Welcome to BestPrep’s 2022 Minnesota Business Venture camp! It feels great to finally be back in person after 3 long years away. We’re excited to be back on campus at the University of St. Thomas and are so thankful to our friends at the Schulze School for Entrepreneurship for partnering with us once again.
The theme for our first day of camp was ‘Dare to Dream.’ Each day of camp, there is a theme and a sponsor, so today we are thanking 3M, one of BestPrep’s longtime partners, for making this happen.
To kick off ‘Dare to Dream’ day, we welcomed WCCO’s morning reporter Pauleen Le as our first keynote speaker. Pauleen is an incredible talent that grew up right here in the Twin Cities. We all grow up having many dreams and aspirations, some more achievable than others. Pauleen’s message encouraged us to aspire to be whoever we want to be, regardless of the adversity we may face from others based on our race, religion, gender, or anything else. In order to see change, we have to make it happen ourselves.
After the opening keynote, we met with our companies for the first time. Every student is assigned to a company, which is lead by a student CEO and a Residential Business Leader (RBL) who help guide the companies in developing a product or service of their design. Today, our focus was on getting to know each other, but as the week progresses, we will develop a business plan and present it to a panel of judges.
Then, we had our second keynote of the day, ‘Making it Count,’ with Daniela Vasan of the Wildflower Foundation, an organization that supports teachers as leaders in opening micro-Montessori schools across the country. Daniela’s message began with reminding us that we are all wanted and belong at Minnesota Business Venture. It’s so important as we strive to be inclusive and equitable that we make sure everyone knows they have a seat at the table. She also shared stories of her failures in school and career that helped her become a better person, reminding us that failures are okay, and they are to be expected. Her keynote was so relatable and inspirational, and such a great mindset to have as we start camp.
The second keynote was followed by dinner and then by an awesome MBV tradition: Junk Night! At Junk Night, each company gets to select 5 pieces of ‘junk’ (usually every day household items, toys, food packages, etc.) and use them in a 1–2-minute commercial selling a product inspired by the junk. It’s always fun and entertaining to see what each company comes up with. Interestingly, this year’s products largely focused on solving hair and beauty-related problems. You never know what will happen at Junk Night!
To read about our daily adventures at Minnesota Business Venture, check back each day this week to read our blog. See you tomorrow!