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David Williamson addresses audience

Introducing Creative Business with David Williamson

By Makenna Arbogast

On the beginning day of Business Horizons 2019, July 14, students were introduced to the world of business through the very creative standpoint of David Williamson, who was the first guest speaker for the week.

When talking with the audience, three main points were given that set the stage for the days to come.

One of the first points of Williamson’s speech was the funnel changing into a fulcrum metaphor, which was an example of holding a funnel upright then turning it upside down to become a fulcrum.

The intention behind this metaphor was to help students understand that the funnel is the old understanding we’ve been taught since childhood, while changing it to the fulcrum means that you’re gaining a new understanding from something old.

To encourage listeners to embrace this saying, Williamson suggested that each of us students see “every day as the object” where we attempt to discover new opportunities, people, ideas, inventions, and more.

David Williamson demonstrates funnel to fulcrum
David Williamson demonstrates the funnel to fulcrum metaphor to students. Photo by Fahti Sharif

Another point Williamson described during his presentation was learning to experience the different angles of an object. An example he used most often to express this point was a door hinge where, along with participation from the audience, he would brainstorm ideas of what other items that one hinge could be.

By changing the orientation of the hinge, students saw a pair of boots, a tree stump, a butterfly, and even Santa’s sleigh! To finish off the brainstorming session, Williamson challenged the audience to make it their goal to look at an object and see 25 different ways the object can be viewed almost immediately.

The last point, highlighted multiple times throughout his speech, was seeing a third option out of a given two. Williamson gave various versions of a hidden third option, one of the first being his time in high school.

During his time in high school, it was apparent that there were two options of a school hobby: athletics and the fine arts. What Williamson ended up choosing with three of his friends was to make a rock & roll band. He and the other band members were looked down upon by their school and family, but what they didn’t realize is that Williamson and the others had started their own business.

Williamson urged the audience to begin searching for that third option because of his experience with the incredibly thought-provoking message “answer the questions, question the answers, and question the questions.”

David Williamson speaks to audience
David Williamson speaks with the audience. Photo by Fathi Sharif
Business Horizons students

Inside Business Horizons

By Hally Rittmer, of Preston

The Central College campus was buzzing as business-passionate high school students worked to increase their knowledge at Business Horizons. The 30-plus year old camp is made up of about 80 campers this year. The campers are split into seven industries: A, B, C, D, E, M, and T. If M and T seem a bit out of sorts, it’s because they function differently.

While groups A through E are business oriented, spending their week producing a product, industry M, for media, is journalism based. The young journalists doubled their fun by not only enjoying the weeks happenings, but also by reporting on them. The T in Group T stands for the technology industry. These students pursued their web interests as they produced an app.

Although the young businessmen and women came from varying backgrounds, they all came together for one thing: a shared passion for learning about Iowa’s businesses. Wherever that interest originated, whether it be from a family business or an inspiring high school teacher, each student had a reason for participating in this life-changing camp.

Waukee students Kellan McGregor and Akhil Sharma looked forward to spending the week making connections with others by forming relationships and networks. Meeting new people was also an attractive feature to Ankeny’s Josie Bearden, as she was “looking forward to meeting new people and getting to work with [her] team”.

The students are not alone in their week-long business journey, and their accompanying staff feels just as excited. To McKenzie Kielman, an employee at The Iowa Association of Business and Industry Foundation, which puts on Business Horizons each year, establishing relationships is a key factor.

“I am passionate about business horizons because it connects students from all across the state of lots of different interests, talents, and strengths to each other and to a support system to achieve whatever they’re interested in and can feel validated in and go on to pursue their passion”.

National Guard helps Students

How $10,000 Night-Vision Goggles Taught BH Students Leadership Skills

By Samantha Eberly, of Clarinda

Where did campers and ambassadors go late at night after dinner, meetings and a long day of work? Business Horizons After Hours! BH After Hours was an exciting time for students to meet and interact with students they hadn’t met before, play team games, and make lasting memories and friendships.

Sunday night, after all of the chaos that took place during the first day, BH students, leaders and ambassadors went outside of Scholte Hall and met with recruiters from the Iowa National Guard. Students were split into two groups and learned about medic work in the National Guard or participated in a scavenger hunt using night-vision goggles supplied by the military.

The first group of students worked with two men from the National Guard, and learned about medical emergency situations in the military, how to use a tourniquet, and how to carry a casualty while in battle. For the relay races, a ‘casualty’ laid down on the stretcher, referred to in the military as a litter, and two or four students hustled them across the grass, and back to their group to rotate out and do it again. Winners were decided on account of safety and efficiency.

The second group of students took part in a scavenger hunt spread across the campus’ sporting facilities. The groups were given $10,000 night-vision goggles and two maps. They were then instructed to run around campus, at 10:30 p.m., and take pictures at the different sporting facilities. The first group who reported back to the starting point, won.

Students Elyse Kriegel, of Pella, and Ray Ches, of Pella, both mentioned how they favored the litter relays and learning how to use a tourniquet.

“It was pretty fun, I learned different things that I didn’t expect that I was [going to] learn that night,” Kriegel said.

A student from Industry D, Ellie Roorda, of Pella, emphasized that she favored the medical experience versus the scavenger hunt.

“I liked the medical part because I’m interested in that part and it was just fun to do different stuff and experience like what I would [maybe experience] in the future,” Roorda said.

Overall, Business Horizons After Hours was a huge hit on night one, where not only did students have fun, but they also learned valuable lessons that they could use later on in life.

Business Horizons Media Team Tours DM Register

Industry M documents history at Business Horizons

Emily Schettler. Des Moines

While other Business Horizons students were building products out of old bicycles, tiki torches and duct tape, the members of Industry M were busy at work interviewing students, conducting surveys and taking photos for the Horizon Sun Times website and newspaper.

All six members of Industry M persevered through tight deadlines for print and web, learning how to effectively conduct interviews, share stories on social media and tell stories via print and video.

“I didn’t know what to expect when I was told I’d be writing a newspaper,” said Gavin Powell, of Van Buren County High School. “I thought that I might be thrown into a situation that I couldn’t handle myself or freak out under pressure, but I think I handled myself pretty well this week, overall.”

Powell covered several important events throughout the week, including the introductory speech by David Williamson and the important work of Industry C, and he met all of his deadlines.

Sara Qualley, of Iowa Falls-Alden High School who served as editor for the Horizon Sun Times, said she was excited to meet students from across the state and others with a passion for journalism.

“I would definitely recommend both Business Horizons and especially the media track,” Qualley said. “It really challenges you and takes you out of your comfort zone. You’ll find out new things about yourself and what you’re capable of.”

See a video created by members of Industry M about their week at Business Horizons.

Adventures at Adventureland

Gavin Powell

Talkative students and beautiful weather sums up a perfect day at Adventure Land. Business Horizons students went on a mini vacation to Adventureland for three hours on Tuesday night in an effort to reduce the building stress on students. The trip was well received by everyone, including the staff.

Sean Wilson-Bynoe, a student at Fairfield High School, went swimming in the wave pool, rode some rides, and said that he “had a pretty good root beer float.” An ambassador named Maddy Ladehoff said her favorite ride was the shooting star and that she mostly rode on rides. However, she did not ride roller coasters. She said, “I had some bomb ice cream.” Cole Bisbee, a student at Garner-Hayfield-Ventura High School, mostly went swimming at Adventureland, where he enjoyed the wave pool and found that the food was “really, surprisingly good!”

Two pigs partying in Iowa

Why Iowa?

Grace Galloway

On July 16, Joseph Jones and Bethany Wilcoxon visited with Business Horizons students to share why they love Iowa. Jones explained he heard some rumors about Iowa prior to choosing to live here. Jones shared that one of the rumors was, “There were more hogs than people.” Jones and Wilcoxon then invited advisors to come up on stage to answer questions. The advisors were asked, “What’s your name? Where are you from? What college did you go to?” Some of the advisors were born outside of Iowa.

The next question was simple, “Why Iowa?” Most answers were because of jobs or because Iowa has great opportunities. Some of the adults had different, unique, and funny answers. One  advisor told a story on how their friend loves Iowa because crime rates are low and occasionally comical. For example, someone once stole a Santa out of their front yard! Another advisor said that her husband got a job in Iowa, and she didn’t like Iowa at first because she thought of it as just a place full of corn. Eventually, she grew to love Iowa. Some of the other answers to “Why Iowa?” included the affordability of Iowa and how nice the people were.

Nowadays, younger people are earning enough money to retire early because Iowa has good connections and job opportunities. Studies show there are roughly 66,000 job openings in Iowa and even more to come. There are even more surprising things to know about Iowa that students learned in a game Jones and Wilcoxon had them play. The game was simple – guess where in Iowa the product is made. Products included Cookies Bar “B” “Q” sauce, battleship parts, and Blue Bunny Ice Cream. The game illustrated to students how much is made in Iowa, and the results surprised a few people.

Industry T working while having fun! Photo Credit: Sydney Peterson

Technology Industry of Bros

By Mikayla Deters

It’s hard to believe that the brand-new technology track, Industry T, for Business Horizons (BH) started with just the word ‘bro’. Alex Gates, the adviser for Industry T, had been a part of BH for multiple years before the creation of the current technology industry.

In his years of being an adviser, he had noticed students that had ideas for software or applications. One year, a student approached him with the idea for an app during a meeting. Gates had asked students in his industry if they were aware of an app titled Yo, where friends could send others notifications with the word ‘yo’. Many of the students answered Gates that they had never heard of the app before, to which he explained the main idea.

“I showed them and they’re like ‘that’s the dumbest app of all time,’” he said. Not long after he explained the app, a student suggested an app titled Bro. The student explained that while it was similar to Yo in some ways, the user would be able to customize the amount of o’s in ‘bro’.

“You can be like ‘bro’, ‘brooo’, ‘brooooo’, right?” Gates said, “I’m like ‘that’s hilarious.’”

Gates mentioned the idea for Bro to a few of his coworkers. Throughout the week, Gates, the student, and a friend of Gates’ were able to create early versions of the software while still doing normal work at BH. By the end of the week, the three were sending ‘bros’ to each other. “We ended up finishing it and getting it to the point where we put it in the app store,” Gates said.

Not long after the three had created the app, a TV show called Silicon Valley released an app called Bro. Even though the app Silicon Valley had released was different from that of Gates and his two partners, many people from across the world downloaded it.

“Since the app was called Bro, thousands and thousands of people downloaded the app and started using it,” he said. “So there was a spike in usage and popularity with this app and we were getting bros from people all over the world like bro-ing at us and bro-ing back. It was such a fun sort of thing that happened.”

After those experiences, he noticed that students had ideas for usable solutions that could be built with software.

“Bro is a dumb idea, but it was still smart in terms of its execution,” Gates said. “I feel like 16, 17, 18-year-old kids when they’re working on this can come up with really good ideas and so Industry T facilitates a way for those ideas to come to life and for us to work together to achieve it.”

Gates explained that he was excited to see the ideas students would come up with, including the app that Industry T spent BH working on this week.

Industry E posing for the camera. Photo Credit: Eric Scrivner

New Grill Invention Enters Marketing With A Literal Bang (E)

Grace Galloway

Industry E was working on a new innovation when an explosion happened! The explosion happened during the Junk Game, a game where each industry picks out old, worn items and use them to make a product.

While acquiring items to make the portable appliance, a team member from Industry E accidentally set off a fire extinguisher, projecting an abundance of yellow powder within an eight-foot radius. The powder got all over the floor and made it a very sticky (and yellow) situation. It scared several people and from others, received a few chuckles. The Business Horizons staff cleaned up the mess. It took teamwork and a lot of scrubbing to clean the mess. After the incident, everyone got back to work and came up with an amazing invention.

Industry E presented their product and grabbed the audience’s attention right way. While trying to get it to the table, the portable appliance fell apart. It did raise a few questions if it was a good idea to invest into the item, but once the Industry E members started to talk, all concerns raised were gone.

Industry E came up with a portable grill called Zuma. It comes in any size and its energy is generated by a bike. For it to operate, users turn the pedals on the bike and it starts working. In addition, it has a mini fridge for storing meat or food. You can bring it to any event, such as RAGBRAI or camping.

Throughout the week, Industry E worked hard. They split up into three teams to get things done faster.

“We have a product manager to keep us on task and tell us what is most important to get done that day,” said Devin Warmuth, an Industry E member from Adel-DeSoto-Minburn High School.

Uncertainty Turns Into A Beautiful Idea (Industry D)

Sara Qualley

When the members of Industry D first set eyes upon the hodgepodge of objects that would eventually become their product, they weren’t sure what to do right away. David Williamson, who’s been a speaker at Business Horizons for over 20 years, led the industry members of Business Horizons through a game called the Junk Game. The objective of the game was for each industry to create a unique product out of an assortment of items.

David Williamson reassured the Business Horizons students that it was alright to be uncertain about a product at first. “A girl said ‘I don’t know,’ and that’s the most exciting thing.” He explained — not knowing what a product could become meant that it had lots of potential.

Once they figured out how the objects could be repurposed, Industry D knew how their product would be able to help others.

Industry D created the Bodular, an exercise bike that puts users in a simulation where users can bike with other Bodular users from all over the world. A translator allows users who speak different languages to understand one another and the device tracks calories and miles as well, allowing users to work out from the comfort of their home. Using a Bodular can also save money on your health insurance. The more users ride it, the more they get off their health insurance. 

The members of Industry D have been working hard and putting their minds together to ensure the Bodular meets its full potential. “It’s a great team to work with,” said Josi Hasler, a student from Garner-Hayfield-Ventura High School. “There are so many great people and ideas.” The Bodular retails for $130.