UT students, faculty and staff who have a great business idea may win up to $10,000 to help make that idea a reality in the seventh annual business innovation competition sponsored by the College of Business and Innovation. Entries are due Monday, Feb. 27.
“The first six 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.
“Evidence of the extensive appeal of this annual competition is found in the fact that the first-place winner of last year’s competition was a UT music major, Mackenzie Miller, who claimed the $10,000 prize for her custom trumpet business, Miller Handcraft,” Ariss noted.
Dr. Gary Insch, 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 that is so essential for the economic growth of this region.”
“Entrepreneurship is not only for people who want to start a business,” Ariss said. “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.”
Ariss said competition entries must be submitted using Lean Launch Pad concepts, which enables 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 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);
• Third place: $2,000 (sponsored by PNC Bank); and
• Honorable mention: $500 (sponsored by PNC Bank).
The timeline for the 2017 competition is:
• Those planning to enter the competition are invited to attend a workshop session Monday, Feb. 6, from noon to 1 p.m. in the Savage & Associates Business Complex PNC Entrepreneurship Lab Room 3100.
• Entries must be submitted by Monday, Feb. 27.
• Finalists will be announced Friday, March 24.
• Finalists will make an oral presentation about their business using the business model canvas Thursday, April 13, between noon and 5:30 p.m. in the Savage & Associates Business Complex PNC Entrepreneurship Lab Room 3100.
• Winners will be announced Thursday, 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.