Two students from Harvard University led workshops on how to pitch business ideas, perform market research and generate investment during the Harvard Weekend Business Academy held Nov. 4-5 on the campus of LSMSA.
Twenty-three students learned from lectures and interactive group work and finished the weekend by presenting a pitch with a group on a business idea. The LSMSA Foundation helped support this program to make it possible for the students.
“I chose to attend the Weekend Business Academy to learn more about the logistics of business and learn more about Harvard Business School,” said Samantha Wright, a senior from Crowley. “The weekend focused a lot on how to construct business ideas and market analysis.”
Wright added that she has always looked more toward the marketing side of business, so she was happy to break out of her bubble and explore the entrepreneurial and analytic side of the business world.
“This definitely has me feeling more prepared for college and graduate school, as I plan on pursuing a career in business,” she said.
Jordan Byrd, a junior from Denham Springs, chose to attend the academy due to his interest in economics.
“During the weekend activities, I learned interesting startup techniques such as using a SWOT diagram and how to make a pitch,” said Byrd. “I found this information beneficial primarily because it is similar to what I would want to do in my future.”
Amy Liu, a senior from Alexandria, and Vrat Joshi, a junior from Natchitoches, both attended the Summer Business Academy at Harvard this summer. The Summer Business Academy was a week-long course designed to teach high school students the essentials of business leadership, the fundamentals of business and the pathway to entrepreneurship.
“Each day, we not only learned through seminars led by Harvard undergraduate students and CEOs of companies, case studies led by a current Harvard professor and lectures, we also were able to engage in hands-on workshops to apply what we had learned in a business pitch of our own,” said Liu.
Over the span of the week, students created a business idea of their own before diving into the analytics of market research, design thinking, writing a business plan and developing an elevator pitch to lead to the finalized business pitch. At the end of the week, they presented the finalized business pitch they had worked on over the course of the week in a competition against other teams.
“Vrat and I had a great experience filled with information that we can bring with us to apply in future business endeavors,” said Liu. “We wanted to present the Weekend Business Academy to LSMSA students to give them the opportunity to build upon their business knowledge without having to travel miles away.”
After attending the Summer Business Academy at Harvard, Liu and Joshi had the opportunity to apply to become a Harvard Student Agencies intern to set up a Weekend Business Academy for those who wish to pursue business and entrepreneurship.
“We believed that presenting Weekend Business Academy provided students interested in business and entrepreneurship the opportunity to not only gain business skills, but the opportunity to showcase their knowledge,” said Liu.
Students participating in the Harvard Weekend Business academy include Aaron Gotte, a sophomore from Iota; Alexa Schleter, a senior from Lake Charles; Alvaro Carvajal, a senior from Jefferson; Andre Bourque, a sophomore from Gretna; Austin Roldan, a sophomore from St. Francisville; Bryce Moulton, a senior from Natchitoches; Bryson Landry, a senior from Franklin; Catherine Kennon, a senior from Bossier City; Collin Serigne, a junior from Cut Off; Colt Crain, a junior from Zachary; Julian Hunter, a senior from Lafayette; Karan Baker, a sophomore from New Iberia; Kevin Pan, a senior from Lafayette; Madison Latiolais, a junior from Breaux Bridge; Makayla Harrell, a sophomore from Boyce; Samuel Konur, a sophomore from Thibodaux; Santhosh Bomminani, a senior from West Monroe; Sean Lane, a senior from Hammond; and Shivam Shah, a junior from Bossier City.