Final information session set for those planning to enter business innovation competition

January 22, 2014 | Events, UToday, Business and Innovation
By Bob Mackowiak

The final information session for UT students, faculty and staff who want to enter the fourth annual business innovation competition sponsored by the College of Business and Innovation will be offered Tuesday, Jan. 28, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the PNC Entrepreneurship Lab, located in Savage & Associates Complex for Business Learning and Engagement Room 3100.

BA 1165_2013.indd“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 College of Business and Innovation is providing prize money of $10,000 for first place, $5,000 for second place, $2,000 for third place, and $500 for honorable mention. Entries must be submitted by Friday, Feb. 21, and winners will be announced Tuesday, April 15.

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.

Ariss explained that 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.

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

“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. “That is why the College of Business and Innovation 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 of Business and Innovation 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, which is so essential for the life and growth of this region.”

To register or for more information, go to

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