University of Toledo students, faculty and staff who have a great business idea may win up to $10,000 to help make their idea a reality in the sixth annual business innovation competition sponsored by the UT College of Business and Innovation.
“The first five years of the business competition were a remarkable success as the College of Business and Innovation received dozens of entries from across UT campuses,” said Dr. Sonny Ariss, professor and chair of the Management Department. “We are expecting another tremendous array of entries this year and trust the contest will continue to advance a creative culture of growth in all areas of the University.”
“The spirit of entrepreneurship is critically important to the ongoing success of every university and every community,” noted Dr. Gary Insch, dean of the College of Business and Innovation. “This business competition truly reflects our emphasis on supporting innovation, fostering creative thinking, and nurturing the entrepreneurial environment, which is so essential for the economic growth of this region.”
Ariss explained, “Entrepreneurship is not only for people who want to start a business. Corporate America is also looking for innovative thinking from their employees, so intrapreneurship within the corporate business structure is also important today. This is demonstrated by the fact that this year the college has corporate partners — Owens-Illinois, PNC Bank and Chuck Hodge — who have contributed the prize money for the winners.”
Ariss added that competition entries must be submitted using Lean Launch Pad concepts that enable people to develop their business model upon nine basic building blocks: customer segments, value propositions, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, key resources, key activities, key partnerships and cost structure.
“The College of Business and Innovation is ready to offer guidance to help these teams effectively implement their plans, emerge beyond the University, create jobs, and enhance area economic growth,” Ariss said.
There is no cost to enter the competition. Registration must be completed online. Winners must prove that they have formed an LLC or S Corp in order to receive a financial award.
The College of Business and Innovation at The University of Toledo is providing the following prize money:
• First place: $10,000 (sponsored by Owens-Illinois Inc.);
• Second place: $5,000 (sponsored by Hodge Fund, Chuck Hodge);
• Third place: $2,000 (sponsored by PNC Bank); and
• Honorable mention: $500 (sponsored by PNC Bank).
Those planning to enter the competition need to attend a mandatory workshop session, which will be offered Wednesday, Jan. 27, from noon to 1 p.m. in the Savage & Associates Business Complex PNC Entrepreneurship Lab Room 3100.
Entries must be submitted by Monday, Feb. 29.
Finalists will be announced Friday, March 25, and they will make oral presentations about their businesses using the business model canvas Wednesday, April 13, between noon and 5:30 p.m. in the Savage & Associates Business Complex PNC Entrepreneurship Lab Room 3100.
Winners will be announced Wednesday, April 20.
The competition is open to all UT students, faculty and staff, while alumni can participate as a member of a team involving current students, faculty or staff.
To register or for more information, go to utoledo.edu/business.