Henley business students present plans to business owners for their semester final
Ever tried using your smartphone while riding your bike? Not an easy task.
Michael Molineaux, Bowen Mabou, and Zachary Taylor want to make it easier. The three Henley High School students introduced a business plan for Power Bike that would, among other items, produce and sell easy-to-mount and use phone holders for bicycles.
Do your feet ever get cold? Perhaps you’ll want to buy a pair of heated shoes from Phenom Shoes, a business proposed by Henley students Savannah Preston and Colt Earls. The shoes also would be self-tying.
The five were among more than 30 students who gathered at Gaucho Collective downtown last week to present business plans to a group of small business owners, who asked questions and judged the students on their presentations.
The business plan of the day for students? Impress the panel of judges and get a good grade on their finals in their intro to business class. This is the fourth time Luke Ovgard, a business teacher at Henley High School, has asked small business owners to volunteer as judges so his students could experience a hands-on final exam.
Students, in teams of two or three, pitched their ideas and business plans. The plans must cover every aspect of the proposed business, including price points, production, and profit margins. “The judges give them feedback, and they are able to use that to maximize their grade by updating their business plans, which are their final projects,” Ovgard said.
Henley sophomore Tristan Smith proposed a graphic design company named True Arts. His idea was to create an online start-up company in the Bay Area, catering to small and mid-range businesses. Smith said the speaking skills he has gained from having to present in front of a group are invaluable. Mabou agreed. “It’s not like any other final I’ve ever done,” he said. “This is so much better all around.”
“It’s a lot of fun,” Preston said of giving a final presentation to local business owners. “It’s very interesting because it’s different from everything else we have to do. This kind of stuff is helpful in real life.”
Molineaux said it took his team about three months to develop the business plan for Power Bike, and he was pleased with the outcome and the engagement of the business owners. He also liked his business teacher’s idea of a final.
“When are you ever going to go up to your boss and take a standardized test?” he said. The judges who volunteered to listen to the business students finals included Seth Gretz, owner of Brevada Brewhouse; Sue Connelly-Pace, owner of Cranberry Station; Jen Ritter, owner of The Daily Bagel; Richard House, owner of House of Shoes; Christy Groff, owner of Mountain Lakes Employment Investigations; Nicole Morgan, owner of Nature’s Paint; Jordon Wendt, owner of Poppy; Dr. Richard Long, owner of Klamath Animal Clinic; and Laty Xayavong,
owner of Thai Orchid. The special guest judge was Glen Szymoniak, superintendent of the Klamath County School District.