The Butler University Bassoon Reed Co., a partnership between the Butler University Bassoon Studio and students in the Butler College of Business to build reeds for bassoons, has won the $9,000 top prize in the fifth Zotec Business Competition, part of the Real Business Experience curriculum.
Hailey Jensen and Nolan Reed led the Butler University Bassoon Reed Co.

Second place and $5,000 went to Freedom of Peach BBQ, a flavored barbecue sauce. Third place and $3,000 went to i + Care, a fundraiser for hungry children in the United States.

Butler’s Real Business Experience class, a sophomore level experiential learning course, incorporates the competition throughout the semester. In collaboration with Zotec Partners, a national firm providing revenue cycle and practice management services to hospital-based physicians, students learn to develop, grow, and run a real business. Winning teams demonstrate outstanding presentation skills, business process management, sales and marketing success, growth and partnering, use of technology and social responsibility.
The winner

The judges found that the Bassoon Reed Co. “did an outstanding job presenting their challenges and milestones in a very concise and professional presentation. They also were able to maintain a competitive price strategy and establish employee production measures that increased efficiency and ensured their products’ quality control was superior.”

Participants in the winning team were Nolan Reed (CEO), Hailey Jensen (Chief Sales Officer), and Professor Anne Clark (mentor) from the College of Business, and six bassoon students: Owen Carlos, Kathryn Chamberlain, Sara Erb, Claire Hazelton, Erin Wells, and Heather Wright.

“I think the Butler University Bassoon Reed Co. is a great example of many of the things we are striving to do at Butler,” Professor of Music Doug Spaniol said. “It’s certainly innovative (as far as I know, it’s the first student run business of its kind); it’s collaborative and interdisciplinary with business majors and music majors working together; it’s entrepreneurial by it’s very nature, and it’s a great example of both ‘Real Life, Real Business’ and ‘Music & More.’ I’m delighted to see the bassoon students getting real business experience and developing skills that can help them make a life and career in music.”

Freedom of Peach BBQThe judges said the second-place Freedom of Peach BBQ company “bought a business, rebranded their product and really took a good look at the marketing and determined how to take sales to the next level. They worked nationally with grocery chain Fresh Thyme to gain local placement at three locations in Indianapolis.”

The Freedom of Peach team was Carson Ludwig (CEO), Kevin Rhinesmith (COO), Kirby Lawson (Creative Director), Alan Eidelman (CFO), Claire Krohn (Sales), Meredith Comerford (Marketing), and John Seal (Mentor/Alumnus).

The third-place team, i + Care, “showed that passion, persistence, and people can allow you to make a profit and a difference, and they utilized feedback to pivot and change marketing direction to create greater interest and connection to product and the cause.”

I + CareThe team was Dylon Pierce (CEO), Maison Priest (Creative Director), Karli Azar (Director of Sales), Paige Freud (COO), and Rhoda Israelov (Mentor/Alumni).

“The top three teams demonstrated to us how they really leveraged the five “Ps” that comprise Zotec’s mission statement: Passion, Perspective, Persistence, Predictability and People,” said T. Scott Law ’85, Zotec’s Founder and CEO. “The RBE at Butler University’s College of Business is a fantastic learning opportunity for each student that is involved. We are very proud of each team this semester and the individual contributions and accomplishments of the students.”


Media contact:
Marc Allan