Business students’ project to help kids experiencing homelessness

Joseph Chavez
Staff Writer

Students in the integrated business program created a business named “Clear Future,” which sells a cleaning product for phone screens and other screen devices. 

This  project was for the integrated business curriculum class where students are split into groups tasked with developing their own mock company for the semester. This is an annual class with the goal of giving students the real hands-on experience of creating and managing a business. Professors such as William Hippler, associate professor of finance and business, and Omid Furutan, professor of management, as well as Frank Fialho, instructor of marketing and law, are all involved in the class. Each professor helps guide the students in their specialization, but most of the work is done by the students – from choosing their own product to figuring out the best way to run the business. Each student in the group was randomly assigned their positions in the company, which meant the students had to adapt and learn about the position they currently held in the company. 

The class is also backed by Wells Fargo, and the students must pitch a presentation of their product to Wells Fargo bank representatives, in order to secure a loan to begin development of their business.

The product itself is designed as a long sleek spray bottle that sprays out a disinfectant onto the screen, but the bottle itself is also lined with a cloth cleaner.

Gabriella Suasti, CEO of Clear Future and senior business administration major, came up with the original idea.

“We were trying to come up with a product that could have a broad demographic and fill a need, so we decided to sell a screen cleaner,” Suasti said. “It’s good for phones, laptops, tablets, everything and everyone has an electronic in their pockets.”

Mook Sanguansab, vice president of sales of Clear Future and junior business administration major, discussed how they kicked the project off.

“We had to do a bank presentation where we presented the banker with a business plan and explained what we are going to do (and) how we will sell the units by the end of May in order to get a loan,” Sanguansab said.

Sanguansab explained how the business began at the beginning of March and how they have been selling their product.

“We sell on our own website clearfuture22.com as well as in person trying to give the consumer as many options as possible,” Sanguansab said.

Nicolas Oka, chief financial officer of Clear Future and junior business administration major, explained how the groups and positions were randomly assigned, per the project’s rules, and how that created some difficulties initially.

“At first we did not only have to adapt to the role given to us, but we also needed to adapt who we were working with,” Oka said.

As the project went on, Oka said he and his group members grew stronger.

“We got to know each other better and understand our weaknesses and strengths as well as know how to cover one another,” Oka said. “So now it flows more naturally.”

Omid Furutan, professor of management, helped with team building.

“He helped us … function better together while getting us through the project with his expertise,” Suasti said.

Suasti also said Frank Fialho, instructor of marketing and law, helped her group get the product some attention.

“He helped us a lot with the promotion of our product and helped grab people’s attention… such as giving us design ideas on the product and our website” said Suasti.

Frances Jones, chief marketing officer of Clear Future and business marketing major sophomore, said the program offered valuable experience.

“Through the program you truly have the opportunity to connect with others on a deep professional level in order to advance within your career path,” said Jones.

Oka expressed how this project has been a positive experience for him and the group.

“A valuable lesson I learned in this program is that it is important to understand how group members can be very effective together and that it can be more effective than working alone,” said Oka.

Jones shares a similar sentiment.

“I have the opportunity to build friendships with my fellow group members because we are all working towards a common goal,” Jones said. 

All proceeds from the project will go to the charity School on Wheels, a tutoring program for homeless children. 

“We really fell in love with the charity since it aligned with what Clear Future believes in, which is equality and giving children a chance for quality education,” Suasti said. 

To learn more or purchase the product, visit clearfuture22.com

The group also has a booth at the Abraham Campus Center once a week.

Joseph Chavez can be reached at joseph.chavez2@laverne.edu.

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Joseph Chavez, a sophomore public relations major, is a staff writer for the Campus Times.

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