An Innovation Mindset
Undergraduate Student-Run Business Development Services Firms: A New Educational Opportunity and Growth Alternative for Small and Medium Enterprises was authored by Peter Delaney, the Founder of Bear Studios, and was originally published in Entrepreneurship Education and Pedagogy on March 11, 2019.
This article explores undergraduate-run business development services firms catering to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as a new educational opportunity for students as the gig economy expands and as a growth alternative for SMEs. It describes how to structure the firm in the space between students, the university, and the regional community, and why this is an important model moving forward. This approach offers the dual benefit of providing SMEs with high-quality services at affordable rates and provides undergraduates with authentic work experiences that teach students to be flexible, operate on a per-project basis, and prepare themselves for “portfolio careers” of the future. Founded in 2015, Bear Studios has completed 82 projects with 62 different companies, split between health care (49%), education (20%), software (16%), consumer goods (6%), and other industries (9%). Involving 43 student fellows and having generated over $52,000 in billings to date, the company expanded to Baltimore and is expanding into the Salt Lake City metropolitan area. Students can become better prepared for postgraduate careers through this model. We propose how students can gain valuable work experience prior to graduation as a participant in the new workforce, while functioning as a cost-effective alternative for SMEs.
At Bear Studios our mission is to empower problem solvers. We leverage top quality talent from Washington University in St. Louis to provide our client businesses with impactful and game-changing solutions. Since our foundation in 2014, we have worked with over 100 businesses across the country. These companies have gone to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in seed funding, partner with global industry leaders in their respective fields, and change the world. If you are a small business owner, hoping to take a break from the ‘safe’ and start your own business or looking to improve your services, send us a note and ask for your free consultation today.