CU IBC students display needed flexibility

CEDARVILLE — Each year, Cedarville University’s Integrated Business Core (IBC) program generates student groups that design and sell their own products. The program combines students pursuing degrees in marketing, management and finance, and the yearlong practicum helps students to develop a product, business plan and a funding system.

It’s a real-world experience in a safe campus environment that is intended to give business students practical experience.

One product that was generated from this year’s student groups is a flexible whiteboard product called Boardless, which eliminates the inordinate amount of sticky notes that help people stay organized.

Through research, the group found a material that allows for a flexible, thin, portable whiteboard that will stick to most surfaces without using adhesive. The back of the flexible whiteboard can be rinsed and reused, and can stick to a desktop, refrigerator or even to the back of a laptop computer. This allows for convenient spaces to jot down notes — and stay organized.

Along with the whiteboard, the product includes a marker and storage tube. Boardless was marketed to hospitals and classrooms across the country — selling for just $12.99. During a six-week campaign, the students sold more than 400 boards, generating $4,869 and close to $1,000 profit.

All their proceeds were given to Back2Back Ministries, an international Christian nonprofit organization dedicated to being a voice for orphans.

The Boardless team included Kyle Kennedy, a junior business management major from Cincinnati; Caleb Smith, a junior finance and marketing major from Navarre; Matias Myers, a junior finance major from Philadelphia; Josh Dunn, a junior finance major from Schenectady, New York; and Nathan Hoover, a junior information technology management major from Fort Collins, Colorado.

Cedarville’s IBC program teaches practical business experience as they walk through the experience of creating and selling a product. “We had to learn to be creative in how we advertise and sell because we couldn’t just make a cool product and put some ads online, sell and make money. It wasn’t that easy at all,” said Kennedy. “We had to reinvent and keep changing our product. We changed the size, the material, different add-ons and had to be flexible. I want to have my own business once I graduate, so for me it was a perfect experience learning the whole process — funding, planning and executing.”

IBC continues to push Cedarville student groups like Boardless to innovate in their field.