A team of three undergraduate students from the Carl H. Lindner College of Business placed third in the country in the National Small Business Institute® Case of the Year Competition.
Chris Foti, BBA ’11, James Willis, BBA ’12, and Jennifer Hacker, BBA ’11, created an experiential field case that helped Maria Walley, Corryville business owner of Daelia’s Biscuits for Cheese, create a marketing plan “that used mostly free advertising because she did not have a big budget for marketing,” Foti says.
Once students gained an understanding of her business and examined the competition, they put together a four-stage marketing plan that used social media to keep costs low. Students also helped Walley form valuable business partnerships, create advertising and make future recommendations on television commercials and eventual franchise creation.
The business plan impressed judges to land them a third place finish in the case competition and a trip to the awards luncheon at the SBI National Conference on February 18, 2012, in San Antonio Texas. Each student will receive a plaque to commemorate the achievement.
“Among the most impressive aspects of this project were the results it generated for the client, which included an 18 percent increase in sales within the first six months,” says Tom Dalziel, assistant professor of entrepreneurship and strategic management, entrepreneurship undergraduate program director and Small Business Institute director. Dalziel was the team’s advisor and also attended the conference.
Foti says the entrepreneurship capstone project was a meaningful classroom experience.
“Some of the classes that I took involved just reading and studying past cases,” he says. “In this case, we were actively involved in a real-world case where we had to start from scratch. It was one of the best learning experiences I’ve ever been a part of,” he says.