New Carlson School club provides students with real-life experience

Ventures Plus, a recently formed club, allows business students to interact with local companies.

Ed Swaray

A newly formed club gives business students the opportunity for real-life experience in exchange for assisting local businesses.

Ventures Plus, the 2-month-old Carlson School of Management club, includes faculty, students pursing a master’s in business administration and alumni, said Andrew Teitscheid, Ventures Plus president.

Club members provide services including writing business plans, conducting market research and offering contact with venture capitalists to small businesses.

Venture capitalists are investors interested in startup and growing companies with the goal of above average financial returns.

In return, small business owners share their expertise and provide club members with hands-on experience about starting a business – an experience that goes beyond the classroom, Teitscheid said.

The club has four different groups including real estate, acquisition, networking, and new products and ventures, he said.

While each group’s function might vary, he said, each is geared toward creating a working relationship with the small business community.

“Ventures Plus is important to small startup businesses that do not have access to market research and professional business plan,” Teitscheid said. “We provide those services as well as a forum in which they can talk about their business with other professionals.”

He said the club, which has 100 members, is funded through donations from members of the Carlson School’s Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and the business community.

“There is a big opportunity for an organization like Ventures Plus to help foster the entrepreneurial spirit in the region,” Teitscheid said.

Dileep Rao, a Carlson School professor, said the center provided funds to Ventures Plus because it is another way students can practically learn entrepreneurship.

“This helps to promote the learning of entrepreneurship in addition to classroom learning,” he said.

Dennis Boda, a University alumnus and club member, said by reaching out to the Twin Cities business community, club members and the business community can benefit.

“This is a dynamic club,” he said. “By being partners with the business community we are supporting one another by providing resources back and forth.”

Matt Dooley, a University graduate student, said club members’ diverse professional and cultural backgrounds are reflective of the Twin Cities’ business community.

“We have club members with the experience to work with entrepreneurs in various kinds of businesses and from different culture backgrounds,” he said.