by Public Relations Office
May 19, 2005
Cedarville, OhioWhen a growing Internet company needed help bridging a business gap, it solicited the assistance of Cedarville University`s Department of Business Administration (DBA) students. From there, Lacuna was born.
"Lacuna" means "An empty space or a missing part; a gap." More than 40 students applied to participate in the spring Lacuna independent study course at Cedarville to solve a business challenge presented by Prints.com, an online dealer of limited edition art prints. Of the 40 applicants, two teams of eight were presented with the mission of identifying, analyzing, and recommending solid strategies by which to close the $58 million revenue gap between Prints.com and the two largest competitors in the industry.
As the Lacuna students competed to find the best solution, they gained hands-on business experience through practical application and directed guidance from Cedarville professors and industry practitioners. An added incentive was that the team with the best strategy would win a week-long, expense-paid trip to California compliments of Prints.com.
Cedarville professors Dr. Jon Austin, Dr. Alan Dillman, and Dr. Dave Schmidt advised the teams. Schmidt explained that in contrast to most student projects, the teams had complete responsibility for charting their own paths. The faculty and a representative of Prints.com gave the teams regular feedback on their ideas, but the students did the groundwork and original research.
The principals of Prints.com were extremely pleased with the reports and presentations by both teams. In the end, however, they chose the team known as "Cre8tive Consulting" as the winner.
"We could not be more pleased that these students took on such a large problem, competed in a very God-honoring way, and delivered high-impact recommendations," Schmidt explained. "We look forward to reporting on the actual outcomes as Prints.com implements the ideas in the months and years ahead."
Schmidt added that because of the success of this effort, a similar project is in the works for next spring. Lacuna has evolved into other areas that will further enhance the DBA curriculum. "There is considerable excitement, both inside and outside the University, about starting a small business and entrepreneurship program, and the professors are excited about spearheading that effort," Schmidt noted. "This will be a good project to begin a new small business and entrepreneurship program currently underway through the DBA at Cedarville University."