Entrepreneurship students start marketing business using video game tournaments
SEMO students in the Harrison College of Business and Computing have the opportunity to start their own business while pursuing an education.
Principles of Entrepreneurship: ER 361 focuses on helping students generate business ideas, create business investments and understand the role of entrepreneurship in a community.
Entrepreneurship professors Dr. Steven Stovall and Dr. Edward Crowley are two professors teaching ER 361 with different groups of students.
“We don’t expect them to bring a huge number of skills into the course,” Crowley said. “It’s great if they had some business classes, so they can have some understanding about accounting or finance, but in reality, many don’t and are from other majors with no business background. So really, it has a lot more to do with the mindset, and just being open to learning, having the desire and willingness to get engaged and to take some risks and have some fun.”
Stovall and Crowley had their classes compete to create a business to see which group could make the most money within the semester.
“They started off with one business and the process they used to get there by doing a brainstorming process where they come up with different ideas and we moderate it, but it’s really their idea, and they own it, and we just play a supporting role at that point,” Crowley said.
After the Fall 2021 semester was over, five students from ER 361 decided to partner together to start their own business.
Benji Arrigo, Curtis Null, Sky Spies, Chase Jones and Tanatswa Musunda, students of ER 361, created a business named Day and Age Marketing.
The goal of Day and Age Marketing is to assist small local businesses by marketing the small businesses with gaming tournaments, so they can help them get more exposure.
Day and Age Marketing head manager Spies said their business hosts video game tournaments that stream content onto Twitch.tv while they display advertisements for small businesses in Cape Girardeau.
“Some cases, we share personal anecdotes about times that we engaged with that business and enjoyed it, in hopes to convince some of the audience or participants that it might be worth their time to go check out that business and see if that’s someone they want to do business with, as well,” Spies said.
Crowley said the biggest takeaways he wants students to get out of this course are to build confidence and experience what an entrepreneur is with all its ups and downs.
Throughout the course, the professors were able to see major improvements from their students and the skills they picked up.
Crowley said after ER 361, he has his students in class for another year or two, where he can see they made a huge improvement, their mindsets have changed and they approach things differently.
While still being a full-time student, these business partners had to learn time management to juggle their business, classes and personal lives.
Spies said before they started their business, he was able to procrastinate, but now, he has to make sure he does everything on a timely schedule, so he has enough time to handle things with the business and his personal life.
“It holds you to a standard of responsibilities, and you have to grow up,” Spies said.
Curtis Null is the sales manager for Day and Age Marketing, and his role as a sales manager is to go to different businesses and have them sign up for the Day and Age Marketing strategies.
“One of the biggest struggles is understanding the importance of things, because internships, relationships, school are mainly trumping this [Day and Age Marketing] business right now, just because of where it’s at, and that's not the best thing to say when you're starting a business,” Null said. “But for the short-term, we need to do these things to move us on, and it's hard figuring out which is the most important one and put the time and effort that's needed into each of those for it to actually flourish.”
Being in ER 361 has helped the Day and Age Marketing partners prepare for their future.
“It’s the content creation, especially because that is what I will be doing all summer, and it has definitely helped me while doing it for this business, and it has helped me refine my skills and get ready for that next stage,” Arrigo said. “Especially with Adobe After Effects, which will be 90% of my job this summer, and I had never really worked with it before doing this business.”
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