students made a lasting impact on the company by implementing a referral partnership program with local Miami companies and property managers.

“The students were very involved,” said Poore. “They built a sustainable marketing plan specifically for our new Miami location and helped identify our target markets. It involved a lot of networking and relationship building, relationships that we will maintain in the future.”

It was a very hands on experience,” said Lisa Weintraub, whose team helped create online sales and distribution strategies for Edda’s Cake Designs. “Rather than work on an abstract plan, we’re able to get a feel for the company, figure out what value we can add, and see the companies actually implement the strategies we come up with.”

The other organizations participating in this year’s consulting program included the Miami City Ballet, BoaterRated.com, DavidsBeenHere.com, Robbie Lip Gloss, Mr. Solar, Holstein Housewares, Miami Today, and Earth Learning.

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