Sam Pipiras ’22 — The Business Innovation Program is an outstanding opportunity that some CIBE consultants are lucky to be a part of. Thanks to the incredibly generous alumni support Wabash College has, we can do some amazing things. Like this past week, we had Mike Simmons ’88 the President of Bridge Builder Strategies talk about his personal experience in marketing and discussed two case studies such as Real Madrid Club de Futbol and An Entrepreneur’s New Product Development Journey. While analyzing the Real Madrid case, Mr. Simmons and his team emphasized the importance of brand and product management. Another critical factor I took away from the reading is that the best businesses are the ones that create meaningful relationships with their customers.
On the other hand, when discussing the Product Development case, Mr. Simmons pointed out many pushbacks entrepreneurs face when developing their product. In the case, Gauri Nanda’s products failed because she did not have an overall understanding of the market around her. We learned that market research is crucial when starting out and will make or break your product. This past week we also worked on our consulting projects. In an effort to reach Wabash’s goal of a 5.5% endowment draw rate, our consulting group is creating a plan to maximize the efficiency of Trippet Hall. Throughout the school year, Trippet Hotel’s occupancy rate is about 2-3% and costing Wabash millions of dollars. Our objective is to figure out how much revenue Trippet can bring in if the occupancy rate is about 60% during the school year. For our final BIP project, we had to come up with a technology/app-based idea, and my group came up with Travail. Travail implements a software system that is directly linked to a personalized app we create for that hotel, resort, or cruise. The hospitality industry is losing a lot of money because their customers are going to local restaurants, bars, and excursion activities off hotel property. The service we provide for the hospitality industry focuses on promoting “on-campus” resort activities and improving hotel efficiency. The app has many features that set us apart from any competition such as pool/beach seat reservations, one-on-one communication with concierge, specify a time slot for room cleaning, restaurant reservations, poolside ordering service, on resort activities itinerary, and much more. Through the Business Innovation Program, my peers and I learn essential business skills, practice real-life business scenarios, and deliver business plans/pitches. I would like to thank the CIBE Business Innovation Program for the opportunity.