Build business skills with the I2B program

Ariel Themm, Staff Intern

Ideas To Business (I2B) is exploring the idea of reaching a new audience. Students and faculty can now team up with new businesses and aid with financial modeling and other start-up struggles businesses may face during the process of starting a prospering company.

The I2B has been around for several years but has been dormant. When it originally started, it was just for faculty and students to work together on projects within Oakland’s community. Now, though, the program has set it’s sights on reaching more people within the local area.

Interested companies both outside of Oakland and within the university can work with students free of charge. In addition, these companies can receive help from the various mentors that work with I2B on their conceptual business.

In addition, businesses have the opportunity to become part of the OU Incubator program, where startups can receive baseline assessments, assistance from business advisory mentors or even capital assistance.

The I2B Team Resource Group Members program founded on the idea that students, both graduate and undergraduate, can work with professors and other mentors in the OU community to help new businesses succeed.

Currently, there are between 15 and 18 students expressing interest in working with the program this year. Dr. Michael Long will be the director of the mobilization zone and his wish is to realize the I2B to it’s full potential. 

“This is more than just an opportunity to work with entrepreneurs to see how a business works, this is an education for all students,” Long said. “Even if business is not in their future plans, we want students to learn how to accomplish goals with few resources. This is a useful tool for them.”

The I2B program will be taking into account student’s interests and is focused on fulfilling their needs as they work for companies. They want students to feel comfortable and enjoy the work before them. 

OU students of all majors are welcome to participate in this experience. For those that decide to take up the challenge of entering the entrepreneur life, undergraduates can earn up to $150 and graduate students can earn up to $225 for a total of 45 hours during the month given to complete the tasks. The program will begin dealing with four to five new companies and is looking forward to taking a more active role.

If any students are interested in getting involved, there are multiple ways of getting on board with the I2B program. Students can directly contact Long at [email protected].

Students can also go onto Handshake, OU’s job opening website, and type in the job number of 1006080. There is no resume required to apply.