Developing the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs: Comcast Business and Junior Achievement – Week 6

December 28, 2015

This is the sixth in a series on Comcast Business and its work with Junior Achievement. For a look at the previous article, click here.

Our fledgling business is getting ready to take flight. Last week, we assigned our students to functional business units—management and leadership, marketing, supply chain, customer service and sales, and finance. To prep for this week’s class, the students worked outside of class on their functional business plans using Basecamp, a Web collaboration tool. The students are used to working with Google Docs, so Basecamp presented some productivity challenges for those new to the platform (just like in a real company!), but they arrived prepared to share their plans. It was really interesting to see how the different groups approached planning and presentation.

When it came time to share the plans, some functions presented as a group, with each student taking a turn talking though a slide. Others relied on a single delegate to talk through the entire presentation, either reading from notes or talking to a set of slides. Also, some students chose to speak from their seat, while others went to the front of the room to talk to the group.

Overall, there was a sense of urgency to the presentations. It was clear the students had recognized they need to act quickly in order to meet project deadlines. For example, our product management team was most under-the-gun because, without a product, nothing can move forward.

Fortunately, the team identified a vendor to manufacture the agreed upon product. The other groups grilled the team to make sure the proposed vendor offered a unit cost that will allow the company to earn sufficient margin while still selling the product at a reasonable price.

The finance unit also presented, raising a lot of questions around funding and how much the students needed to raise selling company stock. And the marketing unit presented options for a company name and slogan, all of which they’d tested by polling other students before presenting. (Smart!)

We’re looking forward to hearing from the rest of the groups next week.

Read Week 7

Our fledgling business is getting ready to take flight.

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