Annual Wolffest Competition Puts Entrepreneurship Students’ B-Plans to the Test
Long lines of hungry customers at this year’s Wolffest tested the skills that entrepreneurship students at the C. T. Bauer College of Business learned during their time in the classroom.
Wolffest, held on campus from April 8-10, is an annual event for Bauer students in the Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship, the college’s nationally recognized entrepreneurship program. Students are challenged to form teams and compete to run the most successful (in terms of profit and execution) pop-up restaurant.
Wolffest serves as a capstone course and is the last step in completing a BBA in entrepreneurship. Students began developing their plans and hunting for capital as far back as December for the three-day event.
“We stayed as flexible as we could because the objective is to have the greatest net profit,” said entrepreneurship senior Ariana Thrasher, a member of the CoogUH team. “We didn’t want to put a menu in stone really early on. We wanted to reach out to the community to see who wanted to partner with us, and that’s how we moved forward on our menu and on our theme.”
Customers came out in droves to choose from burgers, tamales, Greek fare and more. Each of the eight teams this year brought out their own theme and food sponsors, bringing variety to campus eats.
Team Duality served Tex-Mex and fusion wraps, splitting their offerings into two restaurants. Marketing and entrepreneurship senior Jonathan Brown said the experience has taught him that anything can happen in a startup.
“No matter how much you prepare or how much you think you have things planned out, there’s always going to be something that stands in the way and tests you, whether it’s having to bring in more customers, marketing efforts or food,” Brown said. “There’s always something that doesn’t go according to plan, and you always have to work with it.”
This year, the student team’s hard work paid off as they raised about $100,000, twice as much as was raised in previous years.
By Ann Lynd
A Taste of Entrepreneurship: Wolffest 2014
Students from the Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Houston C. T. Bauer College of Business served up burgers, burritos, business and entrepreneurship during April 8-10 at Wolffest. Student teams launched pop-up restaurant stands and competed to see which group could execute their plans and earn the most revenue to fund the program’s other educational activities.