Blue and Gold Ventures, Inc. launching seven new businesses
The Student-Run Business Program at Marquette University has officially formed an independent, nonprofit holding company, Blue and Gold Ventures, Inc. (B&G), which will be launching up to seven new student-run ventures this fall. While the Student-Run Business Program was developed by the College of Business Administration and the college will help incubate new ventures, mature businesses will be held by B&G.
The B&G board is composed primarily of Marquette alumni and community leaders with a minority of directors comprising university employees, a “hybrid” structure that the program’s associate director, Owen Raisch, says was modeled after similar successful programs at Cornell University and Harvard University.
“This unique model enables students to engage in revenue sharing, partner with external investors and manage their own systems for back office support, Raisch said. “Over the past six months, we’ve brought together a diverse group of students from across the university with more than 40 local advisors, business partners and community leaders. Together, we are creating a new approach to learning the fundamental skills of business, leadership and community-engagement.”
The seven new ventures held by B&G include:
- Eagle Incubator — Student-run incubator for student-run businesses, based out of Ward 4.
- Tangible — Student-run incubator for local consumer goods, launching in late-August in partnership with Startup Milwaukee
- Buena Vida Coffee — Sources direct-trade beans from Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rick and Nicaragua to serve individuals and institutions across the country, donating a meal to children in need for every bag sold
- Vida — The brick-and-mortar coffee shop and retail arm of Buena Vida Coffee, expected to open next spring at the 84 South development project in Greenfield
- Revamp — A real estate investment venture that aims to invest in and improve student housing near Marquette’s campus, in partnership with Marquette’s nationally ranked commercial real estate program
- The Blockchain Lab — Hosts events to increase awareness of and drive interest in this emerging technology
- 1881 Event Productions — Will manage events ranging from on-campus programming to broader-scale events in Milwaukee and surrounding area
According to Raisch, Marquette’s Catholic, Jesuit roots are important to the sorts of businesses B&G forms. “Core to the program’s mission is an interest in creating transformative experiences for students that help them become leaders and ‘men and women for others,’ consistent with Jesuit values,” he said.
Over the next year, the program will seek to deepen academic integration, forming credit-bearing opportunities to students through internships and courses designed to complement hands-on learning outside of class, Raisch added.