BVU business students participate in Okoboji Entrepreneurial Institute
Four Buena Vista University students participated in the annual Okoboji Entrepreneurial Institute (OEI) Aug. 6-11 at the Iowa Lakeside Laboratory on West Lake Okoboji.
The students who were selected for OEI are:
• Jacob Jensen, a senior business major (with a concentration in financial decision making) from Badger
• Blake Rosendahl, a senior business major (with a concentration in marketing) from Spencer
• Nicholas Amundson, a senior triple business major (with concentrations in marketing, sports management and entrepreneurship) from Spirit Lake
• Alyssa Kragelund, a senior accounting and business double major (with a marketing concentration) from Anita
• Alternate for OEI was Kolten Bader, a senior business major (with a concentration in marketing) from La Porte City
“At OEI, students put their classroom knowledge into practice as they engage in a hands-on entrepreneurial simulation wherein they create, operate and fund a simulated business,” said Lisa Kesting Best, acting dean of the Harold Walter Siebens School of Business. “Their experience also includes pitching a business deal, working with colleagues from across the state to compete for cash awards, learning from successful business, community and political leaders, and networking with some of Iowa’s top entrepreneurs.”
The institute is a joint effort of the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation (Buena Vista, Clay, Dickinson and Emmet counties), the State Board of Regents, the Iowa Department of Economic Development and the Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and University of Northern Iowa.
“At OEI, students put their classroom knowledge into practice as they engage in a hands-on entrepreneurial simulation wherein they create, operate and fund a simulated business.”
Lisa Kesting Best
The BVU students joined other young entrepreneurs from the Regents schools and Iowa Lakes Community College for the six-day academic experience, and students earned three academic credits upon completion. OEI is an advanced study of entrepreneurship that includes an entrepreneurial simulation, seminars with successful entrepreneurs and business and community leaders, and networking and mentoring to enhance their understanding of entrepreneurship opportunities in Iowa. During the week, the students stayed with host families and also participated in a community service project.
Throughout OEI, students worked in teams on a computer-based simulation and presented their business plans to community volunteer venture capitalists to acquire capital to fuel growth for the simulated companies.
“I gained very valuable advice, knowledge, and networking opportunities because of OEI, and I would not trade the experience I had for anything,” said Jensen, who was part of a winning computer simulation team that focused on starting a computer manufacturing business. “The people I met were more than willing to share their stories and journeys with me throughout the week, and through those, I was finally able to identify what my true passion is and how I can go about achieving it.”
Rosendahl, who was also part of a winning computer simulation team, added, “The most beneficial thing that I took away from OEI was the advice and relationships that all of the sponsors were willing to offer. While at OEI, you get to meet some of the most successful business people from the area, and they are happy to talk with you and tell you anything that you would like to know. Most students won’t meet these people in a lifetime, and we got to meet them in a matter of days.”