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Challenge Accepted: Entrepreneurial Students Rise to the $5 Challenge

January 22, 2016

Matthew Thompson and Christian Schortemeyer take advantage of Trent support for entrepreneurs

Two male students smiling at the camera, one holding up an award

Five dollars, five days and the ingenuity to make it happen. Hitting the ground running, two Trent Business Administration students transformed five dollars of seed money into a healthy profit of $588 thanks to some out of-the-box thinking, networking skills, resource evaluation and hard work.

Matthew Thompson and Christian Schortemeyer, two Business students specializing in Entrepreneurship and board members of the Trent Youth Entrepreneurship Society (TYES), jumped at the chance to participate in this year’s $5 Challenge. The annual event, run by the Trent Business Students Association (TBSA), is also as an academic assignment within Professor Cammie Jaquays' popular Entrepreneurship class at Trent.

“We feel entrepreneurship cannot fully be taught in the classroom, but should be experienced and inspired,” said Mr. Thompson. “We ran the business the way we would have in the real world, and were driven to win.  This challenge was a great outlet to express our skills and will forever serve as a valuable learning experience and success story for us.”

Mr. Thompson and Mr. Schortemeyer’s conceptual business idea, Panther Cards, are unique business cards that feature custom-tailored designs on the front with ample space on the reverse of the card designed for client-specific messaging, to be used while networking. The two students pitched that they would visit businesses, take pictures if necessary, draft designs, and work with the business owners to create the exact card they want with very minimal effort, all in the hopes of helping the business owner make a lasting first impression. The cards’ popularity netted the duo the highest profits among their fellow students in the competition.

Talking of the Challenge, Prof. Jaquays said: "I love the students’ creativity as they embrace the challenge. Finding the confidence needed to take their ideas forward is what it is all about. Team building and a quick sense of accomplishment leverages the power of what you really can create. It’s amazing what you can do in a week.”

Inspired by the experience, and driven to take their entrepreneurial passion to the next level, Mr. Schortemeyer said: “We will continue to take full advantage of Trent’s outstanding support for its business students in the coming years. Our amazing friends at FastStart Trent stop at nothing to help entrepreneurs grow. The Trent Youth Entrepreneurship Society also fosters entrepreneurial spirit across campus and helped us to realize our passion.”

In the future, Mr. Thompson and Mr. Schortemeyer plan to open a micro-brewery. They are also eager to develop new ideas for next year’s $5 Challenge.