The Student-Managed Venture Fund (SMVF) is a new experiential class offered by the Clark H. Byrum School of Business with a curriculum designed to engage students with local business professionals at the beginning of their first semester, freshman year. The fund allows for students to analyze and invest in local companies with the hope that these companies will partner with the business school and become resources for classroom projects, internships, and employment for all Marian University students.
Throughout the course, students analyze aspects of different companies and present proposals about their analyses and recommendations to a board of advisors.
Student, Chad Roberts ’16, said, “The curriculum teaches us to convert formulas and theories into practical business knowledge. From meeting with local business owners to presenting in front of Marian University leaders, we were able to see the process all the way through. It is opportunities such as this class that will set a Marian University Clark H. Byrum Business student apart."
Thomas Gjerde, assistant dean of the Byrum School of Business, said, “As a result of SMVF, students become better team players, better communicators, and better problem solvers in a way that extends beyond the classroom. For example, a business owner who was on campus to pitch his funding request expressed interest in hiring our students for internships and creating a classroom project designed to address challenges facing his business. Students take pride in knowing that their investment helps grow the local economy. “
The funding to establish the SMVF came from the Ball Foundation along with the Lilly Endowment grant that is also funding the expansion of The Exchange overall. The SMVF is one example of the many types of experiential learning opportunities that Marian University students receive in conjunction with The Exchange.