Simple idea. Complicated execution.

That’s likely how Zack Smith would summarize this fall in ENT-340, aka, “Crowd Funding the Venture.” His idea was to create gallon bottles that come apart for easy cleaning. Simple in theory, right? But what separates this course from others at Suffolk and even around the country is experiential learning. If you want to get your idea off the ground, you need to make it happen.

“Instead of just learning about what we need to do, this is different,” says Zack. “You've got to just do it.”

For Zack to create his gallon jugs, he first has to create a steel mold. The mold is then used to shape BPA-free Tritan™ plastic into a gallon jug. But Zack can’t just zip out to the Gallon Jug Mold store on Newbury Street. He’s had to contact special manufacturers around the world, figure out which can execute his idea in the best way, and decide what’s a fair price to pay.

“I just got an email today that said, ‘it's going to cost $50,000-$75,000 to have an injection mold done,’” he says. “So am I going to stay in the US for this mold? Or am I going to have to go to China where a lot of people say, even though China's cheaper, you end up spending the same amount because of all the communications and sending the mold and stuff? I’m just at a crossroad.”

Zack appreciates that, unlike other business classes which teach mostly theory and concepts, this course is all about the doing. And all that doing creates a completely different pedagogic dynamic, one that makes the students respond and work in a whole new way.

“A lot of other classes, there'll be group projects, so you can basically delegate the work,” he explains. “But this is all on you. You need to do it. If you don't show progress, everyone’s going to notice: You didn't do anything.”