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Students launch business

Jill Barwick | Monday, May 2, 2011

Two Saint Mary’s juniors and two seniors have spent the past year creating BTG Advertising, an agency intent on establishing a connection between students and the community.

Juniors Amanda Lester and Melissa Jackson, along with seniors Marianne Jones and Amanda Gajor, created the company.

“BTG Advertising” stands for “Bridging The Gap,” the main goal for the project. The company aims to bring together Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross campuses with the local community.

The four women are enrolled in a class at Saint Mary’s called New Ventures, a yearlong course teaching the practical aspects of starting and running a business.

“We learned the basics of writing a business plan, accessing financing, basic sales techniques, and how to actually run a business,” Lester said.

“We decided to start an advertising company because we believed there was a need to assist local businesses to effectively reach the student market at the University of Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s College and Holy Cross College,” Lester said.

BTG placed monitors on the Transpo Trolley to attract the attention of the riders to its blooming business and also to advertise its current clients which include the South Bend Silver Hawks, AAA Storage, Chili’s, Papa Vino’s, the Saint Mary’s College Student Activities Board and Clover Ridge and Clover Village Apartments.

“We wanted to establish a viable business, one that was capable of making a profit, and also could possibly represent a win-win situation for both the local business and students,” Lester said. “We also hoped to come up with a business concept which utilized technology that was readily available.”

BTG chose to highlight its business this week by giving away free tickets to the South Bend Silver Hawks baseball game Sunday. Students who rode the Transpo Trolley Wednesday received these tickets to BTG’s night at Coveleski Stadium.

“Our mission statement is to ‘bridge the gap between the campus and the community,'” Lester said. “Giving away baseball tickets to students seemed a natural way to increase exposure for our client, the South Bend Silver Hawks, and to provide the student community free access to an afternoon of watching professional baseball.”

Lester said they distributed 100 tickets to Sunday’s game.

“The effort seems like it has the potential to be a big success. We distributed a total of 100 tickets to Sunday’s Silver Hawks game. “The students seemed to appreciate the free tickets. We hope the utilization rate is very high. Our company also benefited from the exposure, as did the Transpo Trolley,” Lester said. “The sponsorship and availability of free tickets to the riders helped us to support local business and represents the commitment by the founders of BTG Advertising to give back to the community.”