Iowa State University announced
today an initiative to pair students with businesses looking for market
research and consulting services.
The CyBIZ Lab, created by the
university's College of Business, is intended to give students experiential
learning opportunities and help businesses tackle problems that they either
haven't had the time or staff to deal with.
"It's really a win-win for
the companies and the students," said Judi Eyles, interim director of the
Students last semester worked
with Ames-based WebFilings on a research project, and the Madrid-based Iowa
Arboretum on a member satisfaction and market potential survey. This semester,
the lab has projects lined up in the areas of market research, marketing plans,
a product launch strategy and a logistics value analysis.
As far as what businesses can get
involved, Eyles said, "the sky is the limit." It could be large,
medium or small companies or nonprofit organizations, and the lab would welcome
Greater Des Moines businesses, she said.
The process could be as simple as
a face-to-face meeting at the beginning of the project followed by phone or
Skype meetings, or it could involve a business representative coming into a
classroom to present a project and having students divide into teams to tackle
it, Eyles said.
Though run by the College of
Business, the lab is open to students of all majors.
To submit a project idea, go to www.business.iastate.edu/cybizlab.
Companies can submit an idea without making a firm commitment, Eyles said. The
lab might not be able to take on every project, she said, but "we'll want
to do as much as we can to be accommodating." The submission form could
also serve as a way to connect businesses with a faculty researcher.