The Integrated Business Core, or IBC, groups of Spring Semester 2015 are in operation.
There are six businesses this semester: Bumboocha Hawaiian Grill, Classic Shine, Philly Up, Rixwear, Toasties and Treasures Home Decor.
The IBC program started in 2001, when Ricks College turned into BYU-I, according to Joshua Holt, a professor in the business department, in a video from the YouTube channel Tour BYU-Idaho .
IBC was inspired by a similar program at Oklahoma University, according to an interview from 2003 with Chris Andrews, one of the BYU-I professors of business management who initiated the program.
IBC is a class where participating students have the chance to learn from real life situations, according to Andrews.
Logan Near, CEO of Bumboocha Hawaiian Grill and a senior studying business management, said business management majors have to take the IBC class.
Near said that instead of a regular class with a teacher, students work and teach each other.
Near said students do not know which company they are going to work at the start of the class. They take a survey, and the teachers arrange them into groups.
Near said the IBC students spend a few days at Badger Creek Ranch, participating in team building activities. While there, they start thinking about what their products will be.
Some of the students who worked together start businesses together afterward, according to Andrews.
“One of the students in the team has a wife who knew some Hawaiian recipes,” Near said. “We prepared samples to be distributed in The Crossroads, and it was a success among the students.”
Students cannot see what real life is like when they are studying books, according to Andrews. Practice allows them to apply their studies.
IBC students have to work out difficult problems.
For example, they have to deal with suppliers who do not send the products or who ship the wrong amount, according to Andrews.
“They have to deal with personality conflicts, and there is money involved, so it is a real-life situation,” according to Andrews.
Gaby Alfaro, a junior studying business management, works with marketing for Bumboocha Hawaiian Grill.
Alfaro said the marketing department has been able to do most of the marketing plans for the company.
She said the company has a booth where students can try their food before going to the place where they actually sell it.
Near said the money to start the IBC companies comes from BYU-I and other investors.
In the first year of IBC, the four IBC companies generated $55,000 in revenue, according to Andrews.
Teachers do not focus on the profits, but on the behavioral aspects of business, according to Andrews.
Alfaro said the only way a company can have success is when all departments work together.
“I honestly expect to learn how to target specific customers and understand better what drives them to make the decision to buy,” Alfaro said.