The Magic of WAGIC – how a design company is inspiring young entrepreneurs

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In these challenging economic times it is good to remember what has made this country great – good people with a clear vision and inner drive to make life better for others and in doing so made life better for their families and their communities. Camp BizSmart wants to salute just such a company – WAGIC – an industrial design firm that has created problem solving products of their own design as well as improved the designs and go to market strategies of products for many firms.

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Some of the WAGIC Team who come to Camp BizSmart

Working with Camp BizSmart student teams over the past two years, WAGIC designers have sat with students to bring their product solutions to life to address the business challenges provided by Hara, FRS, Valence Energy, HopeLab, Club One, iBuild2, Tigo and Sopogy. Students have created iPhone and iPad apps to track energy and resource use, solar panel cleaning innovations and useage monitors, water desalination inventions, healthy energy drink solutions to compete for the teen market and healthy activity devices and programs to encourage healthy habits, encourage physical fitness and well being. Every Camp BizSmart session takes on real business problems to solve, provided by company founders and executives who are working on game changing innovations.

Each design is worthy to have place in this blog illustrating the original sketches by the students and the final renderings created by WAGIC that bring them to life. But If I placed them all in this blog, you would be reading dozens of pages. Therefore, let me share just a few. If you are interested in seeing more, browse our past blogs to catch a glimpse of others.

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While solving a real world business problem students create a product design

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WAGIC designers display the rendering created from students drawings

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Camp BizSmart Team Presents Business Solution to Panel of Judges in the Business Plan Competition

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Brainstorming Features Benefits Advantages of FRS

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Sketching out the product design

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Meeting with WAGIC to see how their design for FRS was captured in a rendering

Created by Bob Johnson and his sons, Ron and Ken Johnson, WAGIC has not only helped companies bring their products to life through renderings and prototypes, they have the personal knowledge of how to position and launch a product successfully, that only comes from having a line of their own products go from a problem to solve, a customer to serve, and finally a product in a store on the shelves to purchase.

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Ron and Ken Johnson at WAGIC

You would think that this would be enough – but when you bring together a great team of dreamers and doers you get something more – and this team has given of their expertise and time to inspire students at Camp BizSmart for two years now, and in the process has helped the creations born out of the imaginations of our student teams come to life in full color renderings that always make the students’ catch their breath when they are first unveiled. Why? Because when these professional designers sit with a team and engage them just as they would a team within a company, the students rise to the occasion, bring their A game and let their inner inventor and artist go free.

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WAGIC designers, Cassie, Steve and Anders in sessions with students

The result? Amazing innovations made possible by students who are not constrained by the phrases, “we don’t do it that way”, or “that will never work” – because when you are age 11-15, as the Camp BizSmart students are, you dream in full color and create a full technicolor movie in your head that supports your vision for a product that most believe would be science fiction at best.

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WAGIC rendering of Student design

These young people are channeling their best Jules Verne, Steven Spielberg and Steve Jobs – which reminds me, did I mention that WAGIC also is in the special effects movie business? If you watched the Iron Man or Transformers movies, just to name a few, you saw their work. No wonder they have the ability to relate to the active and current imaginations of these young people.

Why is WAGIC an important role model for our kids? Simple, they are not only a great design company, they are active in the community and with our students at Camp BizSmart mentoring, modeling and motivating what it takes to make dreams come true and create value for your family, your community, the world.

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Mentor – Model – Motivate

WAGIC believes so deeply in helping Camp BizSmart students get engaged, excited and develop the skills that will help them be successful in life, that they created the Bob Johnson Memorial Scholarship Fund to make it possible for worthy students to attend Camp BizSmart. What a great way to expand the number of young entrepreneurs that are acquiring the essential skills that will help them thrive in this new competitive global economy.

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Bob Johnson, WAGIC founder

We salute this great company who gives their time, talent and treasure to ensure that our students are exposed to really great thinking, dreaming and of course – doing!

In this challenging economic environment – the true champions are the companies and professionals like WAGIC who know that the craftsmen of the past are needed more than ever today and through a hands-on approach, our students are apprentices gaining valuable insight from these special people. No wonder WAGIC is known as the “what a great idea company”.

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Camp BizSmart founders, Mike and Peggy Gibbs with WAGIC team and Ellen Pieterse, Camp BizSmart Camp Director

Yes, we do believe that there is magic inside of WAGIC. That magic is the people and it all started with the dream of creating value and solving people’s problems. Now that is a life lesson worth sharing with all of our students and we are very grateful to WAGIC for partnering with Camp BizSmart.

To quote our dear friend and advisor, Bill Reichert, Managing Partner of Garage Technology Ventures, “Only an entrepreneurial approach – flexible, scrappy, collaborative, and unafraid of risk and failure will succeed in this new world. We owe it to our children to help them develop these skills and attitudes with programs like Camp BizSmart.”

Co-founders of Camp BizSmart, and education entrepreneurs, Dr. Mike Gibbs and Peggy Gibbs, believe that partnering with great companies like WAGIC, makes it possible to mentor, model and motivate students to acquire the very best entrepreneurial skills and attitudes as they work hands-on to solve real business problems – learning at a young age the value of critical problem solving and adding value. Now, that is inspiring!

Camp BizSmart is a two-week intensive immersion into business and entrepreneurial skills. Successful CEO’s and founders provide a business problem for student teams to solve, support and defend to a panel of funders and executives. Experts in competitive analysis, finance, marketing and sales, are among the mentors that give examples from their own experience. In the process, students learn the value of critical thinking, brainstorming, problem solving, collaboration, design, assets and liabilities and more. Camp BizSmart inspires students to be courageous, dream big and work hard, play by the rules, and challenge themselves to create priceless value for their customers, communities, their country and the world. If you would like to help us inspire young entrepreneurs, contact us at www.campbizsmart.org

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