BYU-Idaho’s Entrepreneurship Society meets every Thursday from 2-3 p.m. in the Joseph Fielding Smith Building room 340 and, this semester, holds the opportunity of a trip to Hawaii.
“The Entrepreneurship Society is helping students get the relationships, knowledge and inspiration to get their ideas, and we help facilitate bringing their dreams to life,” said Jared Nygren, the Entrepreneurship Society’s president and a junior studying business management.
Alex Thompson, the Entrepreneurship Society’s trip coordinator and a freshman studying business management, said students with any skills or ideas are invited to attend in order to network with people that have skills that others do not.
“I don’t have a genius mechanical engineering idea,” Thompson said. “I don’t get that. I’m not the best at making a video, but I know how to promote your product. You don’t know how to do that, so we work together.”
Thompson said the Entrepreneurship Society often has guest speakers such as The New York Times best-selling author Cameron C. Taylor, and Nathan Gwilliam, the founder of adoption.com.
The society has guest speakers from the university faculty including the society’s advisor, Brother Redge Allen, Thompson said.
Last year, the Entrepreneurship Society took a trip to BYU for Investor’s Day, where they had the opportunity to network with 100 of the best entrepreneurs that have graduated from BYU, Thompson said. One of the students from BYU that attended Investor’s Day a few years ago recently sold their business, “Scan,” to Snapchat for $54 million, according to The Digital Universe at BYU.
Thompson said one of the most anticipated events of the year in the society is the “Great Idea Video Pitch Competition” that will take place Nov. 5.
“People who attend the society will create a team with other society members, and with that team, you will create a business with a business model and a video,” Thompson said. “The video will be about your big idea to change the world or solve a world problem.”
Whichever team wins the BYU-I “Great Idea Video Pitch Competition” gets an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii to compete in the competition at BYU-Hawaii, Thompson said.
He said whoever wins that competition wins $20,000 in funding to start their business.
“There are three categories: the social venture category, the service category and the product category,” Nygren said. “You submit your idea through a 2 to 2 1/2 minute video pitch focusing on the ‘why’ of the problem you are wanting to solve.”
Thompson said that last year, the winner’s idea was to save the bees. He said the entire video focused on how important bees are and did not touch on the business idea; the team showed the effect bees have on the world in an emotional way, which led to their team’s victory.
Thompson said the competition will be in Boise next semester, with winnings between $40,000 and $100,000.
“Everybody needs entrepreneurship, and entreprenreurship needs everybody,” Nygren said. “We need someone from the humanities department, we need someone from the engineering department, we need someone from communications. Everybody should be involved.”
The Entrepreneurship Society provides valuable experience no matter your career goals, Thompson said.
“It’s an unparalleled opportunity,” Thompson said. “A lot of the time, people think that entrepreneurship is just for business, but it’s for everyone. It’s kind of a ‘one-size-fits-all.’”
Nygren said the Entrepreneurship Society has picked up speed, especially in the last three semesters.
“We invite everyone to join the excitement,” Nygren said.