Business innovation competition for UT community to start; informational workshop set for Nov. 14

November 12, 2013 | Events, UToday, Business and Innovation
By Bob Mackowiak

If you have a great business idea, you may win up to $10,000 to help make your concept become a reality in the fourth annual business innovation competition sponsored by The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation.

BA 1165_2013.inddThe 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.

“The first three years of the business competition were a remarkable success as we received dozens of entries from across the 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. Thomas Sharkey, interim dean of the College of Business and Innovation. “That is why the college has stepped forward to be the sole sponsor of this event, providing all of the prize money.

“We strive to live up to our name, which incorporates both business and innovation,” Sharkey added. “The college is increasingly recognized on both national and international levels for providing a premier business education and for helping our students obtain internships while here and jobs upon graduation. This business competition truly reflects our emphasis on supporting innovation, fostering creative thinking, and nurturing the entrepreneurial environment that is so essential for the life and growth of this region.”

Ariss added, “Entrepreneurship within the corporate business structure, known as intrapreneurship, is also important today because corporate America is looking for innovative thinking from their employees.”

Ariss explained 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 the financial award.

The UT College of Business and Innovation is providing the following prize money:

• First place: $10,000;

• Second place: $5,000;

• Third place: $2,000; and

• Honorable mention: $500.

Those planning to enter the 2014 competition need to attend one of the two mandatory workshop sessions that will be offered, the first one on Thursday, Nov. 14, and the second one Tuesday, Jan. 28, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Savage & Associates Complex for Business Learning and Engagement PNC Entrepreneurship Lab Room 3100.

Entries must be submitted by Friday, Feb. 21.

Finalists will be announced Friday, March 21.

Finalists will make an oral presentation about their business using the business model canvas Tuesday, April 8, between noon and 5:30 p.m. in the Savage & Associates Complex for Business Learning and Engagement PNC Entrepreneurship Lab Room 3100.

Winners will be announced Tuesday, April 15.

To register or for more information, go to

Click to access the login or register cheese