UT community members: Enter business innovation competition

December 8, 2014 | UToday, 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 that idea a reality in the fifth annual business innovation competition sponsored by the UT College of Business and Innovation.

business competition posterEntries are due Friday, Feb. 20.

“The first four 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 that is so essential for the economic growth of this region.”

Ariss added, “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.”

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,” 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 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.

The timeline for the 2015 competition is:

• Those planning to enter the competition need to attend a mandatory workshop session, which will be offered Thursday, Jan. 29, from noon to 1 p.m. in the PNC Entrepreneurship Lab, Savage & Associates Complex for Business Learning and Engagement Room 3100.

• Entries must be submitted by Friday, Feb. 20.

• Finalists will be announced Friday, March 20.

• Finalists will make oral presentations about their business using the business model canvas Tuesday, April 7, between noon and 5:30 p.m. in the PNC Entrepreneurship Lab, Savage & Associates Business Complex Room 3100.

• Winners will be announced Thursday, April 16.

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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