Brendle ’14 Learns Flexibility in Business Lesson

Michael Brendle ’14 – The morning started off well. After arriving at the MXI Institute before 9:00, Roland Morin ‘91 greeted my fellow Wabash students and me and some clips from the TV show Shark Tank. After we watch each pitch, Roland stops the video and we discuss the pitch in detail. Today we saw The Vermont Butcher Block and Board Company’s pitch by David Glickman.

Waldman ’93 at far left.

David was passionate about his idea; however, his tie-dye suit prevented me from taking him seriously. He also overstepped his bounds when he told one of the sharks, Laurie, that she was incorrect for believing wood carries bacteria. He overstepped his bounds and lost her investment. He walked out of the shark tank with no bids. With that being said, he did have some excellent wood working skills. The cutting boards looked awesome!

Following Shark Tank, the Business Immersion team climbed into the Wabash vans and traveled to the Triton Brewing Company in Indianapolis. David Waldman ’93 welcomed us and gave us an excellent tour of the establishment. He explained the origination of the name and their approach to brewing. He answered questions as we went along, explaining with great detail and enthusiasm. It was contagious. After the tour, the Business Immersion Program ran out to grab some French fries from Groovy Guy’s Fries. My Santa Fe chicken and fries were fantastic. I never thought that French fries with chicken and beans would ever taste that good. Afterwards, David took us out to their outside seating and answered our questions.

Jocelyn Hopkinson ’15, asked David about how often he needed to change his business model and what parts of it did he change the most. David explained that as Triton began to grow, his business plan needed to shift accordingly to the direction they needed to go. He told us that specifically that labor portion and the new distribution locations were changed. Triton was growing fast and they needed more help than what they initially thought. After weighing the ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ of selling their brew in Florida, they decided that it would be best if Triton’s brew was not sold in Florida for the time being.

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