MBV 2019 St. Thomas Day 3: Entrepreneur Day

Roz Tsai speaking at Minnesota Business Venture and St. Thomas

Students started the early morning with a company meeting and a presentation from Isabel and Caroline Bercaw, founders of Da Bomb Fizzers. The sister entrepreneurs were only 10 and 11 when they started their bath bomb business. The Bercaws explained the process of starting a business and gave the students an inside look of what goes on behind the scenes. They expressed that creativity, persistence, innovation, and commitment are all the qualities that make a successful entrepreneur. Now, at the age of 17 and 18, Isabel and Caroline’s business is flourishing and their products are in thousands of stores, including Target. At the end, the sisters surprised the campers with their very own bath bomb!

Then, companies then split into their smaller groups to attend breakout sessions. To continue the conversation about entrepreneurship, the students had the choice to attend a financing session led by Matt Molinaro from Ecolab, a marketing session led by Laura Murphy from Alpha Kappa Psi Scholarship Fund, or an operations session led by Allison Rubin from Target. These sessions helped the students gain a better grasp on what the rest of the week will look like, along with getting actionable advice on what they need to do to have a successful business plan.

Next, students had mock interviews. Each student was interviewed for 10 minutes by volunteers from the business community. From this activity, students were able to gain a valuable experience that they could apply in their own lives. They learned how to prepare a resume, they learned to think on their feet, and they gained confidence for future interviews.

Finally, Roz Tsai, Chief Learning Officer of Ecolab, informed the students with an interactive presentation about leadership. While sharing her personal stories, Tsai explained the difference between being a leader and being the boss. She stated, “Great leaders work for the greater good.” A boss is just a title; a leader is someone who encourages others to work, not for themselves, but as a team.  She also encouraged the students to overcome challenges and expressed the importance of embracing your imperfections.

After a long day of learning about what it takes to be a leader and an entrepreneur, students had the rest of the evening to meet with their company to plan out the perfect business plan.

Day three was full of success! Although many students were nervous for the mock interviews, that did not stop them from having fun! They managed to enjoy the day while learning more about the business world.