First term student entrepreneurs pose with the student members of the Animo BIZ approval committee after the Animo BIZ product presentation. Photo from the Animo BIZ Facebook page
De La Salle University’s first student entrepreneurship area, the Animo Business Innovation Zone (Animo BIZ), will celebrate its opening tomorrow, July 15, 2013 at the renovated Br. Bloemen Hall.
Animo BIZ grants any DLSU student or group of students (maximum of five), graduate or undergraduate, an opportunity to sell their products in one of the six Animo BIZ pods located in Br. Bloemen Hall (previously Zaide Canteen) to the DLSU community.
First term pods consists of food services that serve edibles ranging from desserts, drinks and rice meals.
The project is spearheaded by the University Student Government (USG), Office of the Associate Vice Chancellor for Campus Services, De La Salle Alumni Association (DLSAA) and Ramon V. del Rosario College of Business (RVR-COB). It aims to serve as a starting ground for innovative student entrepreneurs and as an opportunity to establish a mentoring linkage between students and La Salle’s alumni businesspersons.
How it began
A flagship project of the College Government of Business (CGB), the concept kickstarted two years ago with a single student food business.
Current Campus Service Volunteer Program Student Manager and former CGB President Robert Hechanova cites how the concept was initially tested with a group of students selling waffles with ice cream at a stall in the former Animo Food Haus (presently Perico’s).
Hechanova recalls that during that time, Animo BIZ coordinated with the pre-existing canteens within the campus toward the end of their contract periods. Due to certain space constraints, Animo BIZ could only accommodate a single student business, despite receiving many applicants that time.
Hechanova shares, “The college government felt the need to invest in a space that students can really use. We got a lot of good feedback from that project alone.” He explains that through Animo BIZ, students are granted actual stalls and are free to work around their concept.
Though the nature of the project may seem targeted towards COB students as it creates budding business persons and entrepreneurs, CGB President Jenn Noblezada holds, “Anything can be turned into a business nowadays. All students from each college can actually come up with their own enterprise as long as they make use of their uniquely acquired knowledge and skills in a creative and resourceful way.” For COS students, for example, Noblezada cites possibilities to tie-up with business students using scientific technologies, maybe even develop a business partnership as that formed with the Diliman hit dessert Iscreamist, an ice cream made out of liquid nitrogen.
Hechanova explains that in addition to applying for a pod in Animo BIZ, business seminars and training programs targeted towards young entrepreneurs are available. Hechanova states, “With the name itself, it’s the ‘Innovation’ zone. It’s supposed to hone and harness the potential of students and each student business that really just wants an opportunity to try something out in a friendly environment.”
For aspiring applicants
The second term application is set to start next month, and interested student entrepreneurs must submit a Letter of Intent addressed to the Associate Vice Chancellor of Campus Services (AVCCS), a post currently assumed by Josemari Calleja, along with the application form and the parental consent form to LS 103.
There are six pods in total, four of which are available for a term-long lease of Php 10,000, while the remaining two are available for two-week lease with a rental fee of Php 2,500. In the second and third term, the cost of the term-long lease for a pod is expected to rise up to Php 20,000. According to Calleja, the rental fee will be used for the payments of utilities consumed by the student entrepreneurs and maintenance of services of Animo BIZ.
Animo BIZ applications will course through a criteria that assesses student manager capability, long-term feasibility, uniqueness and competitive advantage, social contribution and expression of Lasallian Values.
The top 15 applicants leasing for term-long pods will be required to present a 2 minute business pitch to the approval committee.
The approval committee for this academic year is composed of the USG President Migi Moreno, the USG Vice President for Internal Affairs Carlo Inocencio, the Campus Services Student Manager Robert Hechanova, AVCCS Josemari Calleja; RVR-COB representative Dr. Maria Tibon of the Decision Science & Innovation department and a DLSAA representative.
With its purpose to instill innovation among the students, commercially-available and franchise products are not allowed, while student-conceptualized products and services are highly preferred. The products and services to be sold are left to the discretion of the students.