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Wood Enterprise Institute

April 19, 2017 –

By Earl Kline

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Wood Enterprise Institute (WEI). Once again, this year’s team of students are busy working together to overcome challenges in their business to create, build and deliver unique wood products. This year, the WEI team is carrying out a business plan to make and sell a uniquely designed Virginia Tech wine rack to Alumni, family and friends. This innovative product was promoted so well that the number of wine racks the team planned to make sold out in a matter of minutes when they opened up their online store!
The students get real-world business experience through challenging projects like the Virginia Tech wine rack. The intense learning happens now during the spring semester when the team works to address the many challenges that will get in the way of the plan. Students take ownership of their learning experience by acquiring appropriate knowledge and expertise and applying them towards the challenges they face. The success of their project depends on a group of students coming together as a team and applying each student’s unique abilities and skills for the collective good of the business.

This year’s team was the largest group ever — with 21 team members. Students from many disciplines in building construction, industrial design, engineering, and business work together with students in the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials to continue the success of the learning experience. The innovation and design laboratory housed at the Thomas M. Brooks Forest Products Center, the place where students build and prove their design concepts, provides safe, business standard, and state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. Many thanks and much appreciation go to the donors who support WEI to ensure this kind of learning experience can be sustained.

Spring Newsletter 2017

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