Bauer students compete with good eats
No rain nor bad weather could stop students from the Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship at the C. T. Bauer College of Business from competing at the Wolffest.
The three-day battle of pop-up restaurant businesses that went from Tuesday through Thursday in Butler Plaza is a spring tradition at WCE that started in 2002 under the name BurgerFest. The project was started by entrepreneurship students with the intention to provide juniors and seniors with real-world experience of what it takes to start a business.
“This is organized by the students,” said entrepreneurship senior Ashley Reynal. “We don’t get any help from the program or from the school. We go through all the steps of creating a business on our own from the initial concept to finding sponsors, raising money and marketing.”
Wolffest has become part of the WCE capstone course and is the final step in completing a BBA in entrepreneurship from the center. The project’s primary goal is to teach WCE students how to write and implement an operations plan for business startup.
The competing teams this year were Bauer Bites Enterprises, Bauer Entrepreneurship Group, Big Game Theory, Coog’s House, Fortune 500, Game Changers and Shasta’s Shack (Team Lobos). Some of the sponsors behind the teams include Carrabba’s, Car Toys and Bullritos.
A big part of the project is to teach students how to work in teams, Reynal said. The teams’ CEOs choose the students they will be working with, and they are responsible for keeping their employees motivated and productive.
“It basically teaches seniors how to be CEOs and CFOs,” entrepreneurship junior Jonathan Cohen-Kurzrock said. “Juniors get to help with things like getting the tents and putting the event together in general. We also had some middle and high schoolers volunteer this year.”
Although it is a competition, all the profit goes back to the WCE to help with graduation and to keep the program moving forward, Cohen-Kurzrock said.
“The winning team gets bragging rights,” Reynal said. “The most important thing is what we are getting out of it. This has been the most amazing experience. It was a lot more work than I had imagined, but it has been incredibly rewarding.”