Campus News

Wolffest tests students ability to start up businesses

Wolffest kicked off its three-day event by filling the campus with flavors and blaring music at Butler Plaza on Tuesday afternoon. Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship business students first brought the event back in 2002 as BurgerFest, and has since grown larger with each year.

Eight student teams, who’ve gathered more than 30 sponsors, set up their tents in front of the M.D. Anderson library where they served a variety of foods, ranging from classic American barbecue to the staples of Mexican and Mediterranean cuisine.

Wolffest gives the entrepreneurship students an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills they learned in class to a practical application of running a start-up business.

“I think I’ve learned a lot about leadership through this whole process,” said Laura Mahaney, and leader of Cougar Quarter team. “I have four seniors, four juniors and about 15 volunteers. I’ve never led a group that large before.”

The teams compete to make the most profit throughout the festival. The proceeds will go towards funding for WCE programs and scholarships.

Mahaney said she had no plans for going into restaurant business but thinks that Wolffest provided her an opportunity to get valuable experience of running a business.

Finance sophomore Maryam Wasi said each team had invested a lot of effort into putting their projects together since they started in the fall last year.

The teams were tasked with completing every step of the process, from finding sponsors and raising funds to setting up their venues, doing the marketing and serving students.

Kirby Lammers, member of Bauer Leadership Initiative board who has more than two decades of experience in management and professional speaking, said that an event such as Wolffest is unique to Bauer and it makes UH one of the best business schools in the nation.

She said it’s been a great kick-off so far.

“It looks like it’s growing,” Lammers said. “I’d say that it’s a success.”

Wolffest will last until Thursday, from 10 to 4 p.m each day.

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