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University of Central Missouri
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Contact: Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG, MO (May 3, 2013) – Students in Integrative Business Experience at the University of Central recently presented a check for $5,501 to the Warrensburg Parks and Recreation Department for use in the department’s scholarship program.
Coasters 5000, one of three groups of students participating in the IBE program this semester, made the presentation, which represents the profits from their IBE experience. The scholarship fund helps families whose children would like to participate in parks and recreation programs by assisting with fees.
Drying the completed tiles prepares them for packaging.
In addition to providing funds, the group also provided 392 hours of community service, assisting Warrensburg Parks and Recreation staff and coordinating a kickball tournament.
Each semester, students enrolled in the Integrative Business Experience in UCM’s Harmon College of Business and Professional Studies gain firsthand experience in the business world by developing and marketing a product. Profits generated from the sale of the product benefit a local not-for-profit organization.
During spring semester 2013, Coasters 5000 took the IBE experience one step further. In addition to developing a product, the group also manufactured their product. While past IBE groups have traditionally purchased their products from a vendor for resale, Coasters 5000 purchased the materials and created their product, a set of four drink coasters, with the assistance of faculty from the UCM School of Technology.
The coasters are made of 4-inch square clay tiles purchased at a local home improvement store, which are then screen printed with one of four unique UCM logos, using a permanent process for durability. Members of the group participated in the production process, from washing the tiles before they were screened, to drying the screened tiles and packaging them for sale. Assistance in the screen printing process was provided by faculty from the graphic arts technology management program at UCM.
“We came up with our name, Coasters 5000, based upon our goal of raising $5,000 for our selected not-for-profit,” said Matt Simmons, an officer of the group. “When we began looking for a vendor to make the coasters for us, we also began researching the cost and feasibility of producing the product ourselves. We discovered it was more cost effective, since we already had the labor and the resources available to us here on campus.”
Students enrolled in the Integrative Business Experience at UCM learn about all aspects of developing and marketing a product. They are required to enroll in courses in marketing, management and information systems. As a group, they complete market research to determine demand for a product, develop a product prototype, find a vendor to produce it, and market the product for a profit. Each group is required to acquire a startup loan from a local bank, which is repaid at the end of the semester.
Since it was started in spring 2004, IBE has generated more than $400,000 in gross sales, netting profits in excess of $200,000 to benefit local not-for-profit organizations.
Representive of Coasters 5000, an Integrative Business Experience Team at the University of Central Missouri, recently presented a check for $5,501 to the Warrensburg Parks and Recreation Department. Participating were, left to right, Parks and Recreation staff members Valerie Krecher, Michael Taylor, Marcy Bryant, Kim Nicas and Dodee Matthews, and Coaster 5000 officers Preston Wegeng, Daniel Scott, Christian Loesing, Matt Simmons, Rachel Prescott, Cameron Adams, Alex McDonald and Austin McBride.