“Pure logical thinking cannot yield us any knowledge of the empirical world; all knowledge of reality starts from experience and ends in it.” – Albert Einstein. How true is this concept? This idea originates from the belief that people can only truly understand something through experiential learning. MBV has designed a weeklong project that prompts students to use everything they learned and work as a team to create a comprehensive business plan.
To begin our day, students packed the auditorium to hear from Jeff Munneke, a sales executive for the Minnesota Timberwolves and a member of the BestPrep Board of Directors. Prior to his keynote address, there was a nervous chatter about how business plan presentations would go. However, as soon as Jeff began talking, his tone and utter enthusiasm commanded the room’s attention to his topic of discussion: first impressions, interviews and treating everyone as if they are the greatest person on the planet. He said that in order for the Timberwolves to craft such an amazing fan experience, the Wolves needed to sincerely look at each guest as though they were they most honored person in the world. This was a message that most students had never heard before, and an idea that fervently resonated.
Next, student companies were visited by personal money management professionals to educate about checkbooks and the consequences of not balancing bank statements. Presenters showed how to create a budget for his or her lifestyle and how to use free cell phone apps that track budgets. One RBL commented afterwards, “I wish that I could have been taught that in high school, you don’t learn that kind of stuff until well into college.”
This afternoon, companies at last presented their business plans to investors and requested loans for their products. Students were given fifteen minutes to present their business with a five minute follow up period for questions. The leader of Company E said beforehand, “My group was nervous for the questioning period, but we’ve practiced so much that we’re sure we’ll do our best.” The company presented a new product called “CarFul,” a technological seatbelt which detected epilepsy attacks, heart attacks and panic attacks. In the state of an emergency, the car would carefully slow down and pull over using self-driving technology. After explaining the target market, advertising strategies, financial statements and profit predictions, they ended requesting a $600,000 investment. Judges were so impressed with the business plan they ended giving a $1,000,000 investment in exchange for more shares of the company. 14 other small groups went through a similar process in a way that challenged every group to get out of their comfort zone and apply the lessons they learned at camp.
After business presentations, students heard from a brand new keynote speaker to MBV: Timberwolves VP of Community Engagement, John Thomas. John described the importance of utilizing your strengths to serve your job but most importantly to help the community around you. Former NBA star, John had an extremely intriguing story on how he progressed in his career and reached his moral frame work. John’s message really struck a chord with students again, a large fraction stayed after to exchange contact information and ask him more questions.
Finally, as a last celebration, student competed in a fun Minute-To-Win-It competition. With no more stressful projects pending, the campers had a blast. This group of high schoolers approached every single day to go above and beyond: taking notes during presentations, creating detail-oriented business plans, and networking with many business professionals. Thank you to everyone who made the 38th year of MBV such a success!