Students break record of most revenue earned in a class

Farah Bassyouni, News Editor

(Left to right) Parker Penn Randy Krygowski, Professor Gerstner, Grace Rosinski, Jen Kuhn, Chirathi Jayesinghe

Credit: IWU website

In Business 340,  IWU students worked together to create a business and reached new heights with their success. Last fall, a group of students broke the record for most revenue earned from the class project. The business made more than $15,000 in just one semester. 

At the beginning of the semester students proposed a business idea, then the class voted for the top four. Students then teamed up, with $500 in seed money, and worked on making the idea successful over the course of the semester. Groups signed a founder’s agreement, and repaid the initial investment, then distributed the additional revenue among group members. 

Assistant Professor of Business and Marketing and Director of Entrepreneurship Tara Gerstner ’01 teaches the class, which is centered around teamwork, critical thinking and the skills needed to start a business. 

“My teaching philosophy is strongly rooted in real-world experiences, giving students an opportunity to learn by doing through experiential learning,” said Gerstner. “Allowing students the opportunity to fail in a safe environment and learn from their mistakes is extremely important to their entrepreneurial journey.”

The record-breaking group’s business, Blooming Designs, created custom T-shirt prints. They sold a total of 563 items. Seniors Grace Rosinski, Parker Penn, Randy Krygowski, junior Chirathi Jayesinghe and sophomore Jen Kuhn held part-working jobs and managed athletics with their courses, yet still broke the IWU record with their achieved revenue. 

Gerstner said the highest revenue achieved in the class had previously been $3,000. Through local connections, such as high school athletics departments and IWU faculty and staff, the Blooming Designs team spent their time packing orders, making designs, reaching out for sales, making and delivering the shirts. Marc Talluto ‘94, IWU’s entrepreneur-in-residence, also offered his mentorship and guidance for students taking the class. 

“Without the support of our professor and the support we had from each other and everyone who made orders, we would not have been able to go as far as we did,” Rosinski said.  She chose to minor in entrepreneurship after her experience in this class. 

“Learning how to run a business, the complications that come with it and learning how to navigate through those all teach more valuable skills than just business and entrepreneurship,” said Rosinski. 

The class requires prerequisites of Accounting 113 and Business 240 and is offered every fall.