Wanted: Entries for business innovation competition

January 25, 2018 | Events, News, UToday, Alumni, Business and Innovation
By Bob Mackowiak

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 eighth annual business innovation competition sponsored by the UT College of Business and Innovation. Entries are due Monday, Feb. 26.

“The first seven 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, chair and professor of management. “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.”

Dr. Hassan HassabElnaby, interim dean of the College of Business and Innovation, said, “This annual business plan competition truly reflects our emphasis on supporting innovation, fostering creative thinking, and nurturing the entrepreneurial environment 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 also looks for innovative thinking from their employees, so intrapreneurship within the corporate business structure remains important. This is demonstrated by the fact that the college continues to have corporate partners — Owens-Illinois, PNC Bank, and Chuck and Ann Hodge — who contribute prize money for the winners of this competition.”

Competition entries must be submitted using Lean Launch Pad concepts, which 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.

“As we have every year, the College of Business and Innovation is again ready to offer guidance to help these teams effectively implement their plans, emerge beyond the University, create jobs, and enhance area economic growth,” Ariss added.

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 Chuck and Ann Hodge Business Plan Competition Fund); and

• Third place: $2,000 (sponsored by PNC Bank).

The timeline for the 2018 competition is:

• Those planning to enter the competition are invited to attend a question-and-answer session Monday, Feb. 5, from noon to 1 p.m. in the PNC Entrepreneurship Lab, located in Savage & Associates Business Complex Room 3100.

• Entries must be submitted by Monday, Feb. 26.

• Finalists will be announced Friday, March 23.

• Finalists will make an oral presentation about their business using the business model canvas Thursday, April 12, between noon and 5:30 p.m. in the PNC Entrepreneurship Lab, Savage & Associates Business Complex Room 3100.

• Winners will be announced Thursday, April 19.

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.

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