Entrepreneurship students learn though Wolffest, a UH tradition
Wolffest, a 19-year-old tradition at UH, gave Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship students the opportunity to enhance their entrepreneurial skills and raise money for scholarships.
As a part of the WCE capstone course, Wolffest is pivotal for students who intend to graduate from the entrepreneurship program.
“It has one primary objective: teaching WCE students how to implement what they have learned in the program,” said Wolffest chief communications officer Noah Morales.
“Students experience all the challenges of organizing, researching, negotiation, revenue andvcost modeling, operating, delegating, adjusting, competing and evaluating their own business’ success and/or failure,” Morales said.
In years past, junior and senior classes in the WCE were split into teams. Each team is tasked with operating a successful business and competing to raise the most money.
Students were responsible for securing local food vendors and selling their food during the competition. Each year this festival would raise more than $250,000 per year in food sales and donations.
Although, like many events in the past year, the pandemic brought along the need to adapt.
Instead of the traditional three-day food festival at UH, they had a virtual gala where each student team presented a video of the innovative ways they made money during this time. After each video, guests had the option to donate to the teams, as well as bid in a silent auction.
Each team’s video involved creating their own business model, as well as using social media to promote their event.
With this unique shift in how the event played out, unique challenges presented themselves as well.
Keeping volunteers engaged due to online meetings, getting donations since most businesses have been affected by COVID-19 and bringing value to businesses in a new way were all challenges that the organization hadn’t dealt with before.
However, new opportunities also revealed themselves.
“My team worked on exposing the crawfish shacks brand by having pop ups at local breweries and bars in the Houston and Galveston area,” Morales said.
Additionally this year, an event with East End Backyard garnered attention from local news outlets.
“WCE has been recognized by ABC13,” Morales said. “Two teams collaborated to create the ‘Her Market,’ which is a market for women-owned businesses. Another team hosted gaming tournaments, which reached over 80 countries.”
Overall, the event was able to still simulate the same networking and learning opportunities, despite the pandemic.
“Through Wolffest, the UH community can always look forward to having the University’s network expanded, supporting alumni that have opened their own businesses and supporting well deserving students with scholarships,” Morales said.