Lyric Harris got her start with Iowa JPEC, where she participated in numerous programs and competitions throughout her years as an Enterprise Leadership major. Harris is the co-founder of Worthy Buck, a company that strives to provide resources to people that need them. Their platform allows users to send direct help to people in need, and receive proof of the impact of their giving.


What was your favorite class you took for your Enterprise Leadership degree? Why was it your favorite?

Entrepreneurship and Innovation was my favorite class because it was a good mix of analytical and creative solutions to the problems you face in entrepreneurship. Also, David Hensley is great at giving a clear, honest perspective of what being an entrepreneur really means while encouraging us to pursue our own goals -- the first assignment was reviewing our resume and having a 15 minute individual sit-down with him to discuss our life dreams. I enjoyed working on a peer's real company for class projects and hearing the guest speakers come in.

This is a phenomenal major to expand your base knowledge on Entrepreneurship and Intrapreneurship. I think it pairs well with other majors and can be the start of achieving your entrepreneurial goals. You don't need an idea to find success through Enterprise Leadership. Enterprise Leadership has brought me into the entrepreneurial mindset and allowed me to connect with innovative, creative, and forward-thinking people.

What Iowa JPEC programs were you involved in during your time at Iowa?

I was involved in the Okoboji Entrepreneurship Institute, Student Accelerator, and Iowa Startup Games. Iowa Startup Games was a very beneficial program for me because I had the opportunity to meet a team of influencers and mentors to take my business to the next level. I actually participated in Startup Games three different times. You don't have to come in with your own idea, you can join a pre-existing team. I felt like there was just the right amount of pressure because of the speed of the program to push myself and my business concepts.

What competition did you learn the most from?

I learned the most from the Okoboji Entrepreneurship Institute (OEI). OEI is a week-long program that immerses you in entrepreneurship and business strategy. Pitching in front of real Venture Capitalists while in competition with my peers from Iowa and other Iowa schools allowed me a unique opportunity which brought our company pitch to the next level.

What made you want to join Founders Club?

After I got into the entrepreneurial community in the area, I met several student entrepreneurs that I respect and look up to. Several of them suggested I join the Founders Club so I became interested. Then, I researched the program and was astonished by the level of resources available to Founders Club students so I knew I wanted to join.

What did you accomplish and learn?

I learned more than I could possibly list. Two key parts of my learning was first a reflective, constructive understanding of my actions and roles in my companies, and the second is a community of student founders to surround myself with and learn from.

From there, what got you interested in going through the Student Accelerator?

During the Founders Club round table luncheons I learned about the accelerator, it sounded like a more intense version of the Founders Club so I knew I wanted to do it.

If another student is thinking about starting a business, where would you recommend they start?

Absolutely get started at Iowa! I think the best way to do it is to prepare a pitch (following your favorite companies early pitches -- ex: Uber's sample pitch) and be honest with yourself about the research and interest you have in the topic. Then, use that at Iowa Startup Games so you can find teammates who share your passion. Then, I'd join Founders Club to get longer, more involved mentorship. Or if you don't have an idea (which is totally okay, I didn't my first time) this is a great place to join a team with a great idea already, and bring your skillset to help them bring it to fruition.