Hopping into a snazzy renovated school bus and taking a cross-country road trip with 14 other undergraduate entrepreneurs to South by Southwest (SXSW), an entrepreneurial bonanza held in Texas, MSU students Bethany Kogut and Alex Marx chronicle their adventure here.
Marx said he enjoyed being able to engage in networking and exploration throughout every hour of the day.
“I enjoyed the energy, passion, and concentration of innovation, technology, networking, music, food trucks, and optimistic ideas that were represented.” Marx said. “I also enjoyed growing close with the other student entrepreneurs.”
Kogut said she really enjoyed the diversity that SXSW exposed her to.
"Not only did I enjoy the diverse backgrounds amongst people, but I also appreciated the wide range of topics the conference concentrated on and how they were approached.” Kogut said. “For example, some speakers would speak to a large crowd as an audience while others spoke in a small room in an interactive fashion."
Bethany and Alex were invited to accompany MSU Entrepreneurship and Spartan Innovations on this trip to promote their value-added agriculture company, Land Grant Goods and hand out samples of their product to Spartan Alumni. Land Grant Goods is the first student run business affiliated with Michigan State University and was created with a collaboration between The Residential Imitative on the Study of the Environment (RISE) and The MSU Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Program.
In 2014 student farmers began growing and blending various herbs for tea at the Bailey GREENHouse & Urban Farm, and wrote a grant and MOA to allow roof top bees on Bailey Hall. Over the last 3 years, both these projects gained attention from alumni, faculty, and students, creating a demand for more herbal tea and honey, as well as an awareness of the environmental justice associated with them.
Student farmers grow and harvest all the herbs, berries and honey at organic farms on campus that are used for products. Land Grant Goods is rooted in the original mission of a land grant institution, which was to teach agriculture to members of the working class to earn a liberal and practical education that could be applied to the real world.
Michigan State University is providing resources and support, such as opportunities like attending SXSW that are helping start up business succeed. For Land Grant Goods, this means learning and engaging in every part of the process from manufacturing to operations.
Learn more about Land Grant Goods at Landgrantgoods.com and follow them on Instagram @landgrantgoods!
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