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Interior of the Business Building, home of the Lacy School of Business
Andre B. Lacy School of Business

Lacy School Experiential Learning

Business Starts When Class Begins.

Imagine creating a business plan, pitching your ideas to executives, and winning a cash prize to launch and run your own successful business. Now imagine doing that your sophomore year of college. The Real Business Experience class is for all students in the Andre B. Lacy School of Business, and teaches them how to take educated-risks, market themselves, finance a project, and manage a business—not just from a textbook, but by actually doing it. Students in Butler's Lacy School of Business don't wait for a career to start. They graduate with four years of experience.


Graduate with Experience.

There's a reason we're consistently ranked as having one of the best internship programs in the country. Butler students are required to complete two internships for academic credit. Most schools don't even require one as a graduation requirement. Students can connect with employers through Handshake, our personal and career development tool.

We have a full-time staff that helps students find job opportunities. We work with a network of over 2,000 internship employers and are one of the top universities from which Johnson & Johnson recruits interns for its Leadership Development Programs. Students have interned with companies including BKD, Delta Faucet, Johnson & Johnson, Merrill Lynch, Northwestern Mutual, One America, PwC and Roche Diagnostics. Our location just minutes from downtown Indianapolis provides students with many internship opportunities. Learn more about our internship program.

First-Year Business Experience

We Learn Business by Building Our Own.

In this class you will develop a business idea, write a business plan, and present your work to a panel of business executives. By the end of the semester, you will have a better understanding of business concepts and learn more about yourself as a business professional. Students are placed into teams and learn how to work together through assessments like the Myers Briggs Type Indicator. During the Get Real Weekend, you will learn about teamwork through a series of interactive group activities. Teamwork is emphasized throughout the semester.

At the end of the semester you will compete with the other business teams for the title of Top Dawg. Teams are evaluated by classmates and a panel of business executives. As a Top Dawg, you receive bragging rights, an automatic "A" on your final exam, and your classmates are given an optional final.

Top Dawg Winners

Spring 2015—OmniNet: manufacturers nylon base netting systems that are treated with an organic pesticide to protect crops.

Fall 2014—Finger Fob: convenient, safe technology that allows you to unlock and start your car with your fingertip.

Spring 2014—Watch and Locate: GPS-enabled child-tracking device and app.

Fall 2013—Con Cell, LLC: a cell phone app that uses Bluetooth and Siri voice recognition technology to allow users of gaming consoles to talk and text without interrupting video game play.

Spring 2013—Foul Out: produces an innovative line of athletic bags containing odor-blocking technology.

Real Business Experience

Learn the Business. Then Run It.

In just one year students form teams, create a business idea, apply for funding, and start and run their own business. An experienced team of faculty and professional mentors coach the businesses. Once you develop a business idea and create a business plan, you will apply to receive up to $200 in funding. This loan helps you get your business started. Team members can keep any profits or reinvest in their business.

At the end of the semester, teams are selected to compete in the Zotec Business Competition. Awards are given to the RBE business that captures the 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. Winning teams, selected by Zotec Partners and other business professionals, receive cash awards. Awards are split evenly among each team member. Each academic year, $25,000 is awarded to six student business teams. ($17,000 in the spring and $8,000 in the fall)

Spring 2016 Competition Winners 

First Place: Distinct Ink

Second Place: BU Cookies

Third Place: Expressions

Spring 2015 Competition Winners

First Place: Butler University Bassoon Reed Co. (BUBRC)

Second Place: Freedom of Peach

Third Place: I+Care

Fall 2014 Competition Winners

First Place: OmniWear

Second Place: H20!

Third Place: Bracelets on a Mission

Spring 2013 Competition Winners

First Place: Sixth Man

Second Place: State Road 5

Third Place: Dawg Decal


Success Stories

Butler Bed Buddy

Modeled after the university's former beloved mascot, Blue II, this bulldog pillow was designed by Butler students Brandon Shannon, Sarah Grace, Michael Mueller, and Emily Sparrow. The Butler Bed Buddy was promoted on campus, through social media and local news outlets, eventually turning $10,000 in profit.


Sophomore students Brian Todd, Adam Pallini, Brian Straughn, and Cole Dalton noticed lots of fans had been making a 3-finger hand signal at games when a 3-point shot was made. They decided to create a foam hand replicating the signal. They created Freelance Foam, and then manufactured the Thringer. Butler bought Thringer's for their student section. They later sold 3,000 to the NCAA for the Final Four in Indianapolis.

MJ Student-Run Insurance Group

Bulldogs Built For Industry

Our Student-Run Captive Insurance Company was born from our intent to equip students for success. Hands-on experience in the Captive Insurance Company means taking on real risks and real underwriting, while also gaining insight into starting and running a business. From creating and updating insurance financial reports to underwriting fine arts, our first phase of coverage offerings will provide an extensive baseline from which students can learn. Phases two and three will further our capabilities by expanding the business to lines of insurance that could develop into real life consumer products. 

Learn more

The Student-Managed Investment Fund

As a finance student, you'll work in teams with a professional money manager/advisor and manage $2 million in actual endowment funds. Since the fund's inception, students have beaten their benchmarks each year.

Bright Blue

Bright Blue is a marketing and communications agency within Butler University. The agency's main, service areas are strategic communication, branding, creative and digital media. As a student-run business, employees experience first-hand what it takes to deliver excellent work to clients and manage an agency. The business is supported a project director and a program manager, who are both industry professionals and provide expertise and guidance.