College of Business
Undergraduate Business Program

Real Business Experience

In just one year, students form teams, create a business idea, apply for funding (to a group of real business executives) - and if they receive funding, start and run their real business. The class is facilitated by a team of faculty and professional mentors who coach the businesses. The mentors have impressive professional experience and include business owners, consultants, doctors, lawyers and executives in fields such as life sciences, manufacturing, and human resources. The result is an amazing, interactive experience in which the facilitators learn as much as the students. Past student businesses have included a travel agency, screen printer, asphalt company, food importer, photo booth, advertising agency, ticket broker, calendar printer, transportation company, consulting service and more.

Each business is looked at as a process, how the students will behave and react in that business. Their grades are not determined by whether they make the largest net income or highest sales. We're looking at how the students actually run the business and what lessons they learn from that business.
Dick Halstead
Lecturer in Management
Coordinator of Real Business Experience

The Zotec Business Competition

Zotec Partners has created the Zotec Business Competition. All Real Business Experience (RBE) teams enrolled in the MG202 course are eligible to compete.

Awards are given to the RBE business that captures the true entrepreneurial spirit of risk taking, innovation and success. Zotec specifically looks for how well each team demonstrates the Five P's: Passion, Persistence, Perspective, Predictability, and People. 

Teams compete for cash awards

Winning teams can reinvest in their business or use as a cash bonus. Awards are split evenly among each team member. 

  • First Place: $4,000
  • Second Place: $2,500
  • Third Place: $1,500

Teams are evaluated on the following:

RBE teams are reviewed throughout the semester on presentation skills, execution of the Five P's and:

  • Business process management
  • Sales/marketing success
  • The hiring of quality employees
  • Growth/partnering
  • Use of technology
  • Social responsibility 
  • Business valuation 

Spring 2013 Competition Winners

First Place: Sixth Man
Second Place: State Road 5
Third Place: Dawg Decal

Fall 2013 Competition Winners

First Place: Butler Bed Buddy
Second Place: Quic Hire
Third Place: Lowkey Links

 Butler Bed Buddy

Butler students Brandon Shannon (from left), Sarah Grace, Michael Mueller and Emily Sparrow created a business for a class project and now they're turning a $10,000 profit selling Butler bed buddies -- a bulldog pillow pet. The venture is part of a required business class called Real Business Experience. / Mett Detrich / IndyStar