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The Student News Site of Marian University


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Popping into the Spotlight


BUS 109 Competition Winners Sell Small-Kernel Popcorn at Low Cost

By Lizzy Hosty

The fall semester winners of the BUS 109, Knight Time Pops, are now selling the business they pitched to investors after a semester of research and development.

The group spent BUS 109 creating 28 pages of a business plan to then present to a panel of judges. After they won the competition, they then took BUS 201 in order to execute their business. They are graded on how successfully they follow their plan from the previous semester.

The group consisted of Jenny Rodriguez, Benjamin Uran, Matthew Riehle, and O’Connor Young, took the BUS 109 class called “Business Plan Competition.” The class had a total of 18 groups across three sections. After competing against their own classmates by demonstrating their project in front of a panel of investors, one group from each class is selected to compete in the finals – with one wild card from the three sections is picked, as well.

“The instructors look at the investors notes, and sometimes there’s another strong group that stands out,” Assistant Professor of Management Michael Crawford said. “Basically, we look at who’s the next best.”

The popcorn, which is produced by one of the group members’ parents and then sold at them at a discount for resale, uses small kernels that don’t get stuck in your teeth.

“We had a different idea at first,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez went on to explain that, originally, their plan was to devise a supply vending machine. But after realizing how much money one would cost, her teammates decided prepackaged food was easier to deal with, along with in terms of food safety.

The program, which Crawford has worked on for seven years now, takes a unique approach to learning; for the winner to implement their plan, they need money. And the Byrum School of Business will offer it to the group, as long as they pay it back – with interest.

“It’s Marian University money, but the expectation is that it’s a short-term loan,” Crawford said. “They didn’t even wait until the end of the semester to pay it back, though, because they didn’t want to accumulate interest.” 

The team each decided to work solely on commission, so they could pay off their investment as soon as possible. 

As a part of their BUS 201 class, Knight Time Pops class will sell their popcorn to students, faculty, and staff for $2 each, or 3 for $4. To buy popcorn, reach out to them at @knighttimepops on Instagram.

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