The GW Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence (CFEE) hosted one of the Global Leadership Conference sessions on Friday, March 30th. The Thirteenth Annual MBA Global Leadership Conference is a weekend long event aimed for admitted MBA applicants to gain more insight into The George Washington University Full-Time MBA Program. The weekend is structured so prospective students have an opportunity to meet faculty members, program administrators, current students, and alumni and become more familiar with the surroundings at GW.
The CFEE session was conducted by Drs. Winslow and Tarabishy and utilized an innovative experiential exercise session from the 3E-Learning.org initiative. The exercise, titled Kitty Hawk in the Classroom, is a national award winning tool that was developed by Reg Litz at the University of Manitoba. This experiential educational exercise is one of the teaching methods used by the GW entrepreneurship and new venture faculty to deveolp students' entrepreneurial skills.
The session's participants were asked to form groups with other students they just met. Each group was then tasked to create a paper aircraft capable of keeping one U.S. quarter aloft for as long as possible while simultaneously transporting the quarter as far as possible. The groups had 40 minutes to complete a finished prototype and develop a marketing pitch in a five-minute presentation to the entire class.
The presentation (see video now) had to include the name of the paper aircraft, the description of their product and a promotional script. Finally, the groups had to explain their assessment of their aircraft's prospects for flight, both as it concerns duration aloft and distance flown. After all groups have presented their marketing pitches and technical designs, each group voted for whichever aircraft they felt had the best marketing. Each group placed their respective ‘bets’ on whichever aircraft they felt had the best prospects for flying the furthest and staying in the air the longest.
After ranking the marketing pitches and adding the respective “bets", a fly-off was conducted to measure actual aircraft performance. Surprising results occurred as some groups that scored both high on their marketing pitches and acquired the most "bets" were beaten by groups that did not score well. The concepts of entrepreneurship, effective marketing, business ethics, and quality production were discussed as part of the lessons learned.